In hopes of attracting more travelers to its TSA Pre-Check program, the Transportation Security Administration will open three processing centers Wednesday in the Los Angeles area.
JetBlue Airways will unveil its new first class seat for transcontinental flights at Monday’s Global Business Travel Association meeting in San Diego, a senior airline executive told L.A. Airspace.
The executive said the new seat will be a game changer for the airline, which does not currently have a first or business class cabin. It is expected to be deployed on soon-to-be delivered Airbus A321 aircraft flying coast-to-coast routes, such as LAX and Long Beach to New York.
The executive also said JetBlue’s price point should be considerably lower than the premium fares currently offered by legacy carriers United, American and Delta. Transcontinental flights, especially between Los Angeles and New York, are important money makers for airlines.
This is a big deal for aviation enthusiasts.
Early reports in the airline industry media suggested JetBlue was planning to install “suites,” possibly with a sliding door for maximum privacy. According to a filing from aircraft manufacturer Airbus, JetBlue likely will install 16 premium seats and 143 economy seats in the new A321s, which will be delivered in 2014.
JetBlue Airways, the airline that sought to bring a new civility to economy class 13 years ago, is expected to soon revolutionize coast to coast premium class travel.
Several blogs and news organizations have reported that JetBlue is planning to install first class suites — possibly with doors — on new Airbus A321 aircraft. The news became public after someone found a regulatory filing submitted by the aircraft manufacturer. Apparently the seat design favored by JetBlue has never been used.
JetBlue currently has only economy class seating, though some seats have extra leg room.
JetBlue has been coy about its plans for a premium cabin. But airline officials announced in March that they were planning some sort of first or business class cabin.
In addition to LAX, JetBlue serves Long Beach and Burbank in the L.A. Basin. While the airline could use its new planes from Long Beach and Burbank, it’s much more likely it would fly them on flights between LAX and New York. Premium traffic demand at LAX tends to be considerably higher than at other airports. And that means fares can be set relatively high.