There’s only so many restaurants in Williamstown to review, so I recently had the brilliant idea to review a completely different experience that I don’t usually focus on: airplane flights. So in this review I’ll be looking at my recent trip to Florida. I flew out of Bradley international airport (BDL) in Hartford Ct, which is about 1H45M from Williamstown. I flew into Fort Lauderdale (FLL). It was only about a 3 hour flight, so not too bad.
The flight out left at 5:11PM and I arrived at the airport at about 3:45. The economy parking was full so we had to park in the long term garage, which was far more expense at about $20 a day. Check-in and bag-drop was so so easy, as there were small kiosks to print bag tags. There was also an employee hovering nearby, which made the process incredibly easy. Since I am a global entry member TSA pre-check is included so security was a breeze and was over in less than three minutes.
By the time we got to the gate there was only 45 minutes until departure, and boarding was in 30 minutes. I grabbed a quick wrap at a nearby store. The free BDL wifi was okay, but every few minutes it would disconnect and you would need to force the reconnection. With tons of young kids sprinting around the gate area, I was ready to board. Boarding was right on time but I was boarding group D so after all the small kids and after the A, B, and C, groups, I was one of the last few to board.
The plane itself was fairly old and outdated, delivered to JetBlue 2002, yet it was still very comfortable. There were 25 rows of seats, arranged in a 3-3 configuration, with 5 rows of “even more space” seats. The average 19 rows have a crazy 34 inches of legroom. For a reference, industry average is around 31 inches. Spirit Airlines, which flies the same route, only has 29 inches, so this was crazy.
Since the seat and plane were so old there were many signs of wear and tear. There were scratches on the seat in front of me and someone even signed their name in pen on a nearby tray-table. The comfort and size of the seat made up for that since I never felt cramped like you do sometimes. There were three bathrooms in the cabin but the one in the front was out of out of order (although I did see the pilot go in the out of order one during the flight). The ones in the back were spacious enough but nothing great.
Food & Drink
After we reached our cruising altitude, the flight attendants came around to advertise blankets, pillows, headphones, and snack boxes, but for purchase only. Soon after that, about 35-40 minutes into the flight, the first drinks were served. I opted for the pineapple juice, which was really nice and they gave me the whole can which was a huge plus. Twenty minutes after that free snacks came by. Options included Cheez-its, chocolate chip cookies, Terra healthy potato chips, and pretzels. On other flights with JetBlue, they gave me the option for two choices, but they only offered one on this flight. Unfortunately, that was the only drink and food service for the whole 3hr flight. It would have been nice for one more quick drink service or at least coming around with water.
In Flight Entertainment
At each seat there was a screen on the seat in front, which was a huge plus as many other American carriers have either gotten rid of them on short flights, or have opted for in-app streaming services like on United. The screen was a screen, but it was so small you could barely see any detail in it. It was like watching a youtube video in 240p. There was a flight map which was cool, but it was not interactive at all, and did not provide much information. But here is where JetBlue pulls away from all other competitors: free Wifi. They say it is high speed but it is pretty slow – you can send snapchats, texts, and online shop, but don’t even think about streaming video, as it would take forever. Still, it was amazing that it even had free wifi, which is pretty much unheard of in America, or even anywhere in the world in economy class.
Great experience overall. I would definitely fly JetBlue again. For a non-stop flight to Florida, from small Northeastern airports like Albany and Hartford for very competitive prices I would recommend JetBlue for everyone. If it wasn’t for the outdated seat, and weak drink service it would have gotten a higher score. The service, in flight entertainment, wifi, and seat itself was amazing.