As winter approached, JetBlue, the New York-based airline, ventured into Belize for the first time, and I was fortunate to be among the inaugural travelers on this exciting journey.
On December 6, JetBlue made history by becoming the sole carrier to operate flights from JFK to Belize City (BZE), offering the service three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.
A JetBlue spokesperson expressed enthusiasm about the new route, stating, “Belize is a major tourist destination within Central America, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to add it to our route map and introduce a new offering to our customers in New York. This new route advances JetBlue’s leadership position in the Caribbean and Latin America, which represents one-third of our operations,” as shared with Travel + Leisure.
Eager for my warm-weather escape, I arrived at JFK’s Terminal 5 with just over an hour until boarding. Thanks to my Mosaic status, I enjoyed priority access through the security line, breezing through in under 10 minutes despite the apparent morning rush. Balloons, Belize-native Garafunda drummers, and complimentary breakfast tacos welcomed passengers at the gate, setting the festive tone for the inaugural flight. JetBlue generously provided free Belize t-shirts, hats, and other goodies, accompanied by a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the milestone.
Boarding commenced promptly after welcoming speeches, and I stepped onto the Airbus A320 playfully named Sacre’ Bleu. While the aircraft featured a 3×3 configuration throughout, it lacked a Mint section. Instead, there was an “Even More Space” section, where I found my seat. True to its name, this section offered ample leg space and additional room under the seat in front for my belongings.
The crew, some of whom were originally from Belize and now resided in New York, exhibited incredible warmth and shared the passengers’ excitement. A special touch came from the captain, who revealed he was born and raised in Belize, and his parents were on board, making the flight extra special.
In celebration of the inaugural flight, passengers engaged in in-flight bingo with enticing prizes, while flight attendants encouraged us to help ourselves to as many snacks as we desired. Before I knew it, we had arrived in Belize, and I proceeded to board a smaller plane to Ambergris Caye, where I experienced a delightful stay at Alaia Belize, renowned as one of the best all-inclusive resorts in the country.
The JFK to Belize City route follows JetBlue’s recent expansion with new services such as JFK to St Kitts, Boston to Grenada, and LAX to The Bahamas. Looking ahead, JetBlue is set to expand its transatlantic service with seasonal routes from JFK and Boston to Dublin starting in March of next year and JFK to Edinburgh in May. Additionally, JetBlue will enhance its service to Paris with a new route from Boston launching in April, following the successful launch of its New York route in June.