JetBlue Airways News

JetBlue to Phase Out the Check-in Process

Posted July 18, 2014 by SmarterTravel.com

JetBlue is shaking up the check-in process as we know it.

The low-cost U.S. carrier will eliminate the online or airport check-in requirement for passengers flying in Even More Space seats starting immediately. The airline is calling this "automatic check-in." JetBlue plans to offer a check-in free experience to more of its passengers by 2015.

Instead of having to check in online or at the airport within 24 hours of departure, Even More Space flyers will now get an e-mail from JetBlue that contains their boarding passes—simple and easy. So if you don't have any bags to check and you've booked an Even More Space seat, you can just show up at the airport and go to the gate with your boarding pass. No checking in required. Better yet, passengers with the JetBlue app on their phones can use e-boarding passes at select airports, no printing necessary. (The email JetBlue sends will give details on all of these options.)

According to Blair Koch, JetBlue Vice President Commercial and Shared Development Services, "The idea of asking customers to jump an additional hurdle before their flight is an increasingly antiquated concept. By having the right systems in place, we can remove this step, and even help identify and prevent issues that can hinder customers from fully enjoying their travel experience."

Eliminating one more hassle in the flying process is a step in the right direction. It's one less thing to remember. Some carriers already offer an automatic check-in option; Lufthansa is one example. The German airline gives flyers the option to select an automatic check-in when booking flights. A few other international carriers provide automatic check-in, but JetBlue is the first U.S. airline we know of that is beginning to offer this option for its passengers.

JetBlue's current plan for Even More Space flyers is just a trial. Although automatic check-in will likely save money for the airline by helping to cut airport-service costs, we'll have to wait and see if the scheme is here to stay.

Are you onboard with JetBlue's new automatic check-in system?

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This article was originally published by SmarterTravel under the title JetBlue to Phase Out the Check-in Process.

Follow Caroline Costello on Google+ or email her at editor@smartertravel.com.

Like this story? Join the 1 million other travelers who read our free Deal Alert newsletter. It's full of our best tips, trip ideas, and travel deals. Subscribe here today!

(Photo: Angelo DeSantis via flickr CC Attribution)

These Awesome Airlines Will Make You Love Flying Again

Posted July 7, 2014 by SmarterTravel.com

Can flying be fun? The answer depends on your carrier of choice. Certain airlines are shaking up the industry with creative flyer-friendly amenities, comfortable cabins, and pleasant service—and they're keeping prices low too. Some are rolling out onboard magicians. Others are reinventing economy cabins. All in all, it's some really cool stuff. Find out which airlines, from small carriers to major international ones, are infusing air travel with comfort and joy.

Turkish Airlines

I flew on Turkish about a month ago. I couldn't get enough of the special little touches that distinguish the flying experience on this Star Alliance carrier, which flies to more countries than any other airline on the planet (257 destinations in 107 nations). High-quality onboard service includes a varied array of special meals cooked by fancy-hat-wearing sky chefs and a seatback screen system that allows passengers to check email and send text messages. One of the airlines' most exciting innovations is its recently expanded state-of-the-art business-class lounge at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport. It is, arguably, the world's greatest airline lounge. The two-story megalounge is outfitted with a playground, showers, massage beds, a golf simulator, food stations serving fresh regional foods, and even private little rooms with beds for naps. It's worth repeating: nap beds!

Porter Airlines

Picture a plane with 32-inch economy-class seat pitch and no middle seats. Throw in amenities like lounge access for all passengers (Porter lounges have free Wi-Fi) and complimentary beer and wine. At this point, economy class—normally a hell on earth of sorts—isn't looking so bad. Furthermore, fares are consistently affordable: Porter regularly offers percentage discounts on already-low base fares. In the past, we've seen promotions featuring 45 and even 50 percent off ticket prices. Given all this, is anyone surprised that Conde Nast Traveler picked Porter as the world's best small airline in its 2013 Readers' Choice Awards?

Emirates

Emirates is on its way to becoming the world's largest airline within a decade. However, the ever-expanding international juggernaut manages to balance profits with pizzazz, promising an upscale, comfortable experience for passengers of all classes, despite its size. This is especially true for those flying on the airline's awesome jumbo jets. On the Emirates Dallas-to-Dubai route, for example, double-decker A380 planes feature premium-class onboard lounges, shower spas, and complimentary wine and cocktails for even the economy set. Emirates' commitment to customer-friendly travel extends to families, too. From a wide array of children's TV shows to complementary activity backpacks for kiddos to a special frequent-flyer program for young travelers, Emirates makes an effort to improve the air-travel experience for flyers big and small.

