Review: JetBlue A320 Even More Space Seats (Restyled Cabin)

Review: JetBlue A320 Even More Space Seats (Restyled Cabin)

FROM: TPA
TO: SJU
CABIN: Economy
DATE: August 2021
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: JetBlue offers an industry-leading domestic product, with beautiful cabins, personal entertainment, free Wi-Fi, power at every seat, and great snacks and drinks.
22

To position to Puerto Rico we flew with JetBlue from Tampa to San Juan, and my gosh, JetBlue’s economy experience is incredible. It has been years since I’ve flown JetBlue (simply because I live in Miami, and I avoid Fort Lauderdale Airport — fortunately JetBlue now flies to Miami), and I was really impressed, particularly because I got to fly an A320 with an updated cabin.

How I booked our JetBlue tickets

Ford and I were starting our trip in Tampa (so that Winston could spend some time with his grandparents), and JetBlue conveniently flies nonstop between Tampa and San Juan. We booked flight B62751, departing Tampa at 9:30AM and arriving in San Juan at 12:29PM (the flight is blocked at 2hr59min).

I have a bunch of JetBlue TrueBlue points, so I redeemed those for our tickets. The ticket cost just over 10,000 TrueBlue points one-way, as the airfare was around $150 per person. Since I have the JetBlue Plus Card, I also got a 10% refund on redeemed points.

We also paid $34 per person to upgrade to Even More Space seats, which is JetBlue’s extra legroom economy seating. Even More Space includes:

  • 3-6″ extra legroom (standard seats have 32″ of pitch, standard Even More Space seats have 35″ of pitch, and exit row Even More Space seats have 38″ of pitch)
  • Even More Speed fast track security at eligible airports (though if you have TSA Pre-Check, this is a moot point)
  • Early boarding, including early access to overhead bins

JetBlue Even More Space check-in & boarding

We got to Tampa Airport at around 7AM, for our 9:30AM flight (we left early to avoid traffic, and figured we might as well work from the airport). We had a checked bag (don’t ask), but fortunately there wasn’t much of a line, so we had our boarding passes and our bag checked within a couple of minutes. Thanks to having the JetBlue Plus Card, I didn’t have to pay for the checked bag.

JetBlue check-in Tampa Airport

We proceeded to the A Concourse, where we cleared security within a few minutes. The terminal was eerily quiet, given that I feel like most airports in Florida have been similarly busy to how they were pre-pandemic.

Tampa Airport A Concourse

Our flight was departing from gate A14, and boarding was scheduled for 8:55AM.

JetBlue departure gate Tampa Airport

Our flight was operated by N805JB, a roughly nine year old Airbus A320. The plane arrived from San Juan at around 8AM, so everything was running on schedule.

Our JetBlue A320 arriving from San Juan

Boarding started at 8:55AM, with passengers requiring extra time being invited to board first, followed by Mosaic members, following by Even More Space customers. As I entered the plane, I found it interesting how prominently JetBlue displays information on the fuselage about HEPA filters, as well as Viasat Fly-Fi connectivity.

JetBlue A320 fuselage exterior

JetBlue A320 restyled cabin layout & seats

This was my first time flying a restyled JetBlue Airbus A320, and I was impressed. The plane featured a total of 162 seats, spread across 27 rows in a 3-3 configuration. JetBlue managed to add two rows of seats while reconfiguring these planes, but the airline did so in a surprisingly pleasant way.

You can generally tell if you’re on a refurbished plane based on the seatmap — if it has 27 rows you have the new configuration, while if it has 25 rows you have the old configuration.

There were seven rows of Even More Space seats — the first five rows of the plane, and then the two exit rows. The Even More Space seats up front featured 35″ of pitch, so the legroom seemed excellent. I also thought the seat finishes were quite nice.

JetBlue A320 Even More Space seats
JetBlue A320 Even More Space seats
JetBlue A320 Even More Space seats

Even JetBlue’s regular economy seats had 32″ of pitch, which is still excellent. There were four rows of these standard seats between the first five rows of Even More Space seats and the exit row seats.

