The Inflight Marketplace
This is the coolest, simplest thing. A self-serve cabinet at the front of the Economy cabin will be stocked with JetBlue's usual freebie snacks and drinks, available for the taking throughout the flight.
The last decade has only seen Economy passengers told "no" at every turn. Here, JetBlue welcomes flyers to grab complimentary refreshments without the restrictions of having to wait for flight attendant service and being stuck with whatever is left. There's also the element of trust, another thing airlines have seemingly done away with. What will stop the guy in 14B from taking 5 packets of Terra Blue Chips and 2 Diet Cokes for himself? Well, considering he's doing this in front of the rest of the airplane, we'd say the death stares of his fellow passengers may make him think twice.
What's new in Economy
Where to start? Perhaps with entertainment, as it effects the entire plane. All seats will benefit from 100 channels of live DirecTV (up from 36), touchscreen 10.1" seatback monitors (up from postage stamp), and Fly-Fi in-flight internet. Now consider the addition of power outlets at every seat, and there's no more excuses for boredom (even on a 6-hour transcontinental flight).
As for the seats themselves, they'll be sporting new materials in a black and silver colorway, and a slight cradle positioning. Headrests are now adjustable for easier napping, and even the seatback storage pockets have been redesigned to allow for organization (so long, cavernous solo pockets!).
We should note that traveling on the A321s with Mint class means Economy seats only have 33" of legroom, but that's still greater than the industry standard. A321s without Mint, set to fly on routes from New York to Florida for example, will have 34".
What's new in "Even More Space"
Earlier we mentioned some new piping coming to the seats. Right here, in "Even More Space," is where you'll find that snazzy orange accent highlighting the spots that boast 41" of legroom, compared to the 33-34" of a regular seat. What's more is these seats also boast the new features of the other Economy seats, namely the adjustable headrest, Fly-Fi in-flight WiFi, improved TV screen and channel listings, redesigned setback pocket, and power outlets.
Upgrading your seat to "Even More Space" typically costs between $15 - $65 each way, and each A321 will have 41 of them to sell.
As if this wasn't enough good news, there's one more thing: new seats and a new aircraft don't mean new, higher airfares. JetBlue will continue to offer Economy at the usual low starter prices and promo sales. When all is said and done and delivered, JetBlue will have 30 A321s in their fleet, and the first one should begin flying before the holiday season 2013.
[Photos: Cynthia Drescher/Jaunted & JetBlue marketplace rendering]