JetBlue announced today that they will be undertaking a major retrofit of the passenger cabins in their fleet of Airbus A320 planes that includes a new connected in-seat experience. The overhaul will bring both hardware and networking improvements to the fingertips of passengers to meet the connected needs of today’s travelers.
JetBlue says the focus of the update will be on helping travelers stay connected throughout the whole flight experience from the moment they board to when they depart. JetBlue flyers will be able to access the free gate-to-gate Fly-Fi high-speed Internet when the update is completed. Fly-Fi provides speeds of 12 to 20 Mbps via providers Thales and ViaSat.
Along with the improvements to the onboard Wi-Fi system, JetBlue will be installing AC power outlets and USB ports at all seats so flyers can keep their devices charged up.
For flyers who do not want to use their own devices, JetBlue is upgrading screens located in the back of each seat to a 10-inch high definition screen. Flyers will be able to access over 100 DirecTV channels and over 300 films and other content that is stored locally on the aircraft. The in-flight system powering all of these screens will be built on the Android operating system.
JetBlue says the refitted cabins will almost be like “being in your own home – with access to live television and high-speed Internet across multiple screens while relaxing in a comfortable seat.” If there is a downside to the announcement, it is that the upgrades are not scheduled to start until 2017 and will not be completed until 2019.
With All New Cabin Design, JetBlue Introduces Fully Connected In-Seat Experience From Gate to Gate
JetBlue’s First A320 Cabin Restyling After 15 Years of Flying Brings Gate-to-Gate Fly-Fi, New Inflight Entertainment System with Internet-Streaming on HD Seatback Televisions, Power Outlets for Personal Devices, Ergonomic Seats, and Generous Personal Space
Flying JetBlue Like Being in Your Own Home, But Better, With JetBlue’s Award-Winning Customer Service
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) today announced it will introduce a fully connected in-seat experience, among other new features, as part of its Airbus A320 cabin restyling program, first announced in November 2014.
The restyled cabin will enhance the JetBlue experience to meet the needs of travelers today, including a greater focus on connectivity, comfort, and space. This marks JetBlue’s first complete redesign of the interiors on its A320 fleet since it launched in 2000.
A major focus of the new cabin will be keeping customers connected throughout their flight, including free gate-to-gate Fly-Fi high-speed Internet, a new Internet-enabled inflight entertainment system, high-definition seatback televisions, and in-seat power outlets with USB ports.
“We launched JetBlue with a customer-focused experience that no one expected from an airline,” said Jamie Perry, vice president brand and product development. “Travel preferences have changed in the last 15 years, and we’re investing in what customers want today. Our new cabin, combined with our award-winning customer service, is a powerful way for us to once again challenge the status quo.”
The First Fully Connected In-Seat Experience
On its fleet of 130 A320 aircraft, JetBlue will become the first domestic airline to launch an inflight entertainment system that connects the much-loved seatback television to the aircraft’s Wi-Fi Internet connection for customer use.
The new streaming television inflight entertainment system from Thales – STV+ – is built on the Google Android platform, opening unlimited possibilities for custom app and widget development, live content streaming, audio-and-video-on-demand, and personal device pairing to offer more entertainment options than ever in collaboration with JetBlue’s industry-leading content partners.
In addition to streaming content, JetBlue will expand the number of DirecTV® television channels offered from 36 to more than 100, and will have the capability to offer a library of over 300 on-demand Hollywood films and other content stored locally on the aircraft.
The experience will be delivered on a new 10-inch, high-definition touch screen at every seat – almost double the size of the screens today.
JetBlue will also enable gate-to-gate access to Fly-Fi – the airline’s free wireless high-speed Internet service powered by Thales and ViaSat. Fly-Fi delivers the highest quality streaming Internet experience with 12 to 20 Mbps to each connected device. With gate-to-gate connectivity, customers will be able to use high-speed Internet on their personal devices during takeoff and landing to surf or shop the web, post pictures to social media, email colleagues and friends, or connect to The Hub – JetBlue’s content portal – to access content and stream Amazon Video before the flight even leaves the ground.
Today’s personal devices require something often not found in the air: power. JetBlue’s new seat design offers AC power outlets with USB ports for every seat.
“Our customers don’t want to switch off when they take off, so we are continuing to build on our investment in Fly-Fi,” Perry said. “Flying JetBlue is more and more like being in your own home – with access to live television and high-speed Internet across multiple screens while relaxing in a comfortable seat with lots of space and all the snacks and soft drinks you want. What you can’t get at home is the award-winning service from our friendly crewmembers.”
Bringing the Best of A321 Design to the A320 Fleet
The A320 cabin will closely follow JetBlue’s A321 cabin design, introduced in 2014. The cabin’s design and features have quickly earned accolades from customers who walk onto the aircraft surprised to see the new JetBlue look. Key features include:
- The most legroom in coach* and the widest seat available for a narrow body aircraft so that customers enjoy great personal space while traveling.
- Sleek ergonomic B/E Aerospace Pinnacle® seats, great for long-haul or short-haul travel, which offer better comfort though its patented comfort suspension system.
- Moveable headrests that slide up, down and wrap around.
- LED cabin lighting and a modern interior color palette that makes the cabin experience more stylish and more comfortable.
As part of the retrofit, JetBlue will introduce Airbus’ innovative Space-Flex v2 galley and lavatory module on its A320 and A321 All-Core aircraft. The introduction of the Space-Flex v2 will free additional space in JetBlue’s A320 and A321 all-core cabins, requiring a reconfiguration of seating on those aircraft. The new A320 configuration will include 162 seats, revised from the original plan of 165, after a comprehensive review of layout options and feedback from frontline crewmembers who have been integral to the redesign process. Fifteen all-core A321 aircraft will be configured with 200 seats. The A321 Mint aircraft configuration will not change.
JetBlue and Airbus will add the new Space Flex v2 and seating configuration to all-core A321 aircraft in the second half of 2016. The A320 restyling will begin in early 2017 with completion targeted for 2019.
JetBlue is New York’s Hometown Airline™, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando, and San Juan. JetBlue carries more than 35 million customers a year to 95 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 900 daily flights. For more information please visit JetBlue.com.
* JetBlue offers the most legroom in coach based on average fleet-wide seat pitch for U.S. airlines.
Come comment on this article: JetBlue wants you to make your connection on their fleet