Jet Blue’s quest to fit more seats on its Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft is causing “pain points” in an unexpected place: the in-cabin drink and food service
The Los Angeles Times reports that the airline is phasing out the procedure of flight attendants mixing drinks and bringing them on trays to passengers.
Instead, aircraft will be equipped with service carts, and flight attendants will mix drinks at each aisle — more typical of the procedure found on other US airlines.
The official reason for the change is to speed up service. However, Jet Blue CEO Robin Hayes told employees that the move was being made to address problems with the new restroom and galley configuration on the A320s and A321s, which allows Jet Blue to fit up to a dozen more seats on these aircraft.
The new Space Flex layout places the restrooms between the galley and passengers, hindering the ability of flight attendants to pass in and out of the cabin. “Do I love the fact that we had to go to Space Flex?” Hayes said in a video address to JetBlue employees.
“No, I’ll be honest — of course not. It creates a much bigger challenge for our crew members to provide that service.”
The new carts, rolling out in April 2018, will be equipped with iPad holders so flight attendants can process payments. A Jet Blue spokesperson said the change could cut service time in half.