In the days of airline cutbacks, we had many choices yet lacked competition. JetBlue upgraded the commuter flight experience by adding amenities such as in-flight entertainment, a TV at every seat, and Sirius satellite radio. In former CEO David Needeman’s words, JetBlue sought “to bring humanity back to air travel.” JetBlue grew a cult following by offering their extras, keeping the legacy carriers on their toes.
Since launching MINT service on transcontinental routes, JetBlue is recognized for its fresh take on upscale flying, which includes private suites, the widest seat in the U.S. domestic market, 15-inch flat screens, and a partnership with Saxon & Parole. JetBlue will now be the only U.S. carrier with lie-flat seating to the Caribbean.
In 2011, by introducing charter service to Cuba thanks to the now- ended embargo, JetBlue is in the prime position. JetBlue currently serves over 90 destinations, with more to be added. In the meantime, it continues to flex its muscle as a travel brand by making a bid to transform JFK Airport’s iconic TWA terminal into a hotel blending futurism and mid-20th century nostalgia. The airline’s New York-based hotel developer partner, MCR Development LLC, are in advanced negotiations with the Port Authority for the rights to the “space-age” 1962 architectural marvel designed by Eero Saarinen.
THE NORTHERN LIGHTS SHINE BRIGHT, INSIDE AND OUT
Icelandair, in recognition of the Aurora Borealis, has introduced a new livery on one of its Boeing 757s that flies back and forth between Europe and North America, via Iceland (of course!). In addition to the paint job of the plane, named Hekla Aurora, the airline has fitted the interior with blue and green LED lighting that brings the natural phenomena inside.
The company says it celebrates the Icelandic stopovers they are known for since it is one of the places in the world where the Aurora Borealis can be seen most often.
Truth be told, Reykjavik is a cool (as in fun, not temperature) place for a stopover, where 365 days a year, one can breathe clean air, eat fresh seafood, swim in one of the many natural indoor or outdoor heated pools, or relax in the world-class Blue Lagoon Spa, which is right near the airport.
A Pal, Indeed
After establishing successful routes in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu, and Guam, Philippine Airlines bites into an expanded customer base in the Big Apple at Terminal 1 of New York City’s JFK International Airport. March 15, 2015 marked the carrier’s much-awaited network expansion, with four-times-a-week service to and from Manila, with a stopover in Vancouver, Canada.
PAL will utilize the Airbus A340-300 jets, which seat 36 passengers in business class and 218 in economy. In Business Class, passengers can expect PAL’s signature “at home” in-flight service, offering seats that convert to full-flat beds, in-flight entertainment systems with audio-video on demand, and gourmet cuisine designed by top international guest chefs.
Flight PR 126 departs Manila every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday at 11:50 p.m. After a two-hour transit stop in Vancouver, the service continues on to JFK, arriving at 10:50 p.m. The return service, PR 127, departs New York at 11:00 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, arriving in Vancouver at 1:50 p.m. and landing back in Manila at 8:35 p.m. the following day. The flight to New York, 16.5 total flying hours, is PAL’s longest route.