JetBlue A320 Core economy seats
JetBlue A320 Core economy seats

I assigned us seats 11A & 11C, the aisle and window seats in the second exit row (with recline), on the left. We were the only people seated in the exit row, and for that matter the flight had a light load, as it was maybe one-third full.

JetBlue A320 restyled cabin
JetBlue A320 restyled cabin
JetBlue A320 restyled cabin

JetBlue A320 Even More Space seat features

As you’d expect, legroom was excellent in the exit row.

JetBlue A320 exit row seats

Even though JetBlue has gone for thinner seats (as most airlines have), I didn’t find the seats to be uncomfortable at all. I also really liked the headrest, which could be nicely adjusted into a “U” shape for extra comfort.

JetBlue A320 Even More Space headrest

But even beyond that, maybe I’ve just been flying American Airlines too much, but it was so refreshing to be on a narrow body plane that actually had an appealing interior.

There was a 10.1″ HD seatback touchscreen television at each seat.

JetBlue A320 seatback entertainment

There was both a 110v and USB outlet at each seat, to allow you to stay charged.

JetBlue A320 power outlets

The seatback pocket was functionally designed — in addition to there being a main pocket, there were three smaller pouches, perfect for a phone, glasses, etc.

JetBlue A320 seatback pocket

The tray table was pretty standard (that stain seemed to be permanent, so it wasn’t a lack of cleaning).

JetBlue A320 tray table

In theory there also seemed to be some sort of a contactless payment option, though I’m not sure the practical use for that.

JetBlue A320 seatback contactless payment

The overhead console had both reading lights and individual air nozzles.

JetBlue A320 overhead console

The cabin also had blue mood lighting, which was calming.

JetBlue inflight entertainment

There was a personal monitor at my seat, with an incredible selection of movies and TV shows. You can use your phone as a remote control so that you don’t actually have to touch the screen.

While that’s a cool concept, I thought this was ultimately more trouble than it was worth. Essentially a simple controller-looking screen shows up on your phone, and then you can scroll. Unless you have major germ concerns, I’m not sure it’s worth the trouble.

JetBlue entertainment system

JetBlue also has a customization option, which some people might like, and others might find creepy. Essentially your screen greets you by your first name, and asks you to confirm that it’s you (in case you’re wondering about the name, Ford’s legal first name is John, and I guess we had swapped seats).

JetBlue entertainment system

If you confirm that it is you, you’re asked to enter your last name and date of birth. Alternatively you can just continue as a guest.

JetBlue entertainment system

In theory I can appreciate the value in personalization, but the problem was that even when logged in, I’m not sure what exactly was different?

Anyway, JetBlue’s entertainment selection is simply top notch. In addition to DirecTV, you have an endless library of movies, TV shows, and more.

JetBlue entertainment system
JetBlue entertainment system
JetBlue entertainment system
JetBlue entertainment system
JetBlue entertainment system
JetBlue entertainment system

There was also the airshow, which I enjoyed keeping an eye on for our 2hr30min flight.

JetBlue entertainment system

JetBlue Fly-Fi Viasat high speed Wi-Fi

Not only does JetBlue have an awesome seatback entertainment system, but the airline also offers complimentary high-speed Viasat Wi-Fi, which is perhaps my favorite amenity offered by any airline in the United States, as JetBlue is the only one to offer free Wi-Fi to all passengers with no caps.

I also love how easy it is to connect — you just have to select your language, and then click “connect to Fly-Fi.”

JetBlue free inflight Wi-Fi
JetBlue free inflight Wi-Fi

Viasat Wi-Fi even worked on the overwater portion of this route, which was awesome.

JetBlue food, drinks, and amenities

JetBlue offers complimentary soft drinks, water, juice, coffee, tea, and snacks. The personal entertainment monitor had a full listing of what was available, which is a nice feature.

JetBlue entertainment system
JetBlue entertainment system

To drink I had a cup of water and a coffee (JetBlue serves Dunkin coffee). While the coffee isn’t as good as you’d get on the ground (not that it’s amazing, but…), I do love that JetBlue serves it in a Dunkin cup, and puts a lid on it. Why can’t more airlines put lids on coffee, especially given the risk of turbulence and spills?

