Review: JetBlue Embraer E190 Economy Class

Review: JetBlue Embraer E190 Economy Class

FROM: FLL
TO: PLS
CABIN: Economy
DATE: February 2022
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: JetBlue's Embraer E190s offer a great experience -- no middle seats, personal televisions, free Wi-Fi, and excellent legroom. On this particular flight service was excellent as well. If only JetBlue were a bit more punctual...
34

For our trip to Turks & Caicos, I booked two separate tickets. I booked one ticket from Tampa to Fort Lauderdale on Silver Airways, and then separately I booked a roundtrip on JetBlue from Fort Lauderdale to Providenciales.

I was kind of excited about the JetBlue flight, since it was my first time flying a JetBlue Embraer E190, and it was also my first time flying with the airline since reciprocal AAdvantage elite perks were introduced.

How I booked our JetBlue flights

JetBlue’s fares between Fort Lauderdale and Providenciales was quite reasonable. Even though we booked last minute, the roundtrip cost just over $200 per person, including all taxes & fees. Ford and I both had JetBlue Travel Bank credits, so we didn’t even have to pay anything out of pocket.

For what it’s worth, we booked the following flights:

02/05 B62015 Fort Lauderdale to Providenciales departing 3:54PM arriving 5:43PM
02/10 B62014 Providenciales to Fort Lauderdale departing 6:43PM arriving 8:42PM

JetBlue Mint & Mosaic check-in

I had a very long layover in Fort Lauderdale (nearly six hours, as flights between Tampa and Fort Lauderdale are limited). Upon arrival at Fort Lauderdale Airport I headed over to Terminal 3, where JetBlue departs from.

While the check-in area was busy, there was no wait at the JetBlue Mint & Mosaic counter, and it was well staffed. American AAdvantage elites can use the counter (despite the lack of signage indicating that), so that’s great.

JetBlue check-in Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL)

The check-in process was efficient, though it did take a few minutes for the agent to verify all my travel documents for Turks & Caicos (I’ll outline my experience with that in a separate post).

JetBlue Mint & Mosaic check-in Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL)

He also reminded me that I’d be allowed to board when Mosaic members were invited to board, regardless of whether or not AAdvantage elite members were specifically called.

Killing time at Fort Lauderdale Airport

I had roughly six hours at Fort Lauderdale Airport. I can work from anywhere, so I don’t mind long layovers like this. I figured I’d share a few thoughts. Since Terminal 3 & 4 are connected airside, I split my time between them. Sadly neither terminal has a lounge.

I spent most of my layover in Terminal 4, which was super nice, especially compared to the terminals I’ve used at the airport in the past. It was bright, airy, and reasonably quiet, and the people watching was quite something.

Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) Terminal 4

Like, seriously, there are some interesting people at Fort Lauderdale Airport.

Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) Terminal 4

Terminal 4 also has a Priority Pass restaurant, Kafe Kalik, though the service was so bad that I didn’t even bother dining there for free. I must have stood at the entrance for 10 minutes and no one came to seat me, despite several people looking at me, so I figured I was just better off sitting in the terminal.

Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) Terminal 4 Kafe Kalik

Eventually I headed back to Terminal 3 via the connector.

Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) Terminal 3 & 4 connector

The terminal definitely isn’t as nice, and also got much busier.

Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) Terminal 3

JetBlue Embraer E190 cabin & seats

Our flight was scheduled to depart from gate F7 at 3:54PM, and boarding was scheduled for 3:19PM, 35 minutes before departure. That time passed without any sort of update from the gate agent. Finally at 3:40PM boarding started, with TrueBlue Mosaic and AAdvantage elite members being invited to board first, along with those who needed extra time.

JetBlue departure gate Fort Lauderdale (FLL)

Unfortunately at the bottom of the jet bridge things weren’t looking quite as good. The two friendly flight attendants were caught off guard, and said “wait, they started boarding? We don’t have pilots. Just wait for me for a second.” After a couple of minutes they said “well I guess we’ll just board and see, welcome aboard!”

Anyway, this was my first time flying a JetBlue Embraer E190, which is JetBlue’s only non-Airbus aircraft (I’ve reviewed the new style economy on the A320). This particular plane had the registration code N236JB, and it was a roughly 15 year old aircraft, making it one of JetBlue’s older E190s.

In the era of slimline seats and bring your own entertainment, what an absolute delight this aircraft was. JetBlue’s Embraer E190s feature a total of 100 seats, spread across 25 rows in a 2-2 configuration. You’ve gotta love that there are no middle seats, and this is especially awesome when you’re traveling with a companion.