JetBlue

I have to admit, I love JetBlue. The following features are likely to place you firmly in the JetBlue fan camp with yours truly: one free checked bag, free DIRECTV, friendly employees, and super-fast Wi-Fi (JetBlue calls it "Fly-Fi") on some planes. (The airline is working on installing Fly-Fi on its entire Airbus fleet by the end of the year.) But beyond all this awaits something even greater: lie-flat transcontinental seats for really cheap prices. JetBlue's new Mint class features fully flat seats on flights between New York and Los Angles, starting at the phenomenal promotional rate of $599 each way.

OpenSkies

Comfortable transatlantic flying at affordable prices—that's the OpenSkies war cry in a nutshell. Once an all-business-class airline, OpenSkies rolled out a comparatively comfortable economy class in 2012. The British Airways subsidiary, which dubs its coach section "Eco Class," offers personal preloaded iPads and leather seats for economy travelers. Furthermore, the coach section is pretty small, so it feels more like an intimate upper class than a teeming cattle car. But the best part, arguably, is the hassle-free experience at the airport. OpenSkies passengers flying out of Newark and Paris Orly get to skip longer security lines for a special, much shorter TSA security processing. And the fares? They're great. Right now, for example, OpenSkies is selling PremPlus fares (the seats recline a full 130 degrees) between New York and Paris starting at $1,299 round-trip.

Virgin America

Virgin America is a true pioneer when it comes to the flyer experience. The airline was one of the first to wow passengers with mood lighting and comprehensive onboard entertainment. If you've been on a Virgin plane, you know what I mean: There's Wi-Fi. There are plugs. There are cool tech features like touch screens that permit passengers to order drinks and food without having to wait 45 minutes for a flight attendant to pass by. And the purple lighting—whether you love it or hate it—definitely sets this flyer-friendly carrier apart from the legacy pack. New in Virgin's world is a redesigned boarding pass that easily fits into a pant pocket and a revamped website (currently in beta) that Virgin hopes will ease the booking process. And Virgin recently celebrated its first year of profitability, so with any luck, its customer-friendly business model is here to stay.

Asiana Airlines

Asian airlines often dominate Skytrax awards and readers' choice lists, and Asiana, the Star Alliance South Korean airline, is no exception. Asiana just revamped its A380 planes, adding first-class suites that have doors, closets, and beds; starlit cabin ceilings; real ovens for cooking food; and even social areas with bars and lounges. But what really sets this carrier apart from the pack is the addition of flying magicians who perform magic shows for kids. (Or anyone who wants to watch, really.) We can't think of a more joyful and unique way to pass the time on a long flight.

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This article was originally published by SmarterTravel under the title These Awesome Airlines Will Make You Love Flying Again.

Follow Caroline Costello on Google+ or email her at editor@smartertravel.com.

Like this story? Join the 1 million other travelers who read our free Deal Alert newsletter. It's full of our best tips, trip ideas, and travel deals. Subscribe here today!

(Photo: Image Source/Getty Images)

Airline Fees: The Ultimate Guide

Posted May 14, 2013 by SmarterTravel.com

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Two dollars for a soda? Ten bucks for an aisle seat? If you're confused about airline fees, we can help.

With our Airline Fees: The Ultimate Guide, you'll find a one-stop reference chart for every major airline fee from every major domestic carrier.

Best of all, you can download the airline fees chart in PDF format at no charge. Because unlike the airlines, we don't make you pay for things that ought to be free.

Click on the image above for a free download of Airline Fees: The Ultimate Guide.


Island Hopping

Posted May 28, 2009 by Katie Blais

Preppy I am a recent Nantucket convert. As a born and raised New Englander, my family and I always ventured to Maine in the summer, the land of lobster and L.L. Bean, but recently I discovered Nantucket, (more specifically its big Figawi boat race over Memorial Day weekend, when the island turns into a big spring break party, preppy overload style with madras and critter pants galore). Regardless of my penchant for polo shirts and plaid, the island of Nantucket is gorgeous and I want to go back for a much more low-key weekend so I can bike the 14 miles of island, lie out on the beach, check out the whaling museum, and get my fill of seafood.

Thanks to JetBlue it might be a little easier to head back to the island. For the third year in a row JetBlue is starting up its Nantucket service.  From now until September 8,  starting at $79 one-way you can go nonstop from NYC or get super-easy connections via anywhere, from Chicago to Los Angeles.  Fellow Bostonians like myself can book flights with JetBlue’s Cape Air service out of Logan (which also services Hyannis, Provincetown, and Martha’s Vineyard). It's a great idea for last-minute flight and long weekend getaways, and as a bonus you’ll beat that nasty Cape traffic!

What are you waiting for? Get your whale belts out, your Nantucket reds pressed, and hop on a flight.The summer is only so long!

JetBlue Worker Caught Sleeping on the Job … in the Cargo Hold

Posted March 31, 2009 by Carl Unger

SleepingatdeskEveryone's been caught sleeping on the job, right? I mean, it's inevitable: Even if you don't take it to the George Costanza-level of building sleeping quarters under your desk, everyone, at some point, drifts off to Sleepytown while at work.

