This is something I’ve been actively keeping an eye on over the past few years and it’s finally happening. US-based Jet Blue will fly to and from the UK. Mark my words, the days of airlines charging over £300 to fly to America in Economy or over £1200 in business are over!
Why you should care
Consider JetBlue to be a low-cost carrier, just not in the typical Ryanair sense. For years they’ve had some of the cheapest tickets to buy when flying domestically in the US. Take for example the 6-hour flight from New York (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX), Economy would run you sub £100 and Business sub £300. Where a typical European low-cost carrier would charge you extra for everything, JetBlue includes it in their price.
This will be JetBlue’s first venture crossing the pond and it’s going to be a game-changer. They currently have 2 slots per day at LHR on a temporary basis, in layman’s terms they are allowed to take off and land once per day.
To digress a little, slots at Heathrow are extremely valuable, think tens of millions per slot. They’re so valuable in fact that when an airline starts to fail, other airlines will pay a hell of a lot and even take on a shed load of the failing airline’s debt to get their hands on the slots.
Back on track, JetBlue will take off from LHR at 18:10 and land into JFK at 21:35. Coming back to the UK departing JFK AT 21:48 landing at LHR 10:10. Most people will look at the LHR-JFK time and instantly think “I’ll give that a miss” given that we Brits are used to morning departures getting into New York mid-afternoon the general view will be that you’re having to pay for an extra nights hotel for no benefit. Consider this though, put a full day of work in, head straight to the airport and you’re on a flight. At least that’s how JetBlue want you to see it at least due to their hands being tied with what slots they were allocated. The reality is you’d have to put in half a days holiday at the minimum. Still, a late departure out of JFK means you can put a full day in before you head home.
This is where things get interesting. Flights are now on sale (Give it a day or 2 for them to appear on Google Flights) with economy starting in the high £200’s and business sub £1,000. Yes that is expensive for economy however, with ‘Rona flagship airlines like BA and Virgin are selling the dsame flights as “Deals” for £350+. I’ll go ahead and say that i think JetBlue will eventually have return flights to New York for sub £200
Be under no illusions though, Business class seats at sub £1,000 round trip is incredible and thats the launche price, this will also go lower as time goes on.
The Hype Is Real
You’ll have noticed no images as I’m yet to fly on JetBlue (I only post photos I take so you know I’ve been there, done it, experienced it, etc) so for images of what you can expect you can head to JetBlue’s website here.
More space than any other airline including food that looks less like a sweaty pack lunch at the bottom of your football boot bag and more like actual food you’d want to eat. 10″ screens and a plethora of charging options at every seat and WiFi free of charge for everyone onboard.
Or as JetBlu call it “Mint” which it certainly is! A fully flat bed with dedicated isle access (No stepping over anyone), a 17″ TV and everything else you’d expect from being at the pointy end of the plane.
Wrap It Up
Book your flights, book them now! To put things into perspective, I hold top tier status with 2 of the 3 major alliances which get me everything from free luggage to a massage at the airport and everything inbetween. I’m happy to forgo all of that to fly JetBlue. I’d be booked on the firast flight on August 12th if I wasn’t in Slovenia! Also chances are it wont be long until you can fly to the US. So as I said, book the flights and have an amazing time!