JetBlue Embraer E190 cabin

These seats were thick and well padded, so they were comfortable to sit in. JetBlue also has 32″ of pitch as the standard on the Embraer E190, which is excellent. Interestingly Even More Space seating just consists of the first row and a couple of rows around the exit row, and we decided not to pay for that. Instead we assigned ourselves seats 8A & 8B.

JetBlue Embraer E190 seats
JetBlue Embraer E190 seats

Each seat had a personal television, which you don’t often find on an Embraer jet. Okay, the screens were fairly low quality and small, given that they’ve been there for 15 years, but still.

JetBlue Embraer E190 personal television

Personal entertainment functions could be controlled from buttons on the side armrest.

JetBlue Embraer E190 entertainment controls

Each seat also had a seatback pocket and a tray table.

JetBlue Embraer E190 tray table

Then there were overhead consoles with reading lights and air nozzles.

JetBlue Embraer E190 overhead console

The JetBlue Embraer E190s also have large overhead bins, which can accommodate a standard size carry-on.

JetBlue Embraer E190 overhead bins

JetBlue departure delay due to missing pilots

The plane was only around one-third full, so everyone was boarded pretty quickly. Unfortunately we didn’t have pilots, as they were apparently arriving shortly on another flight. Huge credit to the two flight attendants on this aircraft, who couldn’t have been nicer or more professional.

They used humor during the delay, constantly checked on passengers, and were just generally friendly people who you couldn’t possibly be mad at.

JetBlue Embraer E190 cabin

About 20 minutes into the delay they distributed immigration and customs forms for Turks & Caicos.

Turks & Caicos arrivals form

They also distributed complimentary snacks, with the choices being either cookies, popcorn, or Cheez-Its.

JetBlue snacks
JetBlue snacks

The pilots finally showed up around 4:20PM, 40 minutes after we boarded. They did their pre-flight checks, but then there was also some sort of a maintenance issue, so we had to wait for maintenance to sign off on something. The door finally closed at 4:50PM, just about an hour after schedule.

I of course can’t in any way blame the crew for the delay, and as an isolated incident, delays of course happen. However, in general JetBlue really struggles to run a punctual operation.

Anyway, once the door was closed the captain advised us of our flight time of 79 minutes, and our cruising altitude of 37,000 feet. At 4:55PM we began our pushback, at which point the crew performed a safety demonstration.

View from JetBlue Embraer E190

We had a quick taxi to runway 10R, where we were airborne at around 5:05PM.

Taking off from Fort Lauderdale
View after takeoff from Fort Lauderdale
View after takeoff from Fort Lauderdale

JetBlue Embraer E190 entertainment & Wi-Fi

As mentioned above, JetBlue’s Embraer E190s feature entertainment at every seat, including 36 channels of DIRECTV, 100+ channels of SiriusXM, and a flight map. However, since this flight was over the water, most of the entertainment only worked for the first 20 minutes, which is fair.

JetBlue Embraer E190 personal television

Fortunately the map worked throughout the flight.

JetBlue Embraer E190 moving map

JetBlue also offers complimentary Wi-Fi through Viasat, which is an awesome feature. Just as is the case with the rest of the entertainment, this only worked for roughly the first 20 minutes.

JetBlue inflight service

After takeoff the two flight attendants came through the cabin with a beverage service. I decided to order a cup of water plus a Truly Wild Berry Hard Seltzer ($8). We were offered more snacks, but had enough of those pre-departure during the delay.

JetBlue Embraer E190 beverage service

Toward the end of the flight I headed to the rear lavatory. The back half of the plane was almost completely empty (since bags are loaded in the back, for weight and balance they had most people sit in the front).

JetBlue Embraer E190 cabin

It was so empty that someone just had their leg sticking out into the aisle, and he seemed confused when someone passed him. I guess it was that quiet back there.

JetBlue Embraer E190 cabin

The lavatory was in good condition, but a bit small.

JetBlue Embraer E190 lavatory

We were treated to a beautiful sunset enroute to Turks & Caicos.

View enroute to Turks & Caicos

Before we knew it, we were on our descent.

JetBlue Embraer E190 moving map

At this point the crew distributed sanitizing hand wipes, suggesting that these could be used after landing and passing through immigration. That’s a nice touch.

JetBlue sanitizing wipes

I have nothing but good things to say about the two flight attendants on this flight — they were both very friendly people who genuinely seemed to enjoy their jobs, and they were also hilarious.

