US airline JetBlue Airways has unveiled its new fully-customised, lie-flat seat, which will be available on popular transcontinental routes in 2014. The airline says it is committed to reinventing the transcontinental experience by adding service, comfort and amenities at an affordable price.
The seats are expected to debut on new Airbus A321 aircraft from the second quarter of 2014 on the two most popular nonstop routes in the US – New York to Los Angeles and New York to San Francisco. In addition, JetBlue will be the first and only airline in the market to offer customers the option of a completely separate single suite seat that includes a closable door for increased privacy.
CEO Dave Barger said: “Our customers have requested more premium options on our transcontinental flights and we listened.”
The lie-flat seat was created in partnership with Northern Ireland’s Thompson Aero Seating and 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.
The new seats also offer air cushions with adjustable firmness, a massage function, a 15in widescreen television and a ‘wake me for service’ indicator. In addition, the airline will refresh the core JetBlue Experience next year which will include a comfortable seat design with movable headrests, a new entertainment system with up to 100 channels of DirecTV programming on 10.1in widescreens, and 110-volt and USB power ports accessible to all customers. The carrier boasts that it will still offer “more legroom throughout coach than any other US airline”.
JetBlue’s wholly-owned subsidiary LiveTV will begin installing Fly-Fi, a new high-speed, satellite-based Wi-Fi product, on the fleet by the end of the year.
The A321 aircraft will begin arriving later this year and will have two configurations. The first four deliveries will offer the core JetBlue Experience throughout the cabin with capacity for 190 customers. In 2014, additional A321s will be delivered with 16 lie-flat seats including four private suites, and 143 core JetBlue Experience seats.