August 5 2013  |  Inflight Entertainment

JetBlue to bring lie-flat comfort to trans-con next year

By Rick Lundstrom

The new lie-flat seats, supplied by Thompson Aero Seating are expected to debut in new A321 aircraft beginning in the second quarter of 2014 on nonstop routes between New York and Los Angeles and New York and San Francisco.

“In addition, JetBlue will be the first and only airline in the market to offer customers the option of a completely separate single suite seat that includes a closable door for increased privacy,” said a release from JetBlue.

JetBlue CEO Dave Barger introduced the new seat at the Global Business Travel Association convention in San Diego. A computer-generated video of the new, enhanced experience, as well as JetBlue's to the core JetBlue Experience was part of the program

The new lie-flat seat, created in a partnership with Northern Ireland-based Thompson Aero Seating, will be displayed in a 2-1 configuration. Rows 1, 3 and 5 will offer 2-by-2 seating, and rows 2 and 4 will offer private suites, with one seat on each side of the aisle.

The new seats also offer air cushions with adjustable firmness, a massage function, a 15-inch widescreen television and a "wake-me-for-service" indicator if the passenger chooses to sleep in. JetBlue will refresh the core JetBlue Experience in 2014, which will include a seat design with movable headrests, a new entertainment system with up to 100 channels of DirecTV® programming on 10.1-inch widescreens, and 110-volt and USB power port.

"Transcontinental routes have had high premium fares we believe we can beat," said Barger. "By offering our own, unique seats and enriched service elements that will include some soon-to-be-announced partnerships, we are creating a one-of-a-kind experience that will serve this market in a way only JetBlue can."

JetBlue's wholly owned subsidiary LiveTV will begin installing Fly-Fi on JetBlue's fleet by the end of the year, a new high-speed, satellite-based wi-fi product that will offer broadband speeds and serve as the fastest internet access at altitude.  

JetBlue expects to increase frequencies on JFK-LAX and JFK-SFO with new A321 aircraft next year to offer even more options, convenience and comfort for customers. There will be a dedicated sub-fleet of 11 aircraft initially used for the two core transcontinental routes. Additional markets are possible, based on customer response and demand for more service.

JetBlue's new Airbus A321 aircraft begin arriving later this year and will have two configurations. The first four aircraft deliveries will offer the core JetBlue Experience throughout the cabin with capacity for 190 customers.  In 2014 additional A321s will be delivered from Airbus, with 16 lie-flat seats, four of which are the private suites

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