But what matters, one could argue, is not that you fall asleep, but how you wake up and whether or not your boss is staring at you when you do. (Note to my employers: I'm kidding, of course!)

Case in point: A JetBlue employee took a nap in the cargo hold of a plane that proceeded to fly between New York City and Boston. Yes, with the sleeping employee still in the cargo hold. Talk about a cheap flight, huh?

According to the AP, "The man was discovered by baggage handlers at Logan International Airport after the plane landed there Saturday. He told police he'd been accidentally locked inside the pressurized luggage compartment while taking a nap." Apparently the employee called JetBlue when he woke up and realized he was no longer on the ground.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is definitely not how you want to wake up when sleeping on the job. Fortunately the man was OK, but we'll see how he's doing after his supervisor has a word ...

(Photo: CDC.gov)

Are You Ready for Some Football?

Posted January 30, 2009 by Katie Blais

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Even though most people in my neck of the woods stopped watching football after the Pats went home—thanks a lot, New York—it's Super Bowl Sunday this weekend and there is no better excuse to gather with friends to enjoy some buffalo wings along with many other artery-clogging delicacies before heading into work Monday feeling a little under the weather.

For sports fans stuck at 30,000 feet during the big game, you can still get your Super Bowl on, if you happen to be flying JetBlue that is. You can catch the game, watch the Boss perform at halftime, and not miss a single zany commercial, thanks to JetBlue's 36 channels of in-flight entertainment. They are even throwing in something "super" special, offering passengers (of legal age, obviously) a game-day-themed drink with a little help from Stirrings Cocktail Mixers. Chose from a Steel Swizzle, Yellow Rush, Tumbleweed, or Shake your Tail Feather … it's a regular cocktail lounge in the cabin. If only you can find someplace to plug in a crock pot of pigs in a blanket and don't get stuck sitting next to an obnoxious fan from the opposing team.

If you want to spice up your Super Bowl party at ground level, here’s the recipe for Shake Your Tail Feather:

1 part Stirrings® Cosmopolitan Mixer
1 part Bacardi® Rum
 Splash of Ginger Ale

Got any of your own favorite Super Bowl drink (or food) recipes? Please share them in the comment field below.

JetBlue Goes to the Dogs (and Cats)

Posted December 17, 2008 by Carl Unger

JetBlue recently launched JetPaws, a new travel service that is pet "fur-iendly." (I swear I did not come up with that! It's from JetBlue's press release!)  OK, so what does JetPaws provide, you might ask?

PettravelOn the surface, it doesn't look like JetPaws is much more than a new branding initiative for JetBlue's existing pet policy, which consists of a $100 each-way fee for small dogs and cats in the cabin (JetBlue apparently doesn't allow animals in the cargo hold). But there are benefits to the new service.

JetPaws will kick in two TrueBlue points each way when you travel with your pet, which is a nice perk. Other than that, customers receive a pet carrier bag tag, which, JetBlue says, will "let everyone know your pet is ready to jet," as well as Travel Petiquette, "a handy list of JetBlue's social graces of pet travel." JetBlue will also send you a welcome email with information and tips for your upcoming flight, and the airline has a free pet travel guide available for download on its site.

From there, it gets kitschy. JetBlue is selling trademarked pet travel gear, including a Pet Carrier and a Pet Travel Kit, which includes a fleece blanket, a white rubber bone toy, and a 16-ounce bowl emblazoned with the JetPaws logo. And, for the four-legged passenger that wants to display some JetBlue love, the airline has dog-sized  polo shirts and hoodies sporting the JetBlue logo and cute phrases like "JetWag" and "I only beg for Blue Chips." Seriously.

I'm a pet owner (the cutest dog and cat you ever did see), so I'm glad JetBlue is making pet travel seem more like a service than a hassle, even though my dog is too large to fly the JetBlue skies. And JetBlue does seem to have its heart in the right place by making (small) pets welcome aboard its planes. But JetBlue Doggie Polo shirts? I draw the line at dog clothes. I mean, small dogs in funny clothes are cute and all … the way they waddle around looking sort of confused … adorably confused … you know, I bet my dog would look cute in one of these … and Christmas is around the corner, so—wait! What am I saying? No clothes for dogs! No!

But good job otherwise, JetBlue. A well-deserved wag of the proverbial tail to you.

What do you think? Is JetPaws a step forward for travelers with pets, or just clever marketing? And would you get your little canine friend a JetBlue hoodie? Don't be shy

(Photo: Flickr)

JetBlue Partners With LimoRes.net to Offer Luxury Car Service

Posted December 9, 2008 by Zak Patten

Limousines Whoever thought a low-cost airline would pair up with a high-end car service that specializes in limousines? Isn't that like a frog trying to kiss a princess? In this case, not exactly. As we all know, JetBlue is not exactly a no-frills airline, even if it does operate on a low-cost business model. And its new partner LimoRes.net appeals to clients who may actually shine their own shoes (at least once in awhile).

