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JetBlue PTVs Now Free!

Thu Aug 03, 2000 11:22 pm

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).

The text:

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."
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RE: JetBlue PTVs Now Free!

Thu Aug 03, 2000 11:31 pm

So how are they going to recover their costs from providing a discounted-airline service as well as the money (from loans and the such) for buying the brand-new jets? IMO it is a good idea to charge the $5 so that only those who use it would pay. Are they going to increase ticket prices for everyone so as that they are all paying the extra $5 that they would have been charged for for usage of the PTV's?

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RE: JetBlue PTVs Now Free!

Thu Aug 03, 2000 11:37 pm

Is jetBlue really that cheap? isn`t it $200 round trip from New york to tampa?

D e l t a 7 7 7
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RE: JetBlue PTVs Now Free!

Thu Aug 03, 2000 11:39 pm

Perhaps they feel that the load factors have been so good since they began, and the PTVs are such a good marketing point, that they can afford to absorb their raw costs and still make a good profit, without passing on the cost to the customer.

Think of it as an investment in creating higher sales in the future, somewhat like advertising. If free PTVs coupled with low fares can increase jetBlue's average load factor from 70% to 80 or 85%, don't you think the investment will have been worthwhile?
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RE: JetBlue PTVs Now Free!

Thu Aug 03, 2000 11:45 pm

Thats excellent, I will be flying JetBlue pretty soon.

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RE: JetBlue PTVs Now Free!

Thu Aug 03, 2000 11:55 pm

jetBlue's current listed fare for a JFK-TPA flight (just for the sake of example) is $146 roundtrip, on a nonstop flight featuring PTV service. Delta, for example, charges $168 roundtrip, and you have to connect through Cincinnati or Atlanta or both on regular aircraft with no PTVs.

I think I know which one *I* would choose. I'd keep $20 in my pocket and spend the two-hour flight watching some nifty new PTV entertainment instead of staring at a bare seatback. 

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