JetBlue drink service, including Dunkin coffee

There were a few snacks to choose from, including chips, Cheez-Its, and chocolate chip cookies.

JetBlue complimentary snacks

JetBlue also has a buy on board service, and you can purchase:

  • Pillows ($6) and blankets ($6)
  • Wine ($8-9), beer ($8), and spirits ($8)
  • EatUp boxes ($9)

We purchased a pillow and blanket, both to try it out, and since Ford wanted to try to sleep. I appreciate that JetBlue sells these, since other airlines don’t generally offer these in economy, with no option to purchase them either.

JetBlue pillow & blanket for purchase

JetBlue A320 lavatory

While I think for the most part JetBlue did a phenomenal job with refreshing cabins, there’s one exception — the lavatories. There’s one lavatory at the front of the plane, and two lavatories at the back of the plane.

JetBlue A320 from the rear of the cabin

I suspect part of the extra space for adding two rows came from the positioning of the two lavatories in the back, which are tiny. They’re next to one another behind the galley, and they’re no bigger than American’s 737 MAX lavatories, and perhaps even a bit tighter? The bathroom itself is tiny, and so is the sink for that matter, and you can barely wash your hands without splashing yourself.

If you use the far lavatory, also watch your head as you exit — I hit mine. The top of the lavatory door is curved, and there’s a hook of sorts by the door, and I slammed my head against it because of how tight the whole thing was.

JetBlue A320 lavatory

JetBlue service

Usually I find JetBlue flight attendants to be above average (and Mint flight attendants are consistently phenomenal, since they’re specially trained and chosen). Well, this crew was… not.

The flight attendants weren’t actively rude, but it was clear they didn’t want to be there, and didn’t particularly enjoy their jobs. During boarding my enthusiastic “good morning” was met with a reluctant “hi,” and the crew didn’t seem to have any spare smiles.

When I went to the rear lavatory the two flight attendants were just standing in the aisle chatting (there were no carts or anything). One had her back towards me, so I made eye contact with the other one, thinking she’d ask her colleague to step to the side (after all, I didn’t want to have to raise my voice or touch her).

Nope, she just stood there and they continued their conversation, and maybe 30 second later she suggested her colleague move to the side. Of the JetBlue flights I took this trip, this was the only crew that really wasn’t good. Which is a shame, because the experience otherwise was great.

By the way, while I realize this wasn’t the crew’s fault, the number of announcements made throughout the flight (in both English and Spanish) was simply beyond. Without exaggerating, I’d estimate that the PA was in use for maybe 30 minutes of the flight. I really wish airlines would be a little more thoughtful about what they announce.

Clapping galore…

I thought it was adorable how when we landed in San Juan the cabin erupted with clapping. It wasn’t just a few people clapping, but it must have been 80% of the plane cheering. There were even people waiving Puerto Rican flags in the cabin.

There aren’t many United States domestic routes where you see people clapping, so Puerto Rico is a pretty unique place. Interestingly there was also clapping on the San Juan to New York flight, but not quite as much.

Bottom line

JetBlue offers a phenomenal passenger experience. It’s the only airline with a domestic product that can compete with Delta, and for that matter I’d say that JetBlue’s experience is better.

The airline has beautiful cabins with amazing inflight entertainment, free Wi-Fi, power outlets at every seat, and a good amount of legroom. Personally I think Even More Space is also worth it, given the relatively modest price premium.

It’s sad to see just how different the experience is between American and JetBlue. It’s not like JetBlue’s costs are materially higher for what the carrier chooses to offer, but it makes such a difference in terms of the passenger experience. I’m going to make a point of flying JetBlue more often going forward, because this was truly a lovely way to fly.

If you’ve flown with JetBlue in recent years, what was your experience like?

Conversations (22)
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  1. Angelo C

    Ben,
    You may not get as many free flights after this blog post....kiss-ass.

  2. C. Weston

    I've never been on a San Juan flight where there wasn't clapping upon landing. In the old days, on the L-1011, there would be cock fights in the rear galley.

