Fancy: JetBlue to add sleeper seats SFO-JFK

Mock up of JetBlue's new premium seat for SFO-JFK. Thoughts?

Mock up of JetBlue’s new premium seat for SFO-JFK. Thoughts?

JetBlue Airways today unveiled its new, fully customized lie-flat seat which will be available on its Airbus A321 flights between New York and SFO and LAX starting spring 2014.

JetBlue introduced the new seat at the Global Business Travel Association convention (which I am attending) in San Diego.

A computer-generated video of the new, enhanced experience can be seen here (business class seats appear in the video at about :54) .

(UPDATE: 3:15 pm- not to be outdone, Delta reveals its new business class seat for transcon flights today, too. )

The new JetBlue seat will have a door that closes. (Photo: JetBlue)

The new JetBlue seat will have a door that closes. (Photo: JetBlue)

Interesting: JetBlue will be the first airline to offer customers the option of a completely separate single suite seat that includes a closable door for increased privacy. The new lie-flat seat, created in a partnership with Northern Ireland-based Thompson Aero Seating, will be displayed in a unique 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.

Are YOU signed up for TravelSkills- TravelSkills? If not, why not? Subscribe to TravelSkills via e-mail!

The new seats also offer air cushions with adjustable firmness, a massage function, a 15-inch widescreen television featuring the most live entertainment in the skies, and a unique “wake-me-for-service” indicator if the customer chooses to sleep in, putting more control back into the customer’s hands. In addition, JetBlue will refresh the core JetBlue Experience in 2014 which will include a comfortable 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 ports accessible to all customers. And of course, more legroom throughout coach than any other U.S. airline.

While JetBlue is being coy about pricing for the new seats right now, CEO David Barger offered this: “Transcontinental routes have had high premium fares we believe we can beat…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.”

Currently Virgin America, United, Delta and American offer premium business class seating on transcon flights between SFO and JFK. Fares run in the $2,500-$4,000 range depending on demand, however, as we all know, most of those flying up front are on upgrades.

So what do you think? Would you be willing to give up your miles on another carrier to give JetBlue a try when the seats are introduced next year? Please leave your comments below.

Chris McGinnis

***

Are YOU signed up for TravelSkills- TravelSkills? If not, why not? Subscribe to TravelSkills via e-mail!

  • rktrixy

    WOW! That’s it. Can’t imagine how much it costs, but if my powerball ticket works, I’ll take that suite!

  • Griff Jim Griffith

    Singapore Airlines has private suites on its A380 planes http://youtu.be/Wh7EP_RVJcc

  • RetiredG

    Whatever the extra charge will be for the bed is way too much for a 5 hour flight.

  • Raymond Chuang

    Almost true. However, unless you own your own jet or have a huge share of fractional ownership through FlexJet or NetJets, most celebrities still fly commercial–though of course in the premium classes–between Los Angeles and New York City. Indeed, both American Airlines and United Airlines have special procedures at their premium-class lounges at LAX and JFK specifically designed to handle celebrities.

    Celebrities that own their own private jets are relatively few: I can only think of Tom Cruise and John Travolta that are jet owners.

  • Raymond Chuang

    There is only one purpose for these new premium seating on the JetBlue A321’s: they want to take away business on the highly-lucrative route between LAX and JFK airports from American Airlines and United Airlines. And JetBlue will offer these seats at much lower cost than what American and United charges for their premium seating on this route–something the entertainment industry really like nowadays.

  • bitter paul

    The rich and the famous are flying private. Not Jet Blue. For me, paying $2500 for a luxury seat for a 5 hour cross country flight is ludicrous. As long as my knees aren’t banging against the seat in front of me I’m fine. That doesn’t always happen, so I usually upgrade to premier economy for an extra $50 to $80 or so.

  • David Troup

    I doubt FAA rules would permit any more privacy than what JetBlue will be offering. Flight Attendants still need to be able to see what is going on at each seat, check seatbelt status, etc. Celebrities wanting complete privacy need to take private flights. But these mini-suites seem great for the busy or the antisocial. ;-)

  • Ron Garrity

    I agree with Mark about the upgrades. Many people may be using discounted business fares negotiated by their employers, but the majority are not getting upgraded as elites on UA or AA, which are the carriers I’m familiar with. Also, the current business class fares are actually in the $4,000 range so if Jet Blue comes in at $2,500 my guess is that they will do well.

  • rktrixy

    Movable headrests for the rest of the cabin? YES! Right now, they are comfortable for probably only 20% of the passengers.

    As to any airline offering lie down seats, privacy screens, or what ever, let the market decide. I could imagine them being MORE private – as in going up to the ceiling. Right now the way it’s configured, anyone walking by can look down at you while you sleep even with the little door shut.

    I would like to see a plane developed that has private suites, like old fashioned trains. That way you could snuggle with your honey. Just makes sense.

  • Michael James

    The J seats look nice but if I am at the window I would need to be a contortionist to sqeeze out to the isle.

  • Scott

    I agree with Murtaugh. If I were a celeb or socialite or person who likes to think he is famous, I would fly the single suite in a heartbeat. And they don’t care about status, they’re always in first and don’t need miles. Plus JetBlue service is usually very friendly. Very interesting!!

  • Mark Esfehani

    United PS most premium seats are NOT upgrades. It’s very tough to get an upgrade on PS. Check any day on the Flight Status page on United and look at the upgrade list after a flight departs. Today’s flight 286 had ZERO upgrades to BusinessFirst. Flight 808 had no upgrades into either BusinessFirst or First.

  • Murtaugh

    This doesn’t remind me of Virgin America at all, which I do like. This is much more akin to an international carrier’s long haul business or first class, which I prefer. I suspect this will play well with famous people as they can have a private, single seat where no one can bug or see them.

    By the way, the VX first class has not aged well in my opinion as there is a lot of wear and tear on the seats and surrounding furnishings. Feels tired already, IMO.

  • Mike L

    This is really sweet… but reminds me of Virgin America.

Editorial Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program. Responses in the comments section are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.”