Wednesday, 6 May 2009

JetBlue

 

JetBlue, a high frequency, low cost airline is considered a bit of a success story in the world of American aviation. It was one of the very very few airlines that managed to turn a profit after the horrendous acts on 9/11. It’s continued to grow at a steady pace, delighting the public and aviation writers equally.

There have been a few disastrous issues, such as passengers being stuck on an aircraft for nine hours and a cabin crew member shouting at passengers before deploying the emergency slide and running off with a couple of beers. However, it still retains a good reputation, offers competitive fares, good flight times and comfortable flights. On time record is fair as around 70 per cent of flights depart on time, however if there is going to be a delay, it’s usually in excess of 90 minutes.

Our Rating 4.5 stars.


The service both on the ground and on the aircraft is really friendly (mostly) the normal seat pitch is 34 inches, however rows of extra leg room seats have been fitted that have 38 inches, available for selection on the website at additional cost. An interesting feature of the JetBlue fleet is the DIRECTV free entertainment package of some 36 mainstream US TV channels – including live TV news. If you want audio entertainment, they have a live service by SirusFM which is first class. There is no traditional airline meal service, however they do offer complimentary brand name drinks and nibbles on flights over 2 hours 15 mins. Alcoholic drinks can be purchased at around $6 each. They also sell a limited number of snack boxes, again priced at $6 each, which offer a tasty little treat. We loved the ‘shape up’ box.



Reservation
USA 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583


Another thing worth noting is the baggage policy,  unlike most airlines of it’s type, JetBlue allow the first checked bag for free,  with charges for additional bags. One cabin bag is allowed along with a personal item, like a laptop, extra charges are payable for extra bags. 


JetBlue was incorporated in Delaware in August 1998. David Neeleman founded the company in February 1999, under the name "NewAir." Several of JetBlue's executives, including Neeleman, are former Southwest Airlines employees. JetBlue started by following Southwest's approach of offering low-cost travel, but sought to distinguish itself by its amenities, such as in-flight entertainment, TV on every seat and Satellite radio. In Neeleman's words, JetBlue looks "to bring humanity back to air travel."


In September 1999 the airline was awarded 75 initial take off/landing slots at John F. Kennedy International Airport, and received formal U.S. authorization in February 2000. It started operations on February 11, 2000, with service to Buffalo and Ft. Lauderdale.




JetBlue's founders had set out to call the airline "Taxi" and paint all the aircraft yellow, like a NYC cab, but luckily they changed their minds and JetBlue it became, eventually .
Fleet
As of April 2011, the JetBlue Airways fleet consists of the following aircraft with an average age of 6 years:
JetBlue Airways fleet
Aircraft Total Orders Seats Blended winglets
Airbus A320-200 117 55 150 No (Wingtip Fences)
Embraer 190 46 56 100 Yes
Total 163
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JetBlue Embraer 190 N190JB ("Luiz F. Kahl")
Nearly every plane in JetBlue's fleet is named with a designation containing some form of the word "blue." Examples include "Absolute Blue," "Big Blue Bus," "Blue Suede Shoes," "Canyon Blue," "Hopelessly devoted to Blue," "Mi Corazon Azul," "Rhapsody in Blue," "Sacre Bleu!," "The name is Blue, JetBlue," and "Whole Lotta Blue." However as of November 2006[update], there are two exceptions: tail number N190JB is "Luiz F. Kahl," named for the former Chairman of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, and tail number N533JB is "Usto Schulz," named for JetBlue's former VP of Safety. Every year employees submit suggestions for the names of the new planes. Past winners have received trips to Toulouse, France, to tour the Airbus hangar and fly home aboard the plane that bears their name suggestion.
The only plane that has not been named by a JetBlue employee is tail number N655JB, "Blue 100," which was named by the company in celebration for JetBlue's 100th Airbus A320. Also, the plane has its own original tail fin, unlike the rest of fleet which shares one of the 9 tail fin designs, entitled Stripes, Harlequin, Window Pane, Bubbles, Plaid, Dots, Mosaic, Barcode and Blueberries. Also, tail number N658JB was named " Whoo-Hoo JetBlue! The Official Airline of Springfield " in celebration of the release of The Simpsons Movie. The plane also features Homer Simpson giving a thumbs up.
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Incidents and accidents
JetBlue has had several incidents involving its planes, although none have resulted in any hull losses or fatalities.
JetBlue Flight 292, an Airbus A320 (N536JB), makes an emergency landing at Los Angeles International AirportNotable incidents:
On September 21, 2005, Flight 292 (N536JB "Canyon Blue") performed an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport following a failure of the front landing gear during retraction when it turned 90 degrees. The plane landed after holding for three hours to burn fuel and lighten the aircraft. The aircraft came to a stop without incident on runway 25L, the third-longest runway at LAX. The only apparent damage to the plane upon landing was the destruction of the front wheels, which were ground down to almost semicircles, and the tires; the front landing strut held.
On February 14, 2007, a JetBlue flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport to CancĂșn, Mexico was delayed on the ramp in a snowstorm, keeping passengers on the plane for nearly nine hours. Throughout that day, at least nine other JetBlue aircraft were also stranded on the tarmac, keeping the passengers on board. Four days later, JetBlue was still not operating normally, canceling nearly all flights using Embraer 190 aircraft. On February 19, JetBlue's then-CEO, David Neeleman, issued a public apology for the cancellations and for his company's mismanagement of the situation. Neeleman said he was "humiliated and mortified" by the system failures and he promised that JetBlue would soon introduce a "Customer Bill of Rights" offering compensation for such events in the future. JetBlue predicted that the cancellations and passenger compensations would total between 20 and 30 million dollars.
On August 9, 2010, as Flight 1052 from Pittsburgh International Airport prepared to disembark its passengers at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Steven Slater, a JetBlue flight attendant, claimed to have been in a confrontation with a passenger who refused to remain seated during the safety instruction. Slater claims he was struck on the head by her luggage as it was being removed from the overhead storage bin. Several passengers have disputed his account. He cursed at the passengers over the aircraft's public address system, after which he activated the emergency chute, grabbed two beers, exited via the now-inflated evacuation slide, ran to his parked car, and drove home where he was later arrested.



On August 26, 2010, JetBlue Flight 262 (N590JB "Liberty Blue") from Long Beach Airport encountered problems upon landing at Sacramento International Airport. Four of the Airbus A320's tires blew out, and both the blown-out tires and the aircraft's brakes caught on fire. Fifteen of the flight's 86 passengers sustained minor injuries while evacuating the aircraft on the runway. The fire was quickly extinguished by emergency responders, but runway 16R/34L remained closed for over 24 hours, forcing all aircraft operations to use runway 16L/34R. There was no disruption to any other flights.
On September 9, 2010, JetBlue Flight 522 from Orlando, Florida to Newark, was experiencing turbulence mid-flight, when 21-year-old Playboy playmate Tiffany Livingston bolted from her seat and grabbed the handle on the exit door. She was tackled and subdued by nearby passengers, and the plane landed safely. Then, she was subsequently detained by Federal officials, and released hours later. Investigators determined that she was trying to stabilize and brace herself during a high anxiety attack brought on by the turbulence, rather than attempting to open the door in mid-flight.




On April 19, 2011, JetBlue Flight 464 from Southwest Florida International Airport to Boston Logan International Airport landed safely, then had its left wing clipped by a truck being escorted by an airline employee on a ramp, forcing the aircraft out of service.
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