JetBlue Embraer E190 moving map

We ended up touching down in Turks & Caicos at 6:25PM, and had a very rough landing with a quick stop. Funny enough, people clapped as we landed. I’m not sure if that was because of the landing or the excitement of getting to paradise after the delay.

Two minutes after landing we were at our arrival stand, where we then deplaned via a ramp, as the airport doesn’t have any jet bridges. In the next installment I’ll share our arrival experience, and the overall entry requirements for Turks & Caicos.

Bottom line

JetBlue’s passenger experience is so much better than what you’ll find on most other airlines. The Embraer E190s in particular offer comfortable seats, good legroom, no middle seats, personal televisions, free Wi-Fi, and a nice cabin. As an American AAdvantage elite member, it’s also great to receive priority check-in and boarding.

Specific to this flight, we had a very friendly crew, though unfortunately we also had a roughly hour-long delay due to late inbound pilots. Of course delays happen, especially during the pandemic, given all the staffing shortages. However, there’s no denying that JetBlue struggles a bit more with punctuality than other airlines.

If you’ve flown JetBlue’s Embraer E190, what was your experience like?

Conversations (34)
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  1. 0504Traveller Guest

    I flew jetBlue on this route - FLL to PLS - last July (July 2021) and I had a similar experience. I also flew on the E190 but the flight timings were earlier - we were connecting from New Orleans so we took the early morning flight out of New Orleans and the flight to PLS took off at 12pm.

    The experience onboard was the same - minus the delays - with comfortable seats,...

    I flew jetBlue on this route - FLL to PLS - last July (July 2021) and I had a similar experience. I also flew on the E190 but the flight timings were earlier - we were connecting from New Orleans so we took the early morning flight out of New Orleans and the flight to PLS took off at 12pm.

    The experience onboard was the same - minus the delays - with comfortable seats, endless supply of snacks, and pleasant crew. This was definitely a different scenario than my return which was booked and operated by American (full details on my blog). The legroom, great snacks, and good legroom is a reason I am flying on jetBlue again in a couple of days

  2. Roopdash9 Guest

    Sorry to say that this is spot on. Jetblue runs hands down the worst operation I’ve ever seen and nobody seems to care to fix it. What a shame, because the product and people are amazing. If they’d fix their operation they’d be a fantastic airline, but it’s almost like they choose to be bad on purpose.

  3. gideyup11 New Member

    Good review… I have a few feedback points:
    1) FLL (along with NYC) is my home airport. Agree that FLL T4 is much nicer than T3. I would also add that T1 (UA and WN use T1), and T2 (DL and AC use T2) are very nice as well. T2 recently went through a major renovation and its now airy and feels “new”. T3 (AA and B6 use T3) is older but perfectly functional....

    Good review… I have a few feedback points:
    1) FLL (along with NYC) is my home airport. Agree that FLL T4 is much nicer than T3. I would also add that T1 (UA and WN use T1), and T2 (DL and AC use T2) are very nice as well. T2 recently went through a major renovation and its now airy and feels “new”. T3 (AA and B6 use T3) is older but perfectly functional. As reference I recently flew out of MIA Terminal J, and would say that FLL T1, T2 and T3 compares favorably with MIA Terminal J.
    2) JetBlue’s punctuality issues vs. others: I think some context to this is in order: JetBlue’s route map is concentrated in Northeast congested so by default it should have more late flights than AA/DL/UA/WN and others. That is unavoidable. It’s not a true apples to apples comparison.
    3) I fly FLL to NYC frequently, and many airlines fly this route (B6, DL, UA, NK, AA) so I have a lot of choice. All things being equal I almost always choose B6. Their hard/soft products are superior to DL/UA/NK/AA especially if one doesn’t have status. B6 has free WiFi, nice snack choices, DD coffee, more legroom, nice FA’s etc etc. I used to be based in Philly so I had US/AA status for years. Out of NYC, there is really no point in chasing status given so much airline choice and competitive fares amongst the airlines… Few years ago, I was on a DL LGA-FLL flight and there were over 100+ DL elites in the flight! Its hard to think that all 100+ DL elites got anything special on that flight!!
    Hope this helps!!!

  4. Robert Bracci Guest

    Have flown on Embrar 190 several times from Worcester, MA to FL. Always comfortable and and good experience.

  5. Kit Guest

    I almost always fly JetBlue and usually this sane air craft. I love HetBlue, have never had anything bit a great experience a d absolutely love the 2 seat across configuration.

  6. panda Gold

    It’s too bad their Travel Bank expiration policy sucks during the pandemic.

