I’m not a huge fan of flying. It has nothing to do with fear, as planes are far safer than automobiles. Rather it’s the entire boarding to landing experience, security included, that makes flying such a chore. I often wonder as I am taking off my shoes and double checking that I did not leave my toothpaste in my carry on, “if only America had a developed rail system like Europe.” I really wouldn’t mind paying more for a train journey, even if it took longer. I find trains roomier, more relaxing, and far less stressful than flying.
But my dreams of an interconnected rail system throughout the United States won’t come to fruition anytime soon, so I am stuck with what’s out there. Lately this hasn’t been very much until I flew with JetBlue for the first time. Like most Americans, I’m always looking to save a buck, so when it comes to selecting a flight, I normally go for the cheapest option. Having flown mostly on United, American, and Continental I assumed JetBlue would be the same. To my delight I was pleasantly surprised, so much in fact, that I decided to write a positive review about the experience.
Check In One Bag For Free
I’m glad one of the airlines (it looks like Southwest also offers this) finally decided to attract customers by exploiting the ridiculous concept of charging passengers to check in their bags. I’m sure anyone who has flown one of the major carriers has experienced this circus act: you get on the plane with your two bags in hand and notice there is no room above the compartment where you are sitting because everyone else had the same idea. Then you speak to the stewardess who desperately tries to shove other people’s bags around to fit yours. When no room can be made you bring your bags back to the front and receive a tag. Alas, you got to check in your bag for free anyway!
I’m sure the airlines figured some people wouldn’t mind paying for the convenience but after one of the largest recessions, you’d be amazed to find what lengths people will go to save $25. Sadly, having to pay a fee to check in a bag makes flying a more miserable experience than it has to be. Not only does boarding the plane become havoc when the overhead compartment room inevitably runs out, security also gets bottlenecked since just about every passenger checks in two bags in order to avoid the fee. If this isn’t bad enough, every time a passenger accidentally packs too many liquids or toothpaste (yes, this apparently is a liquid) we all get to hear them called out by security as if we were all in the 4th grade again.
JetBlue Offers Unlimited Snacks
I’ve flown mostly American and United, where you’ll be lucky if you get a bag with a couple of peanuts in it to go with your drink. Food is available, but you have to pay for it. And what is it you end up paying for? Usually it is an $8 “snack pack” which is basically a normal size bag of chips or peanuts, a few crackers, and some processed meat. This is not the case with JetBlue, where passengers are offered an unlimited amount of free snacks as part of the flight experience.
I was blown away when I saw the guy next to me throw two packages of cookies on his seat after he went to the bathroom. An unlimited snack policy is a win-win: The passenger can have as much as they want (this is America you know, when do we ever willingly purchase a bag with only three pretzels?) and the snack makers have an opportunity to market new or existing products to a significant chunk of America’s middle class.
My Flight Experience with JetBlue was Positive
Although my overall grievances with flying won’t go away soon, I am happy JetBlue decided to change two very small things to improve not just my flying experience but those around me. Until we get more trains in this country, I’ll be booking more flights with this carrier in the future.