Swanky perks like showers and stand-up bars are considered the domain of foreign carriers, but one domestic airline wants to make the sky your new-found living room when you travel. Unlimited snacks, free live TV, and no-cost Internet access . . . sound familiar?
Yep, it’s JetBlue. But there’s something new.
JetBlue has offered free in-flight Internet on most flights for some time, but it has just completed outfitting its entire fleet of Airbus and Embraer aircraft with gate-to-gate “Fly-Fi” wireless Internet. It is now the only airline to offer such a fast speed on every flight, to every passenger, at any time while on board.
The airline paced the rollout of its faster Fly-Fi product (a lightning-speed service akin to what you use at home) over time to avoid disrupting its operation. It began installing Fly-Fi on longer routes first, mostly the domain of its Airbus A320 and A321 fleet, but this week marks the final installation aboard its short-haul Embraer 190 aircraft fleet.
“It’s 2017 and our customers expect to be connected everywhere, whether that be from the comfort of their sofa or 35,000 feet above it,” said Jamie Perry, vice president of marketing, JetBlue.
Fly-Fi permits streaming of live video content and the ability to be connected to the Internet on multiple devices simultaneously. Free Hollywood movies are now available on all aircraft seatback TVs, and Airbus A321 planes have new audiovisual on demand (AVOD) capability with touch screens at every seat.
To celebrate the final wireless Internet rollout, passengers aboard the last Embraer aircraft to be outfitted (ship number N178JB named “It’s a Blue Thing”) will be treated to special prizes and giveaways.
Other airlines offer wireless Internet on board, but only once the plane reaches 10,000 feet. This means that during boarding, taxi time (including any potential delays) initial climb, and final descent, fliers are left without a connection.
Move over blue Terra chips: Fly-Fi is now the most popular amenity on every single JetBlue flight.