The tie-up will allow passengers to book ground transportation through LimoRes on jetblue.com/cars with "exclusive savings." And LimoRes will be in place at most of the carrier's destinations, including Boston, Fort Lauderdale, L.A./Long Beach, New York City, Orlando, and Washington, D.C./Dulles. But is this really a good fit? I think so.

Everyone's favorite airline may generate a lot of buzz among bargain hunters, but its snazzy new terminal featuring elegant cuisine at New York's JFK airport is sure to please Wall Street's superstar traders (thanks, bailout!) at the same time.

On the automotive side of this deal, LimoRes offers a wide variety of upscale rides, from the Lincoln Town Car to Mercedes limos and even behemoths like Hummer stretches (after all, gas is cheap again). And instead of getting a cabbie, you get a chauffeur. The two could be brothers, but if you're gonna pay for a limo, you know you want the driver with the white gloves. And LimoRes isn't just some Big Apple firm—there are apparently locations in 5,000 airports throughout 172 countries. It's the perfect big-time car service for the big shot in you.

OK, you see how amazing the service is, but now you're thinking, "with the economy crashing down, is this really the time for such extravagances?" Well, this is where we see that JetBlue and LimoRes might not be that different after all. Both offer a top-notch product while simultaneously keeping budget-conscious travelers in mind. JetBlue has all kinds of $49 sales and even LimoRes is offering a "2008 Recession Discount" that features 15 percent off online bookings. And their lowest rates aren't all that bad—just $32 from LaGuardia to midtown Manhattan (though that's probably not for rides in a stretch Escalade).

It could be a fairy-tale ending after all.

What do you think? Will you splurge for a LimoRes car and driver the next time you fly JetBlue? Leave a comment below and let me know.

(Photo: Orlando Limo)

JetBlue Opens New Terminal at New York's JFK

Posted September 18, 2008 by Heather Gilbert

Jetbluejfkterminal Traditionally when someone buys a new home, they lay out the brie and Chardonnay and invite people over so they can show off their new abode.  The party is nice and hopefully nobody spills wine on the carpet or peeks in your medicine cabinet.  And that’s about the end of the story.  But what to do if you’ve just built a new 635,000-square-foot home to the tune of $800 million?  Better buy more brie, because that’s got to be one hell of a party. 

On Monday, September 22, JetBlue will be celebrating its new digs at JFK’s brand-spanking-new Terminal 5 (T5). This tri-level terminal has 26 gates across three concourses. And since it was designed with customer comfort and efficiency in mind, smack in the middle is a 55,000-square-foot central retail and concession marketplace.  Sounds pretty posh, right? Well wait ‘til you hear about the housewarming celebration!  JetBlue is so excited about its new domicile that it has invited a world-famous New York City dance troupe to perform the ribbon cutting, a famous pop singer to serenade guests, and T5 restaurant chefs to give cooking demonstrations.  Guests can also get ready to discuss their favorite New York City factoids with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the best things about pink beaches with Premier of Bermuda Ewart Brown, and why in-flight movie selections keep travelers happy with JetBlue Airways CEO Dave Barger.

Surely JFK’s Terminal 5 sounds like an oasis to weary travelers and here at BookingBuddy HQ, we’re excited by the concept of “customer comfort and efficiency.”  What do you think about this new mega-terminal? Leave a comment below and let us know.

(Photo: JetBlue)

JetBlue: More Fun Than Most

Posted September 11, 2008 by Heather Gilbert

Jetblueyoulookcute Remember your mother used to follow up every “are we there yet?” moaned from the back of the station wagon with an enthusiastic “getting there is half the fun!”?  Well, apparently your mom is now working for JetBlue.  This week, the airline won the World Airline Entertainment Association’s award for best in-flight entertainment for the Americas.  This prestigious award was voted on by real-life travelers just like you (or perhaps it was you, you on-line-survey-taking devil, you) and was celebrated with a “spectacular celebration choreographed and produced by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures as a salute to 40 years of in-flight entertainment.” Well then.  I had no idea in-flight entertainment had been around  that long.

This is not the first time JetBlue has been singled out for its commitment to making the journey half the fun.  They’ve already been recognized for excellent customer service.  We couldn’t be happier with their expanded movie selection.  And in-flight Wi-Fi?  We say Wi-finally! Yes JetBlue, keep it coming.  Keep those skies friendly, fun, and fi-ed (okay that last one was a bit of a stretch). We’re keeping our eyes on you!

(Photo: upgradetravelbetter.com)


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