  7. Vodelhaus New Member

    That leg in the aisle would get a bump into by me - you're not kidding about the folks coming out of FLL

  8. PeterJordanTravel New Member

    Delay aside, sounds better than the JetBlue flight I took a few weeks ago from MCO-SJU. The A320 was filthy and the IFE and wifi were both out, crew was pretty indifferent. People did the clapping thing landing there too and it was a super smooth landing so who knows what that was all about LOL.

    1. Jama New Member

      I flew MCO-PSE last week and it was a beautiful brand new plane (with its phone pairing and NFC features on the IFE). Then I returned via SJU and yeah it was an old, worn out, gross A320. Like day and night experience.
      Also had clapping upon landing both ways but I enjoyed that to be honest lol.

  9. CMC Guest

    I agree with shoeguy. Lucky, I think you are being overly generous with stating that they struggle with being punctual. They generally are on the bottom of the list for on-time performance when measured against all other airlines (Delta, Hawaiian, and Spirit tend to be consistently at the top). The jetBlue product is great for sure - far and above hands down better than any other currently flying in the US today. But reliability is...

    I agree with shoeguy. Lucky, I think you are being overly generous with stating that they struggle with being punctual. They generally are on the bottom of the list for on-time performance when measured against all other airlines (Delta, Hawaiian, and Spirit tend to be consistently at the top). The jetBlue product is great for sure - far and above hands down better than any other currently flying in the US today. But reliability is a major factor and for some reason they have "struggled" for years now so it's not really a struggle - it's a daily reality. The excellent product helps with their image for sure and I'm a huge fan of them, but if I really need to be somewhere by a certain time I'll choose someone else. I hope one day they can get a proper hold of their operation.

    1. Alexf1 Member

      I guess given they're flying a leaner operation with less leverage than the bigger players - his contributes. I guess - if you want lower fares - you can fly Spirit which is on time but unpleasant or Jetblue which is pleasant but often late?

  10. EugOR97 New Member

    Would love to use B6 more but every (read: 100%) of my flights have been delayed. This is prepandemic and have not used them for a few years. Primarily flew the routing between PDX and JFK. It’s too bad there operations are so poor

  11. Dale Guest

    I think JetBlue has the best Economy Class product in regards to legroom and snacks as well as the seatback TV's. That said, I consider the checked bag fees (80$ each way for two checked bags) to be a deal breaker. For that reason I still say that Southwest is Best.

  12. tuotuo Member

    That legs belongs to a "he"?
    interesting

  13. puckjeff Guest

    How does JetBlue know you are AA elite? Do you add that info when booking the flight and it prints on the boarding pass? Or some other way?

    1. Jama Guest

      Yep, American Airlines AAdvantage is an option to select for your frequent flyer program during booking. Also, when your AA number is on the reservation, your boarding group will say “AAELTE” for AA elite and you can board with Mosaic as first group after pre-boarding.

  14. Traei Purtee Guest

    Ben: I am a huge JetBlue fan. I am a Mosiac flyer and whenever I can fly Mint I do. I always book the extra space seating for the E-190's. They are my favs to fly with them between Pittsburgh and Boston/NYC. Their Airbuses are even more spacious. But I have to say, even though you experienced better service than other airlines, I can personally tell you that service has faltered since the code share...

    Ben: I am a huge JetBlue fan. I am a Mosiac flyer and whenever I can fly Mint I do. I always book the extra space seating for the E-190's. They are my favs to fly with them between Pittsburgh and Boston/NYC. Their Airbuses are even more spacious. But I have to say, even though you experienced better service than other airlines, I can personally tell you that service has faltered since the code share with American.

    I am still a huge fan. I typically fly 100K plus per year with them and look forward to using their partners more as we head to Europe. But their service has really been dropping due to the stress that American has put on them. You can definitely see it when things get bumpy like cancelled flights and movement of flights due to weather.

    In the past, they have been extremely accommodating and were very gracious with perks (over nights and meals). Now it is more of a fight and more of a problem in getting things.

    I recently had a very poor experience with them on my latest trip from Pitt to NYC through JFK. But I am hoping it will improve as I pick up my travel again this year. Thanks for this great review and I am so happy you had an over positive experience. Their new terminal at JFK should be great. I can't wait for that too.

  15. C Brown Guest

    Silver Airways is eligible passengers flying on a 016 ticket and a member can use the great United Club at FLL.

