Why JetBlue is Doing it Better

Posted in Domestic US, In the Air, JetBlue

I’m currently flying over Iowa en route to New York (and then Morocco) and writing this using JetBlue’s free Fly-Fi wifi service. If you’re not familiar with JetBlue, read the last part of that sentence again: Free. Fly-Fi. Wifi service. While American/Delta/United are happy to charge you $15+ per flight to access their Gogo routers, JetBlue is giving it away for free and, to be honest, it’s even faster than the Gogo service I used on my last American flight.

You know what else they’re giving away? Free live TV. And snacks, too. It’s like they somehow figured out the secret code of the economics of budget air travel and everyone else is lagging behind.

It’s been a while since I’ve flown JetBlue. Back in 2010, I was lucky enough to secure the All-You-Can-Jet pass ($500 for unlimited flights for a full month) and ended up traveling to ten different cities in September of that year. At the time, I loved JetBlue and all that it offered. My only complaint with the airline is that they flew the majority of their flights out of the LA area from Long Beach, which was (and still is) majorly inconvenient for me. That said, they’ve introduced plenty of flights going to and from LAX now, so I can’t even hold that against them that much anymore.

After my month of JetBlueing, I assumed that all the other airlines would wise up and start offering the same amenities gratis. I was wrong. Here we are, four years later, and it seems like the other guys have cut back even further. What gives, guys?

Free wifi. Free live TV. Free snacks. This feels like the future of flying to me, so how come the domestic legacy carriers aren’t falling all over themselves to offer the same amenities? I wish I had the answer, but to prod them along I know what I’m going to do: vote for everything JetBlue is doing by trying to make them my #1 carrier in 2015. It just seems worth it.

(Forgive the massively positive tone of this post — I’m just really enamored with the experience I’m having right now and since I have FREE WIFI and all, I felt the need to share it with you. I’m not sponsored in any way by JetBlue and this flight was purchased and paid for in full. I’m just geeking out, folks.)



  1. Completely agree. I occasionally fly JetBlue from DC to BOS or NYC when taking Amtrak just isn’t convenient. For $150-$200 round trip, it’s hard to beat. Every time I fly them, I am amazed when I receive a free snack, a full can of soda (every flight), and being able to access wifi and DirecTV for FREE. The flight attendants are even cordial a la Southwest.

    Why don’t domestic carriers do this? Well there’s a simple reason – they run so many flights, and fly so many passengers, that saving the $3 passenger it may cost to offer these amenities for free is way too expensive. When the pencil pushers start looking at saving $3 per passenger x so many million passengers per year, even the small savings start to add up significantly (I remember a story of one airline taking olives off salads to save thousands per year).

    Frustrating? Hell yes. I think this will only take off if one of two things happen:

    1. JetBlue is eventually able to offer domestic service to a high enough number of destinations to truly compete with United, Delta, and American.


    2. If one of the big 3 start to offer this, you can bet the other two will follow suit.

    We can dream!

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