  3. Trey

    I always have a pleasant flight in economy when it's only 1/3 full! It's just easier for both passengers (no fights about reclines) and FAs. Thanks for the info on how to tell refurb vs. old A320 seats. I assume the old config will have more legroom (34" for non-EMS seats?)...so which is preferred?

  4. Abel Reyes

    i dont think so will u like to see the inside of my last fly arm rest broke no audio you can see all the cable on the side not so good at all i have vídeos and pictures

  5. Emily

    ...and we are back to the typical experience expected on board an airline from the US.

  6. dander

    @Chris I've been in unions and so has my wife, unless you're a good ole boy they are pretty worthless

  7. Chris

    Sorry, but I find JetBlue's product to be inferior. The seats are beyond uncomfortable due to their slimness and the interior is rather tacky. Their food offerings are extremely limited and their ground facilities lack first class lounges. I do agree with you that JetBlue is the only airline that is on par with Delta, considering Delta is bottom of the barrel. A poor excuse of an airline, that exploits non-union labor and spends millions...

    Sorry, but I find JetBlue's product to be inferior. The seats are beyond uncomfortable due to their slimness and the interior is rather tacky. Their food offerings are extremely limited and their ground facilities lack first class lounges. I do agree with you that JetBlue is the only airline that is on par with Delta, considering Delta is bottom of the barrel. A poor excuse of an airline, that exploits non-union labor and spends millions of dollars in propaganda to demonize unions. No wonder their product is abysmal. I'll stick to United an American, thank you very much.

  8. Tortuga

    I know that Y+ isn't "aspirational," but as it's the class I fly most often, I appreciate reviews like this one. Thorough and well-written, Ben!

    P.S. Count me in Camp Creepy when it comes to the personalization feature. Do not want.

    1. Steve

      Yes more Y+ reviews. As for personalization i dont think its a big deal at all and i think you are looking for a problem that doesnt really exist with this.

  9. Hank Tarn

    When will Jet Blue start buying American planes instead of European Airbus. Imagine if the big European carriers only flew Boeing planes long haul and no Airbus.
    The 737 Max can do the transatlantic job that these Airbus do, as proven by Norwegian in the past. Delta and Jet Blue are not supporting America, they should support American jobs and manufacturers.

    1. Ron

      The majority of JetBlue’s deliveries now come from Mobile, Alabama. Airbus aircraft are wider than Boeing’s outdated 737, so you should be thankful you get that extra inch of seat width, it makes a big difference.

    2. Kent

      Why should someone purchase an inferior product? Competition is at the heart of capitalism - the essence of being American. The A320 is simply superior to the 737 and all its derivatives.

  10. Tim Dunn

    It's too bad that JetBlue's overall good product is absolutely ruined by their bottom of the barrel on-time performance which has been that way for years.
    They clearly put more emphasis on flying planes as many hours as there are ticks on the clock than running a remotely on-time operation. When you are 9 out of 10 US airlines in on-time year after year, fancy seat back video controllers really don't matter.

  11. John

    JetBlue really is the best all round U.S. domestic carrier regardless of whether you're travelling economy or business. As the resident avgeek for my family, friends and workmates here in Australia, I get asked a lot what carrier is "the best" when my friends/family/workmates plan their trips to America. Since 2014 (when I first flew Mint and Economy) I've unstintingly recommended JetBlue over legacy carriers and the others (although I do vouch for Alaska and...

    JetBlue really is the best all round U.S. domestic carrier regardless of whether you're travelling economy or business. As the resident avgeek for my family, friends and workmates here in Australia, I get asked a lot what carrier is "the best" when my friends/family/workmates plan their trips to America. Since 2014 (when I first flew Mint and Economy) I've unstintingly recommended JetBlue over legacy carriers and the others (although I do vouch for Alaska and Delta as second and third choices). The feedback I get on their return is always unanimously positive for JetBlue. Incidentally, American gets the very worst feedback for the ones who ignore my advice, or have no other flight options.

