Published on February 23rd, 2016 | by Mark Chesnut
AIRLINE REVIEW: JetBlue Airbus A320, JFK to Cartagena
During my current trip to Colombia as part of my consultant work with Great Value Vacations (I’m helping them to develop exciting new Colombia vacation packages — the work I did with them on Panama has resulted in some really great deals that include airfare and hotels at amazing prices), we flew Jetblue nonstop from New York City to Cartagena. This is a review of my travel experience to Colombia with JetBlue.
THE ROUTE: New York City – John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Cartagena – Rafael Nuñez International Airport (CTG); Airbus A320; economy class; 4 hours, 35 minutes
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THE DEPARTURE: The JetBlue flight departed from Terminal 5 at JFK, which is a relatively well-equipped terminal for New York City. I lucked out with timing; it took me a total of only about 15 minutes to drop my bag at the counter and pass through security (I’d already printed my boarding pass at home, and I belong to the TSA Pre-Check, which helped). I had breakfast at the food court area and enjoyed the free WiFi as well as the bountiful work desks and electrical outlets in the gate areas.
THE AIRCRAFT: The JetBlue Airbus A320 had a single-class (economy only), although you could pay extra to sit in a row with slightly more leg room — and since the flight wasn’t full, the flight attendant explained multiple times that anyone who moved to a seat in rows 1-5, 10 or 11 would be charged $65. Overall, I believe that JetBlue has slightly more legroom than most airlines do in economy class, however.
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INFLIGHT SERVICE: JetBlue features an extensive menu of paid amenities. You can buy a pillow for $5, a blanket for $5 and headphones for $6 (or use your own). Each seat had its own setback video screen; since this flight was leaving U.S. territory, DirecTV and WiFi went out after a couple of hours, but there are movies and other programming available to watch, and JetBlue’s policy is to offer them for free on flights outside the 48 contiguous United States (although you have to pay for earphones if you didn’t bring any). There is no JetBlue inflight magazine (hey, JetBlue, hire me and I will work on some killer content for you).
JetBlue serves free snacks, including a selection of Doritos, Keebler Elf Grahams, PopCorners Chips and Terra Blue chips. Slight more substantial food — including sandwiches, sales and snack boxes — is available for a price, ranging from $4 to $12. No carts are used in JetBlue’s inflight service; instead, they pass through with a basket of snacks, pass through the cabin to take drink orders, and then bring drinks on a tray. The plus is that there are no carts to block the aisles; the potential negative is that you have to interact with the crew three times instead of once. But I do love the free snacks, and also appreciate that they passed out small bottles of water later on in the flight.
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THE ARRIVAL: We landed slightly early at the Cartagena airport, which is a small but modern. The line for immigration processing took about 15 or 20 minutes, but our luggage was already waiting for us at the baggage claim so we didn’t have to wait for that, or for the customs line.