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Thursday 30 June 2022

Jetting Off On My First Airbus A321NEO With Jetblue

 Welcome to my exciting adventure on Jetblue's flight from LAX to JFK!

My ride, N2142J Airbus A321-271NX. One of the 2 Airbus A321NEO in Jetblue's fleet with C16 Y144 configuration. The other A321NEO is N2105J. (June 2022) 

The interior of N2142J 


Flying Jetblue has been in my mind for many years. This airline has been a thorn for the major airlines such as Alaska, Delta and United and the Low Cost Carriers such as Frontier, Spirit and Alligiant as they face strong competition with this airline. Jetblue initially started out as a Low Cost Carrier but now I find it to be more a hybrid airline rather than a LCC. As Jetblue is partnering with American Airlines especially in the Boston and New York (JFK) bases, both airlines certainly making their presence felt with many codeshare flights between both airlines. Finally in 2022, I would finally get to experience the hype of Jetblue. Without furthur ado, let's begin this trip report!


I am not sure what to say about the airline' mobile app and website. They gave me a ton of headache especially when I wanted to check on my booking. As I booked my flights in November 2021, I could only access my booking in April, that was when the website has improved its function. The regulars at Flyertalk.com had faced the same issue as me, the website and mobile app.

Do note: At that time of booking, the airline was using the older version. 

This is the A321NEO configuration (J16 Y144) with the latest Mint product including Mint Studio

This is the Airbus A321CEO with the old mint configuration (C16 Y143)

I recommend spending a bit more on the airline's travel protection especially on routes that is prone to cancellation. 

The website does state clearly which aircraft you be flying on and Jetblue names its aircraft and the type of cabin of aircraft type you are flying on. (Photos below: Jetblue)

After booking my flights, I received the itinerary below.

I decided to choose a few rows behind the wing of the aircraft.

If I wasn't doing a lot of flights, I might have gone for the Even More Space option. (below)

That's cheap right? When I saw this price and the chance to fly both Jetblue's A321NEO and American A321T, I went for it. Just in case anyone is wondering what is A321T? T stands for Trancontinental. American Airlines operates this Premium heavy configured aircraft on the Transcontinental routes. (For example: JFK-LAX, BOS-SFO) 

The other option was below, it was the cheapest. However, the aircraft operated was the A321CEO, so it didn't take long for me to drop this idea. 

The mobile app

Row 1A and 1F are the airline's signature Mint Studio. 

I was able to use American Airline's app to access my itinerary. The only thing I couldn't do is to select seats on my Jetblue flight.

Perhaps I will try out the airline's A321T in the near future.

However, later on my flight from JFK to BOS was cancelled because American Airlines shifted the AA1278 flight to an earlier timing (This flight was supposed to be scheduled to operate by the A321T - repositioning flight for this aircraft), hence my Jetblue flight was not able to connect to this flight and there were no other available flights at JFK for the day, this happened. That's life! 
The call centre and mobile app wasn't able to change the JFK to BOS sector to the following day so I decided to save the hassle and book a morning flight with Jetblue to BOS instead since the airfare at that time was quite cheap. 

In May, the flight JFK-BOS "magically" disappeared from my itinerary and I was left with the LAX-JFK sector, that suits me fine. Luckily, everything else went without an issue. The airline has also improved on the website, looks more refreshing than the previous version.

History of Jetblue Airlines 

Jetblue was launched in August 1998, found by David Neeleman. The airline began operations on in February 2000 with a fleet of Airbus A320CEO and was awarded take-off/landing slots at JFK Airport. This airline was set up with its intention to distinguish itself different from other carriers such as Southwest, with amenities such as IFE system and XM satellite radio. 

