It hasn’t been the easiest year for the airline industry, with Covid skipping the schedule.
But although Omicron threw a wrench in the works, there are signs that things are improving as travel restrictions ease and we can think of vacations to New York City rather than Newquay.
Our latest visit to Heathrow was just the tonic we needed. New York low cost airline JetBlue is running daily flights between the Big Apple and both Heathrow and Gatwick, fill the gap do Norway’s regrettable withdrawal from the market.
What’s more, it’s a clearly laid-back travel experience – a blessing when you spend eight hours in the air rather than just hopping over Europe.
First of all – comfort. As a 6ft 2in northerner, plane seats, especially the budget ones, can be a painful experience.
In JetBlue’s Core seats (their name is for economy class), I got ample leg room and adjustable headrests – and I fell asleep, which is a rarity for me.
JetBlue advertises its seat pitch in the Core as 32-37in, which it claims is the most spacious legroom found in the transatlantic economy.
But a good night’s sleep in this spacious seat could be a waste if there’s free wifi. Yes, that’s right – wifi is free for everyone, even on a budget, allowing you to browse the web, check your social media, or send a few work emails while you’re on not safely.
Every Core passenger also has entertainment at their fingertips.
A 10-inch touchscreen TV, which can also be paired with your mobile phone, has plenty of movies, enough TV series from HBO and Showtime to get you a trip around the moon and some Sports channels and live news including Sky News and BBC World.
Core travelers can also prepare their own meals via the touchscreen, choosing from dishes put together by the NY-based Dig chain. It’s delicious – grilled chicken thighs with brown rice, spiced eggplant on cauliflower quinoa with coconut, heirloom tomato salad… Oh, and did I mention the free wine? Yes, that’s it too.
If all of this isn’t enough for your trip across the Pond, if you have extra dollars you can upgrade yourself to the Mint class. Here you will find your own suite, with even more comfort.
The chair is three-way adjustable and expands into a 6ft 8in flatbed, while ambient light options and sliding doors for privacy ensure you can sink into your little world of space. own for the Red-Eye overnighters.
The menu at the Mint is also a step forward. Each passenger can build their own meal by choosing from a number of “small plates” from the New York-based Delicious Hospitality Group. I had lamb curry with potato wedges, and for dessert was vanilla gelato with marmalade and crunchy pistachios.
The downside of all this affordable excellence, of course, is that you’ll then land in New York and pay $9 for a beer and $10 for a Pret sandwich.
Is it possible to stash some free JetBlue snacks in your carry-on? Don’t tell them I suggested it.
JetBlue flies from Heathrow and Gatwick to New York’s JFK Airport with fares from £319 for Core (economy class) and £3,100 for Mint (business class).
The airline hopes to introduce flights to Boston from next year. See jetblue.com.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/travel/17244192/budget-transatlantic-airline-jetblue-new-york-2/ I flew on low-cost transatlantic airline JetBlue