JetBlue is good for Worcester — here’s why

Between snow birds leaving for the winter and returning in late spring, and vacation destinations, Florida is a hot bed for people avoiding winter’s grasp and enjoying fun in the sun.

After DirectAir flew the coup — literally shuttering and leaving passengers without a flight which they paid for — there was a strong courtship by Massport, the governing body which runs the Worcester Airport, and the city of Worcester to woo — pun intended — JetBlue to the regional airport.

After months and months of trying, it’s official — Flight 2019 with nonstop service from ORH (Worcester) to FLL (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. on Thursday Nov. 7. The following day sees daily nonstop service to Orlando (MCO) starting with a 7:20 a.m. departure.

Flight 1887 will operate daily at 7:20 a.m. out of Worcester with an estimated arrival of 10:37 a.m. in Orlando, while Flight 2019 will operate daily at 4:05 p.m. out of Worcester with an estimated arrival of 7:31 in Fort Lauderdale.

As of publication, a round-trip ticket, with a week in between, will cost $115.30 to Orlando and $135.30 to Fort Lauderdale. As always with JetBlue, first bag checked is free.

The staggered departure and arrival should alleviate travel woes like security lines and baggage claim (if you choose to travel with a checked bag), as you’re dealing with 99 other passengers rather than hundreds being dumped into the same airport.

The carrier will use the Embraer 190, which seats 100, for the nonstop flights to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, and can connect to Austin, Texas; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Nassau, Bahamas; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Montego Bay, Jamaica and Bogota, Colombia.

Not only are the prices great (as of right now), the airport is easy to get to — conveniently located off Pleasant Street/Route 122 — and the nominal count of passengers to get through security should make for a pleasant travel experience.

So, you get your first bag checked free, you have personal DirecTV in the TV in front of you, you  still have more leg room than the planes utilized by other providers,  and you have great prices to jet from Central Mass. to the Sunshine State (that’s Florida, by the way). A win-win for everyone involved.

I, for one, am ecstatic that JetBlue chose Worcester as its 80th airport. It should prove to be a great move for the airline, and a major win for the city.

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