This was one of the few airlines that gave the major airlines a headache with Delta Airlines launching Song Airlines and United Airlines launching Ted but both of these airlines had since disappeared from the skies as they fail to dislodge Jetblue. Jetblue kept expanding with more aircraft and more hubs were introduced. Currently Jetblue have the following airports as hubs, they are New York JFK, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Orlando and San Juan. Not only that, this airline has become the 7th largest carrier in terms of number of passengers carried and are currently codeshare partners with 21 airlines including the 3 major alliances (Skyteam, Oneworld and Star Alliance) 

Currently, the airline is operating a huge fleet of ERJ-190 (to be replaced by A220-300), A220-300, Airbus A320CEO, A321CEO and A321NEO. The airline is relying on the Airbus A321LR and the upcoming A321XLR to open new transatlantic routes. It is currently operating London (LGW/LHR) to New York JFK and plans to launch routes from BOS to London next year (2023). The future certainly looks bright for this airline. 

Checking in on the mobile app

Some of the seats cost $6 less

Just like other airlines on the U.S domestic flights, you have to pay $30 for the first check-in laggage. It costs more for the 2nd luggage and so on. 

There were a few changes with my flight timing but the difference to the original flight time was just a mere few minutes or so. 

Before departure  

Thanks to my friend, we went to the Imperial Hill for a short while and caught this beauty coming in. I like to congratulate both him and his wife for their recent wedding. 

The next day, I woke up at 8 a.m, had a breakfast nearby the hotel before checking out at the airport. For the bus timetable, you can use the goggle map to assist you, it's been accurate for me so far. The bus ride to LAX bus centre took about 10 minutes and then it took another 10 minutes for the airport shuttle to get me to the airport. 

This is my stay at LAX. Not advertising for them or anything but it's a good alternative to the expensive hotels near the LAX bus centre. 

I was satisfied with my rest at this hotel. 

After checking out, I took the bus 232 (check the bus timing) to the airport, then changed for the free airport shuttle to the terminal. 

At LAX Airport Terminal 5

Checking which aircraft I would be flying on, N2142J would fly me to JFK. The other possible aircraft were be N2105J which was also deployed on this particular flight, B61524 and if there is a technical issue with the assigned aircraft, most likely the A321CEO aircraft would be deployed, so fortunately for me, that didn't happen. 

As Jetblue is based in JFK, so the flight coming in (below) will do the return flight, B61524 back to JFK.

N2142J would be my first A321NEO ride 

I used the check-in kiosk for the boarding pass, no issue.

Full flight, not a single vacant seat. 

With some spare time, I decided to walk to other terminals. Not much has changed since the last time I was here. There is this underground connecting all the terminals, but if you are rushing for time, you can take the shuttle bus just outside the ground level, the signs will lead you to the bus stop. 

Tom Bradley's terminal 

Lots of people are traveling at this time, it's nice to see things slowly going back to normal. 

Soon, I made my way back to terminal 5.

While walking around, I did some plane spotting. Here are the photos! 

Alaska Airlines 'Move to Love' special livery Airbus A321NEO

American Airlines Boeing 777-200ER

Alaska Airlines Airbus A320CEO

Spirit Airlines Airbus A320CEO

SAS Airbus A350-900

The technical map of LAX airport

The layout of the terminals. If you are coming by shuttle bus, you need to be aware of which terminals you are at as some of the drivers on the shuttle bus may not make announcements. 

My ride: N2142J (Photo: Manny Gonzales - Thrust Images)

About this aircraft 

Jetblue Airbus A321-271NX (Owned)
Name of the aircraft: A Mint Summer Night's Dream
Delivered in June 2021
Configuration: C16 Y144
Engines: 2 X PW1133G
MSN: 10254 
Built in Hamburg

My flight route: LAX-JFK 

Miles: 2475

The assigned gate to my A321NEO flight. Notice the man in blue shirt and tie? That is the Jetblue flight crew uniform. 