  12. Jaime Rodriguez

    JET BLUE EXCELLENT EXPERIENCE FLOW A FEW TIMES TO MEDELLIN COLOMBIA. A MEXICO CITY. WHY JETBLUE DISCONTINUE SERVICE TO MEXICO CITY SPECIFICALLY FROM FLL FORT LAUDERDALE. NOW I HAVE TO TRAVEL UNITED OR AMERICAN THE WORST AIRLINES IN USA. JET BLUE PLEASE .FLY TO MEXICO CITY AGAIN YOU WILL BE A BIG WINNER

  13. SubwayNut

    Wait, JetBlue is no longer serving Terra Blue Chips anymore on all flights? I thought they were the official snack of JetBlue

    (writing this as an ex-New Yorker who used to fly them over other airlines and left in 2016 to a Midwestern City without really any JetBlue Service and misses flying them).

  14. Scotes

    Just recently did LAX/CHS and back on B6 - they not too long ago stood up the only direct flight between the two cities. This was my first time flying B6. The cabins may be a downgrade for some but they were new to me and after years of torture on AA’s old US Air metal connecting through Miami or Charlotte it was a breath of fresh air. We had the Even More Space seats...

    Just recently did LAX/CHS and back on B6 - they not too long ago stood up the only direct flight between the two cities. This was my first time flying B6. The cabins may be a downgrade for some but they were new to me and after years of torture on AA’s old US Air metal connecting through Miami or Charlotte it was a breath of fresh air. We had the Even More Space seats and while they did feel a bit thin for me the legroom was very welcome. And working wifi and actual power outlets! Felt like I had traveled into the future compared to AA.

    As to the on time stats I can’t really speak to that but I can say that our flights there and back ran like clockwork. That has never been the case for any of the legs on this route on AA...

  15. minervamaga

    That controller option for the entertainment system (and the NFC payments too actually) are great accessibility options. Someone with limited mobility can comfortably navigate the system from their phone instead of asking for help or stressing their body. And you can easily pay for your blankets etc with your phone to avoid taking out your card and limit contact. I really like both of these features!

  16. Alex

    These new cabins are a huge downgrade. The old JetBlue cabins had more legroom and better padding. Standard slim lines now.

    1. ---

      Sure the old cabins had more legroom and padding, but the new seats are still pretty good, and I like the in-seat power, large screen, and free wifi. The legroom is still quite generous at least for me, and I find their seats to be plenty comfy even on the transcons.

    2. Steve

      10" IFE to me is a huge upgrade even if its the same as before. Considering that AA and other airlines are taking out the IFEs i find them to be a huge motivating factor when choosing one flight over another. I will pay a premium for IFE it gives me movies i would otherwise not watch, allow me to watch a game and most importantly it entertains kids. Kids dont cry and scream when they have an ipad or IFE in front of their face.

  17. DWT

    As an AA flyer I’ll also be checking out JetBlue more in the coming months because of the new partnership… but one thing I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for is their operations. Certainly AA hasn’t been stellar this summer, but apparently B6’s stats with on time arrivals are pretty bottom barrel- seems to be an issue with tight scheduling where any delay just cascades down for the remainder of the day.

Featured Comments Load all 22 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Jaime Rodriguez

JET BLUE EXCELLENT EXPERIENCE FLOW A FEW TIMES TO MEDELLIN COLOMBIA. A MEXICO CITY. WHY JETBLUE DISCONTINUE SERVICE TO MEXICO CITY SPECIFICALLY FROM FLL FORT LAUDERDALE. NOW I HAVE TO TRAVEL UNITED OR AMERICAN THE WORST AIRLINES IN USA. JET BLUE PLEASE .FLY TO MEXICO CITY AGAIN YOU WILL BE A BIG WINNER

Kent

Why should someone purchase an inferior product? Competition is at the heart of capitalism - the essence of being American. The A320 is simply superior to the 737 and all its derivatives.

Steve

10" IFE to me is a huge upgrade even if its the same as before. Considering that AA and other airlines are taking out the IFEs i find them to be a huge motivating factor when choosing one flight over another. I will pay a premium for IFE it gives me movies i would otherwise not watch, allow me to watch a game and most importantly it entertains kids. Kids dont cry and scream when they have an ipad or IFE in front of their face.

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