JetBlue vs. American Airlines: Pros & Cons
When choosing between JetBlue Airways and American Airlines for flights on similar routes and times, it's important to think about more than just the flight itself.
Look at what each airline offers regarding loyalty programs, types of seats, chances to get elite status, and how reliable and extensive their flight paths are. Yes, it's tiring, and I know that more than anyone. That's why I have already prepared a list of the things you should compare - where they fly, their credit cards, and loyalty programs - to help you decide which airline is better for you and which flight to book next.
Hubs and Destinations
American Airlines boasts a significantly more extensive network compared to JetBlue, offering flights to a broader range of destinations both within the U.S. and internationally. Additionally, as a member of the Oneworld alliance, American Airlines has access to an even wider array of destinations, surpassing those available through JetBlue.
JetBlue offers flights to over 100 cities in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America, and key European cities. Its U.S. routes sometimes require layovers, for example, Nashville to Miami via New York. Key hubs include Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, and New York-JFK. JetBlue partners with airlines like Hawaiian Airlines for points and benefits, but isn't part of a major alliance.
In contrast, American Airlines, a major global carrier, flies to over 350 destinations in more than 60 countries, and up to 900 destinations through the Oneworld alliance. Its extensive network is supported by hubs in major cities including Charlotte, Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, London-Heathrow, Miami, and New York-JFK.
In terms of reliability (schedule delays/cancellations & baggage handling), American Airlines is the winner over JetBlue.
JetBlue is average in terms of delays and cancellations, and both airlines have issues with baggage handling, though JetBlue does slightly better in this area. American Airlines has a higher on-time flight rate compared to JetBlue.
While both airlines allow carry-on luggage, American Airlines typically offers a more generous baggage allowance compared to JetBlue. For checked baggage, American Airlines allows a size limit of 62 inches (sum of length, width, and height) and a varying weight limit of 50-70 pounds depending on the travel class and destination. In contrast, JetBlue tends to have more restrictive guidelines and fees for checked bags. Consequently, passengers with larger or multiple pieces of luggage may find American Airlines better than JetBlue.
Alright, if we're comparing the loyalty programs of JetBlue and American Airlines, here's the lowdown. JetBlue's program, called TrueBlue, is pretty straightforward and user-friendly. You earn points based on the dollars spent, and the cool thing is, there are no blackout dates for redeeming points on flights. Plus, these points never expire.
Now, American's program, AAdvantage, is a bit more traditional but offers a wider range of rewards. You earn miles based on distance flown and the fare class. It's great for frequent international travelers since you can earn and redeem miles with a bunch of different airlines, thanks to their Oneworld alliance. Both have their perks, but it really boils down to how and where you fly.
If you're looking at in-flight entertainment and comfort, JetBlue is the way to go, especially for their first-class experience. They offer free, high-speed Wi-Fi on all their flights, so you can stay connected from the moment you board till you land. Plus, every seat has its own screen with movies, live TV, and more. They're known for having the most legroom in coach among domestic airlines, too. Their Mint service on certain flights is top-notch, with fully lie-flat seats and even sliding doors for privacy.
American Airlines, on the other hand, is decent in economy with the usual free snacks and drinks, and you can stream entertainment to your own device. But, you'll have to pay extra for Wi-Fi. The experience steps up in their premium seats, though. You get more space, and in first class, there are lie-flat seats on some flights. However, remember to bring your own device for entertainment since there aren't any screens on the seats.
So, are you still trying to decide between JetBlue and American Airlines? Well, it's a close call, but American Airlines often comes out ahead. Now, if you're all about those premium amenities and the first-class experience, JetBlue could be your go-to. However, when you consider things like the range of flight networks, overall reliability, and the perks of earning and redeeming miles with Oneworld partners, American Airlines has the upper hand. Sure, JetBlue might be a great choice for certain routes, but in terms of reward value and global reach, American Airlines really expands your horizons.