Date of departure: 4 June 2022
Airline: Jetblue 
Aircraft: Airbus A321NEO 
Registration: N2142J 
Route: LAX-JFK
Departure terminal: 5 
Gate: 59
Seat: 21A
Scheduled departure: 1339
Boarding: 1255
Pushed back: 1336
Take off: 1350 
Announced flight time: 4 hours 50 mins 
Actual flight time: 4 hours 47 mins 
Arrival terminal: 5 
Arrival gate: 10
Scheduled arrival: 2216
Actual arrival: 2137
Load: 100%
Departure runway: 25R
Arrival runway: 13L 

Time to board! 

I was welcome on board with the 2 crew standing with smiles, that's a nice start. The blue ambience of the cabin makes me feel like I am entering another dimension. What caught my attention straight away was the Mint Studio and Mint Suite products. They look luxurious, here are the photos. 

Mint Class (Business Class)

Currently only available on selected JFK-LAX routes and JFK-LHR/LGW. (June 2022)

Both Airbus A321NEO and the NEOLR version feature the same Economy and Mint Class products but what's the difference? 

A321NEO (C16 Y144)
A321NEOLR (C24 Y114) 

Mint Studio

Only the front row of the cabin gets the mint studio. What's the difference? More seating area, perfect for couples to engage a conversation during the flight. There is also a sliding door which provide more privacy for the passenger and it closes completely. It's a good seat to relax or do your work especially with the availability of the wifi. 

The is a storage compartment which allows you to store some small items (near the window).

The seats in the mint class can be adjusted to fully-flat beds. (Photo: Jetblue)

Mint Suite

It cost slightly cheaper as this seat has lesser space to move around but you still get the mint experience with the ability of stretching your leg or sleeping (can be extended to a fully-flat bed) during the 5-6 hours journey across the country. 

You can use your phone's bluetooth to connect to the IFE system and it would act as a remote control to use the In-Flight entertainment system. 

It looks pretty cozy and comfortable to me. 

At that point of time, the mint class cost about $800 more than the Economy Class seat on this one-way flight, I did consider about it but in the end I decided to stick to Y class. 

Jetblue Pantry

There will snacks available for all passengers, first come first serve basis. 

A basket of snacks would be placed here only during the flight, also depends on the duration of the flight. 

The logo of Jetblue standing out in the cabin 

The lavatory between both cabins 

The cabin in neon blue lighting 

I have been on many narrow-body aircraft and this has to be the best Business Class cabin I have been on. 

Economy Class

This Economy Class seats is in a 3-3 seating configuration, with 24 rows, making it a total of 144 seats. The seat width is 18.4' inches wide and legroom space is 32' inch for the normal seats. While for the EMS (Even More Space) seats, the difference is the legroom space which offers 38' inch legroom space, this explains why the total seat count on Jetblue's A321NEO aircraft is configured lesser than the Low Cost Carriers (Typically 220-240 seats depending on configuration). This airline selected Collins Meridian seat for this cabin, together with the A220-300, retrofitted aircraft and A321LR NEO aircraft. 

 Even More Space 

For (EMS)Even More Space option, not only you get better legroom space, you will only be entitled to board the aircraft early and use the fast lane to the security checkpoint. 

The seats with orange highlight on it is the EMS (Even More Space) seats, as you can see how impressive the legroom space is. 

The standard seats 

This was my window seat, 21A. 

My verdict: The seat is comfortable with good legroom space for a 6 foot 4 tall person like myself. I had no issue sitting for this duration of the flight. Thumbs up for Jetblue's Economy Class product. I am sure the Even More Space seats would be even more comfortable due to the better legroom space. 

Economy Class in blue neon lighting

I was reluctant to leave the aircraft. 

The obligatory cabin shot photo of this beautiful aircraft 

The Space-flex cabin 

The old Airbus cabin (Finnair's A321CEO) 

Can you see the difference? 

This A321NEO comes with the Space Flex configuration, an upgrade over the old cabin. What is noticable is the bigger overhead compartment. The other difference will be at the rear of the aircraft, check out the diagram below. 

My big backpack can easily fit in. 

