I flew nonstop domestic economy on both American Airlines and JetBlue to see which was better, and JetBlue had a slight edge

JFK terminal 5 selfie

  • JetBlue and
    American
    Airlines
    have similar rankings in Money’s
    report
    of the best and worst US airlines,
    though American Airlines has a slight edge.
  • I recently flew round-trip from New York to Austin with one
    flight operated by JetBlue and one flight
    operated by American Airlines, and although they were similar, I
    found that the JetBlue flight had a slight edge in my own
    experience.
  • I flew nonstop economy from John F.
    Kennedy Airport
    (JFK) to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
    (ABIA) with JetBlue.
  • I flew nonstop economy from ABIA to JFK with American
    Airlines.
  • JetBlue’s edge over American Airlines was clear from the start,
    thanks to JetBlue’s location at the state-of-the-art Terminal
    5
    at JFK.  
  • My in-flight experience further secured my opinion, thanks to
    JetBlue’s
    reputation for having the most legroom in US domestic economy class
    seating.

SEE ALSO: I
booked a last minute, discounted flight on ‘the best US airline’
for around $100, and I still can’t believe how incredible the deal
was

DON’T MISS: I
spent the day with a New Jersey commuter who rides a Jet Ski to
work, and it changed the way I think about my week

From the very beginning, Terminal 5 at JFK was more interesting
than your average moving walkway.

JetBlue’s check-in process at JFK provides an inviting experience
for all travelers. I felt valued as a customer as soon as I began
my journey.

This had a lot to do with JetBlue’s presentation at JFK. Aside from
sharing with a few smaller airlines, JetBlue pretty much has its
own terminal …

Source:
Travel and Leisure

… which is clean and organized with pops of color.

Different colored lights help direct travelers through the entire
check-in process, from getting luggage tags and printing boarding
passes …

… to dropping off checked baggage.

American Airlines’ check-in process at Austin-Bergstrom
International Airport wasn’t anything special.

But Austin’s airport is much smaller than JFK, so I expected a
smaller, underwhelming check-in area.

At Austin’s airport, American Airlines shares a terminal with 14
other airlines, including JetBlue.

But regardless of the significant difference in check-in
experiences, waiting to board my American Airlines’ flight was
similar to my experience waiting to board my JetBlue flight.

While my gate was less crowded for my JetBlue flight …

… there were still plenty of empty seats at my gate for my
American Airlines gate as well.

If anything, I had a much easier time finding my gate for my
American Airlines flight …

… whereas my gate at JFK was in a much larger terminal.

In both cases though, I got to where I needed to be on time. I was
at gate 27 for my JetBlue flight …

… and I was at gate 32 for my American Airlines flight.

For both flights, I was in the last boarding group. I just listened
to music while I was waiting for my turn to board.

For both flights, the boarding process ran smoothly.

But when I was waiting in line to board my JetBlue flight, I
noticed this neat playroom designed to entertain children. It made
me wish I was a kid again, or at least wish I had a kid with me so
I could play inside without judgment.

With JetBlue, I was aboard an Airbus A320.

With American Airlines, I was aboard a Boeing 737-800, and they
were very similar planes.

Source:
Business Insider

JetBlue’s Airbus A320 has 162 seats.

Source: Jet
Blue

There are two versions of the AA Boeing 737-800. I was on version
two — which has 12 more seats than version one — for a total of
172 seats.

Source: American
Airlines

JetBlue’s overhead bins fit suitcases as big as 22 inches long and
nine inches wide …

Source: Jet
Blue

… and American Airlines’ overhead bins have the exact same
restrictions.

Source: American
Airlines

JetBlue’s seats were 17.8 inches wide …

Source: Jet
Blue

… with a whopping 34-inch seat pitch. That’s more legroom than
any other US domestic airline offers in economy seating.

Source: Jet Blue,

Seat Guru

American Airlines’ seats were between 16.6-17.8 inches wide,
depending on your seat. While the headrests were more comfortable
than JetBlue’s, the seats on my American Airlines flight were
noticeably smaller once I had someone sitting next to me.

Source: American
Airlines

Also, American Airlines only had a 30-inch seat pitch, making the
overall flight experience a little less comfortable.

Source: American
Airlines

But at least American Airlines had a USB port for every seat, which
is something my JetBlue flight didn’t have. But while American
Airlines had power …

… JetBlue had screens.

Screens are becoming less common on flights in order to shrink
economy seats. Many passengers bring their own devices nowadays,
and seatback entertainment systems can quickly become obsolete.

Source:
New York Times

JetBlue’s entertainment options was a perfect example of that.
Their in-flight entertainment included a choice of three movies,
Direct TV, and Sirius XM.

Source: Jet
Blue

They also included access to Amazon Prime Video via your own
device, but mine wasn’t charged. And none of the movies interested
me, so I watched Direct TV.

American Airlines also had many in-flight entertainment options …

… but only to stream on your own device.

My experience on the American Airlines flight was a bit sickening.
There was high turbulence and it was cold …

… even after I turned off my air-conditioning.

Comparatively, my experience with JetBlue was smooth.

Both flights left on time and arrived a few minutes early.

Overall, I’d say that for these two flights, JetBlue had the
slightest edge over American Airlines because of the pleasant
check-in process in Terminal 5 and more comfortable flight
experience overall.

But I would fly domestic economy on either airline again.
Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News
I flew nonstop domestic economy on both American Airlines and JetBlue to see which was better, and JetBlue had a slight edge