JetBlue Adds Lie-Flat Seats

Meet the new JetBlue.

JetBlue only offers economy-class seating, sold, for the most part, at competitve prices. But that's about to change. The domestic discounter is cutting space from its economy-class section to add a new, roomy luxury class to some of its planes as it moves into the premium-seating market. The carrier announced today that it will roll out a new class with lie-flat seats on planes flying transcontinental routes within the U.S.

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According to a press release from JetBlue, the lie-flat seats will be available on Airbus A321 planes flying between New York and two West Coast cities: Los Angeles and San Francisco. Seats are tucked in individual private suites with closeable doors, 15-inch widescreen televisions, and, according to JetBlue, a "massage function." Prices—as well as the brand name of JetBlue's ritzy new class—have yet to be announced.

While some passengers will get to stretch out and have a massage while flying between the coasts, others will feel the squeeze: A JetBlue spokesperson told ABC News that the airline's new Airbus A321 planes will feature "slimmer seats" in economy, with 33 inches of legroom—instead of the standard 34 inches that coach-class flyers currently enjoy on JetBlue. This isn't great news for coach travelers, of course. But 33 inches of legroom is nonetheless a good amount of space for an economy-class seat in comparison to seating on major legacy airlines like American or US Airways. JetBlue still maintains its claim that it offers "more legroom throughout coach than any other U.S. airline."

JetBlue is clearly aiming to stay competitive on very popular cross-country routes by introducing its first-ever product for business and luxury travelers. But representatives for the airline, which until now has maintained a budget-friendly, passenger-friendly image, claim that the carrier will continue to offer low-priced tickets in all classes. According to JetBlue CEO Dave Barger, "We expect to invigorate the market with our competitive price. Building on our original strategy of serving the under-served with a unique product and service-focused culture, we believe this new product will be very popular with current coast-to-coast customers, and may motivate new customers to choose JetBlue."

What do you think about JetBlue's new lie-flat seats?

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