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Fancy: JetBlue to add sleeper seats SFO-JFK

Mock up of JetBlue's new premium seat for SFO-JFK. Thoughts?

Mock up of JetBlue’s new premium seat for SFO-JFK. Thoughts?

JetBlue Airways today unveiled its new, fully customized lie-flat seat which will be available on its Airbus A321 flights between New York and SFO and LAX starting spring 2014.

JetBlue introduced the new seat at the Global Business Travel Association convention (which I am attending) in San Diego.

A computer-generated video of the new, enhanced experience can be seen here (business class seats appear in the video at about :54) .

(UPDATE: 3:15 pm- not to be outdone, Delta reveals its new business class seat for transcon flights today, too. )

The new JetBlue seat will have a door that closes. (Photo: JetBlue)

The new JetBlue seat will have a door that closes. (Photo: JetBlue)

Interesting: JetBlue will be the first airline to offer customers the option of a completely separate single suite seat that includes a closable door for increased privacy. The new lie-flat seat, created in a partnership with Northern Ireland-based Thompson Aero Seating, will be displayed in a unique 2-1 configuration. Rows 1, 3 and 5 will offer 2-by-2 seating, and rows 2 and 4 will offer private suites, with one seat on each side of the aisle.

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The new seats also offer air cushions with adjustable firmness, a massage function, a 15-inch widescreen television featuring the most live entertainment in the skies, and a unique “wake-me-for-service” indicator if the customer chooses to sleep in, putting more control back into the customer’s hands. In addition, JetBlue will refresh the core JetBlue Experience in 2014 which will include a comfortable seat design with movable headrests, a new entertainment system with up to 100 channels of DirecTV programming on 10.1-inch widescreens, and 110-volt and USB power ports accessible to all customers. And of course, more legroom throughout coach than any other U.S. airline.

While JetBlue is being coy about pricing for the new seats right now, CEO David Barger offered this: “Transcontinental routes have had high premium fares we believe we can beat…By offering our own, unique seats and enriched service elements that will include some soon-to-be-announced partnerships, we are creating a one-of-a-kind experience that will serve this market in a way only JetBlue can.”

Currently Virgin America, United, Delta and American offer premium business class seating on transcon flights between SFO and JFK. Fares run in the $2,500-$4,000 range depending on demand, however, as we all know, most of those flying up front are on upgrades.

So what do you think? Would you be willing to give up your miles on another carrier to give JetBlue a try when the seats are introduced next year? Please leave your comments below.

-Chris McGinnis

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