    1. UA-NYC Diamond

      Not sure how that's possible, as the UClub access rules are 1) United or 2) Star Alliance flights

    2. D3kingg Guest

      I’m just not a beach vacation person. Although Turks & Caicos and Grand Cayman would be the perfect place to educate people about what Bitcoin is and how it works. Lol
      I need to be in a hectic crowded city trying to figure out the metro and going to museums.

    3. c brown Guest

      Silver is a United Partner and I buy my Silver Tickets on UAL.com. Got to the clubs in MCO and FLL all the time.

  16. Dan Guest

    When the gate agent told you that they had no pilots, you should have informed her that you had stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night...

  17. Frank Guest

    Wish more carriers used the e190's, instead of the garbage 737s

    1. Sergio Guest

      You see, the 737 is need because it offers more money to the airline just as the 320.

  18. Christian Guest

    JetBlue made their name by offering substantially more legroom than competitors. 32" is not excellent these days, although it is sadly on the upper end of normal. As an example, Delta offers 31" pitch.

  19. Daniel De La Roche Guest

    In Terminal 3 they are building a Escape Lounge by American Express so that will solve the lounge issue soon.

    1. John Roddy New Member

      Amex needs more lounges in airports like this. Bring one to LGA please!

  20. Mark F. Guest

    I had wonderful flights on JetBlue this winter with a non stop from Nashville to Cancun and back. Great crew, both flights were on time. Great planes. But JetBlue in Cancun was a cluster getting a boarding pass (almost 2 hours in line) and they are pretty difficult to communicate with. I know they are having operational issues, but I really enjoyed the actual flight and service on the plane. I hope they get their issues corrected as they offer a great value.

  21. shoeguy Guest

    JetBlue, on paper, provides an experience a cut above the rest of the US industry, but sadly, it rarely delivers and is hobbled by operational issues, prone to delays and meltdowns which have occurred throughout its 20 year existence. Their E190s were the red-headed stepchild of the fleet for years, with poor dispatch reliability, which combined with heavy operations at delay prone JFK and BOS, cascading delays throughout the system frequently, makes them a difficult...

    JetBlue, on paper, provides an experience a cut above the rest of the US industry, but sadly, it rarely delivers and is hobbled by operational issues, prone to delays and meltdowns which have occurred throughout its 20 year existence. Their E190s were the red-headed stepchild of the fleet for years, with poor dispatch reliability, which combined with heavy operations at delay prone JFK and BOS, cascading delays throughout the system frequently, makes them a difficult airline to choose. All of my flights with JetBlue, which I've flown infrequently, have experienced delays or other issues. I tend to avoid them.

    1. Jimmy’s Travel Report Gold

      We flew JetBlue BGI-FLL a couple years before the pandemic, the 320 in “even more space”. My experience was positive. Good staff, and with ~ 38” of pitch, the space was roomy (it didn’t hurt that we had an open middle seat). Being an Alaska Air elite I with we also had some kind of reciprocal agreement. Looking at the seat maps for the E190 it seems the “even more space” seats are mostly mid cabin…. odd. Nice review.

    2. Jama New Member

      Yeah, smaller planes the Even More Space seats are limited to first ans emergency row(s).

    3. Jack Guest

      I’ve had the same experience and assessment. Their employees are great but operationally, they’re not organized or reliable

  22. Brian G. Member

    I flew that same tail number in 2017 to see the total solar eclipse in Charleston.

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The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Daniel De La Roche Guest

In Terminal 3 they are building a Escape Lounge by American Express so that will solve the lounge issue soon.

4
CMC Guest

I agree with shoeguy. Lucky, I think you are being overly generous with stating that they struggle with being punctual. They generally are on the bottom of the list for on-time performance when measured against all other airlines (Delta, Hawaiian, and Spirit tend to be consistently at the top). The jetBlue product is great for sure - far and above hands down better than any other currently flying in the US today. But reliability is a major factor and for some reason they have "struggled" for years now so it's not really a struggle - it's a daily reality. The excellent product helps with their image for sure and I'm a huge fan of them, but if I really need to be somewhere by a certain time I'll choose someone else. I hope one day they can get a proper hold of their operation.

2
shoeguy Guest

JetBlue, on paper, provides an experience a cut above the rest of the US industry, but sadly, it rarely delivers and is hobbled by operational issues, prone to delays and meltdowns which have occurred throughout its 20 year existence. Their E190s were the red-headed stepchild of the fleet for years, with poor dispatch reliability, which combined with heavy operations at delay prone JFK and BOS, cascading delays throughout the system frequently, makes them a difficult airline to choose. All of my flights with JetBlue, which I've flown infrequently, have experienced delays or other issues. I tend to avoid them.

2
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