There is good news and bad news in JetBlue Airways’ plan to launch the first major cabin remodel since the airline flew its first planes 16 years ago.
As part of the cabin overhaul, the New York-based carrier is replacing its old seat-back entertainment with 10-inch, high-definition touch screens that are nearly double the size of the existing screens. The entertainment systems will have access to more than 100 DirecTV channels and a library of more than 300 on-demand movies, most of which will be free.
The bad news is that you will get slightly less legroom in the coach section and smaller lavatories.
As part of the overhaul, JetBlue will increase the seat capacity on its fleet of 130 A320 jets from 150 seats to 162 seats. JetBlue’s fleet of 15 A321 jets, which now hold 190 seats, will be reconfigured to hold 200 seats.
To squeeze in the extra seats, JetBlue will rearrange and shrink the size of the galleys and bathrooms. The carrier will also shrink the distance between the back of your seat and the back of the seat in front of you — known as the seat pitch — from about 34 inches to 32 inches.
Although the cabins will be more heavily packed, JetBlue says the planes will feature new slim-profile seats that use a patented “suspension system” instead of cushions to increase comfort.
“These seats are not only lighter and thinner but more comfortable and safer,” said Jamie Perry, JetBlue’s vice president of brand and product development.
The overhaul will be completed for the A321 jets by the second half of 2016, with the changes on the A320 planes finished in 2019.
To read more about travel, tourism and the airline industry, follow me on Twitter at @hugomartin.