I didn't see this posted recently, but it's a big step forward for jetBlue, in terms of passenger comfort. I think free PTV's with that much top-notch, brand-name entertainment will go a long way in distancing jetBlue from being a Southwest Airlines clone (and there's no shame in being SWA, a wonderful airline).
JetBlue Decides Not To Charge For 24-Channel LiveTV Inflight Satellite Entertainment Service
-- With Exceptional LiveTV Reliability Proven, Airline Also Orders System for 8 More Aircraft --
New York, NY and Irvine, CA (July 25, 2000) -- JetBlue Airways, New York’s low-fare, hometown airline, and LiveTV, the leading supplier of live television on commercial aircraft, today announced that personal satellite TV, featuring 24 channels of DIRECTV programming, would be provided free of charge, from today on, to all JetBlue passengers, at every all-leather seat.
The airline originally had planned to charge $5 per flight although no passengers have been charged for the service since the airline debuted the system in April, 2000. With LiveTV, passengers control their own inflight entertainment options via personal flat-screen monitors installed in seatbacks and individual remotes built into each armrest.
JetBlue features LiveTV entertainment across its entire fleet. The airline currently flies seven brand new Airbus A320 aircraft and will take delivery of another three by the end of this year. The carrier recently purchased an additional 7 new aircraft and leased another, bringing its total confirmed fleet to 40 airplanes, and today announced new orders for LiveTV on these fleet additions.
“Our passengers’ response to LiveTV has been overwhelmingly positive,” said. David Neeleman, CEO of JetBlue Airways. “And with the weather-related delays everyone has been experiencing this summer, it’s terrific to see how enthusiastic people have been to tune in to the Weather Channel to see the latest forecasts develop for themselves. That’s just one of the reasons we’ve decided to provide all passengers with LiveTV from now on at no cost. We want to make sure everyone can enjoy great DIRECTV programming on each and every flight.”
The DIRECTV programming package features the best in news, sports, general entertainment and children’s programming, including Bloomberg Television, CNN Headline News, CNNfn, The Weather Channel, ZDTV, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, The Golf Channel, CNN/Sports Illustrated, The Travel Channel, Home and Garden TV, The Food Network, Game Show Network, A&E, The History Channel, Discovery Channel, Discovery Kids, The Learning Channel Animal Planet and Boomerang, which features classic cartoons from the Cartoon Network.
The reliability and performance of the LiveTV system have been exceptional. “We’ve been very impressed with the quality of LiveTV service, experiencing 99.9% availability throughout JetBlue’s first 500 LiveTV-equipped flights,” said Amir Nasruddin, JetBlue’s Director, Technical Standards.
"We’re proud to raise the bar on in-flight entertainment reliability and performance," said Andre de Greef, President of LiveTV. “Our statistics far surpass that of traditional systems and we intend to keep our momentum. JetBlue’s leadership and passengers both expect easy-to-use, fully operational services and that’s what they’re getting from LiveTV."