More photos of the Economy Class Seat

The headrest is moveable, great for tall people like myself

I am amazed with the legroom space as I was expecting it to be tight. How wrong I was. 

If you notice the overhead bin is larger and the biggest allowed cabin luggage size can fit in without issue. 

I am impressed so far, Jetblue!

What's inside the seat pocket?

In-flight menu featuring complimentary snacks and food/beverages for purchase

Safety Card (3NS is the code to represent the configuration type for this A321NEO). 

Disposal Bag

Aircraft lavatory 

The Space-flex cabin also features a bigger lavatory which is great.

I like how the airline design the cover of the wall and door. 

Toilet was in clean condition 

In-flight experience

It was nice to be able to board early as I managed to explore the cabin a bit before the rest of the passengers enter the aircraft. I have always been a fan of the Boeing Sky Interior and what if the BSI is installed on the Airbus A320 narrow-body, then we have a clear winner here! Honestly speaking the new space-flex from Airbus doesn't look too bad, the bigger overhead cabin space is definitely a big yes while the mood lighting makes the atmosphere of the aircraft quite comforting. I got myself settle in quickly.

The seat is quite comfortable and I am surprised with the legroom space, it wasn't so crampy I thought it would be. This is subject to individual experience but I can say, I cope very well and in fact I felt the flight went past too quickly for my liking. 

I am glad that everyone turned up on time that means we got to leave on time, in fact, 2 minutes before scheduled departure time. The unfamilar Pratt and Whitney engine on this A321NEO started up, not noisy at all and soon we taxiied to our runway. Comparing with the A321CEO, the take-off was powerful and definitely quieter. Service started soon after we past 10,000 feet. The cabin crew on this flight were cheerful and flight crew were excellent in terms of keeping us update on our flight progress and weather on route and arrival. 

There were few bumps along the way, nothing bad, it turned out to be a very enjoyable flight as I was kept busy with messaging on twitter, facebook and other social media apps. Not only that, I also caught a couple of movies, I guess this made my flight time went past very quickly. 

It would have been better to have a hot meal service (I won't mind paying for it) to enjoy the flight. Only choice for now is to fly the mint class which maybe I would one day. 

As the LHR-JFK flight is operated by the A321LR with similar cabin products, I reckon I would be to cope in the Economy Class, maybe I choose the aisle seat instead. 

Our descent to New York was slightly bumpy but we landed very early, so early that we had to wait about 10 minutes for the aircraft at our assigned gate to leave before we can park. So altogether on board this aircraft, it should be around 5 hours and this is probably my best 5 hours experience on a narrow-body.
The Captain and the leading flight attendant were at the door greeting us and I told them quickly how much I enjoyed this A321NEO aircraft and they too love it.  

In-flight Entertainment System 

Wow, its so nice to feel personalised at my seat! 

I am glad I am flying to the correct destination. 

All you need to do is to sign into the system.

Interesting selection of features in this entertainment system

The seat map is certainly one of my favourites features of a IFE system.

Just landed at JFK 

This is one of my favourite movies, looking forward to the next part. (Fast and the Furious 9)

2nd movie of the flight: Harry Potter (1st part)

The screen should have updated  the information by stating that I have just arrived at New York! 

Ear plugs were distributed after the crew started service. I used the plugs that I got on my Delta's 767-400ER flight. 

The variety of movies was not bad. 

AT JFK Airport now, waiting for our assigned gate to be ready. 

Remember this when travelling! 

The airline's network 

Wi-FI (Complimentary)

This is the fun part! 

Just one click, you are online. No connect issues at all, only one sector of the flight, wifi wasn't available. (around 5 minutes or so) 

During the 5 minutes of wifi disruption 

I did a test on the wifi connection service, not bad just for surfing internet, texting and using social platform such as twitter, facebook, instragram...etc 

I was occupied through out the flight with the wifi connection. 

You know at this point, I told myself if I had to fly the transcontinental route regularly, Jetblue would be my first choice. 

