As the number of flights my family has made back and forth to the Dominican Republic increases we’ve started to develop preferences in airlines. At first our flights were mostly with American Airlines due to the greater number of checked in bags that they allow.

This was pretty important during our moving process. Now that our trips are more to visit family and friends our criteria has changed and so has our preference in airlines.

Our recent experiences with Jet Blue has made it a clear favorite with my family, making the news that Jet Blue is added another Dominican city, Punta Cana, to its list (Santo Domingo, Santiago, and Puerto Plata) welcome news.

While prices vary by trip, Jet Blue seems to always be at least as good as American Airlines. But even if they were slightly higher we would now choose a flight with Jet Blue when going from California to the Dominican Republic. There are several reasons why:

Overall Flight time: Most of the flights (perhaps all Jet Blues flight) go to JFK and then down to the DR. While it would seem like the less direct rout of heading north to New York and then down to the DR would add to the travel time. When you count in the additional layovers that seem inevitable with American Airlines along with the much longer layover times our trip can take as much as 10 hours less.

Airport lines: While you still have the same lines when going through customs, so far every trip we have taken, the airline lines have always been shorter and mover faster with Jet Blue.

Comfortable seats: Some of the seats we’ve had with American Airlines have been comfortable enough, however several of their planes are designed with much shorter occupants in mind. My knees are jammed into the seat in front of me. Jet Blue planes offer far more leg room and the seats are more comfortable.

Entertainment: With American, you are pretty well stuck with whatever movie they offer. Jet Blue has individual TV screens on the back of every seat. Each person chooses their own program from a large list of channels including music channels. I personally also liked the Jet Blue channel, yah it’s mostly advertisements, but the part I liked was the GPS of the plane that comes up every couple of minutes. You can actually track where you are over the US, how fast you are going, and what your altitude is. Probably not every important, but I found it to be interesting to check out.

Snacks: They are never too large, but at least with Jet Blue you get a choice. Several types of chips, cookies and other small items, instead of just getting the bag of whatever tossed in front of you. You also get a variety of different sodas, ice teas etc. Then of course there is the overpriced “Paid food” we didn’t opt for to pay for the extra, neither did any of the passengers near us so I can’t voice for the quality, with either, the price seemed pretty steep for what they were offering though.

Well, there is nothing really any airline can do to make 12-14 hours in a plane something to look forward to (maybe that’s different if you are in first class), but so far for my family Jet Blue is the clear winner.