During the flight, I kept track on my flight's progress. 

Flying through some bad weather. Look at the amount of traffic, amazing isn't it?

A Delta Airlines 767-300ER was flying ahead of us 

At this point, we were on following the traffic into JFK Airport. One plane at a time, please! 

It was a nice and smooth landing. 

That concludes my enjoyable flight! 

In-flight snack

This is the complimentary snacks, given by the crew. 

There is a selection of snacks available for purchase, Eatup boxes ($9 each) with a selection of 4 choices and Eatup cafe ($14 each) with a selection of 3 choices. This snack boxes are only available on flights more than 3 and a half hours and not available on overnight flights. For more information, click here.

Window shot photos 

The Jetblue A320 besides us just pushed back for departure 

Air Canada is in my mind for my future flying adventure.

The weather doesn't look good today. 

We reached the runway and hold for a moment before taking off. 

Take off was quiet and powerful

Good bye Los Angeles, I will see you in a few days time. 

After this turn, I tuned into the entertainment system which kept me occupied until we started our descend. 

It was night time, I did manage to catch a glimpse of the sun set. It was a beautiful
 day for flying. 

After 4 hours or so, I was back at JFK with a gentle landing on the runway. 

We parked beside one of the many A320s featuring special liveries.

My flight summary 

Arrival at JFK Airport terminal 5 

After arrival, it was off to the TWA Hotel. The elevator (below) is located on the same level as the terminal 5 baggage carousel. There are signboards to guide you.

To check out TWA hotel, click here

My rating

Airline's website/mobile app: 2.5/5 (At least I was able to manage my booking after their update) 
Airport Staff at LAX Airport: 4/5
In-Flight Service: 4/5
WiFi Service: 5/5
In-Flight Entertainment System: 4/5
In-Flight Meal: 3.5/5 (Complimentary drink and snack) - Considering it is not a full cost carrier
Cabin interior of the A321NEO: 4.5/5 
Seat comfort: 4.5/5
Punctuality: 5/5 
Cleanliness: 5/5 
Overall rating: 42/50
Percentage: 84%
Verdict: Great!


Now I understand why some fellow travellers are frustrated with this airline. While the in-flight products are impressive, the website/mobile app has been quite frustrating to use and perhaps some have encountered bad service recovery due to flight cancellation, lost baggage and other common issues with airlines. I was fortunate that everything went well and it was a great experience flying the Airbus A321NEO and from where I am from, the regional flights with the main carrier flying on this kind of duration is usually operated by wide-body. I used to say that I won't want to fly on narrow-body for more than 3 hours or so but after doing the transcontinental flights, my prospective has changed. It isn't so bad especially with the airline has a good in-flight product for this case Jetblue has, and I reckon if it ever operates flights to Asia, it would give a lot of Asian airlines especially the low cost and hybrid a run of their money. I cannot compare the A321NEO to the 737 MAX yet, as it would take a while for the closest competiting aircraft to be out with the airlines (737 MAX10), but I got to say Airbus has done very well in improving in what is considered a successful airliner, the A321 CEO. What's the main difference? The quieter engine and improved cabin experience. For the airlines, the aircraft is more fuel efficient and lower operating cost means happy faces at the bean counter. This is for the cabin crew: With the space-flex configuration, are you happy working on this aircraft and the A319/A320 NEO series? Feel free to leave a comment!

Would I recommend Jetblue? Definitely yes! What's missing though is a nice hot meal available for Economy passengers (I won’t mind paying for it) and In fact hot meals should be implemented for all transcontinental flights. Will that happen? Never say never! 

My next trip report would be on an older aircraft, the ERJ-190, do stay tuned for it. I will do an overview of my flight experience with this airline in that report. 

For my previous trip report (Delta 767-400ER JFK-LAX, click here)
For my next trip report (Jetblue ERJ-190 JFK-BOS, click here)

Thanks for reading and have a great one!

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