Travel Agent Goes Jetting

So often we hear tales of air travel nightmares that it’s refreshing to recount an overwhelmingly pleasant flight, from check-in to baggage pickup. That was my experience last week as I took a JetBlue flight from JFK International Airport to New Orleans.


The Deep Blue Sushi Noodle Bar at Jet Blue’s new terminal at JFK

I arrived at the brand spanking new JetBlue terminal at 5:15 a.m. for my 7 a.m. flight. The terminal, known as T5, is awesome. Located in the famed TWA building, it has been overhauled with a strikingly modern design yet maintains that cool 1960s jet-set feel of the original building. After a non-eventful check-in, I was off to the security line, where a JetBlue employee stood at the head of the line asking passengers for their thoughts on the new terminal. He seemed pretty proud—in fact, all of the airline’s terminal staff seemed extremely chipper and helpful, which was particularly refreshing at that hour of the morning.

Speaking of that hour of the morning, if you’ve ever had an early flight out of JFK you may have had the experience of being trapped in a terminal with no options for food or picking up last-minute essentials. Here, everything was open for business, brightly lit and fully staffed. There were numerous food options in the food court, as well as breakfast buffet tables set up with everything from fruit and cereal to bacon and eggs. After eating, I was able to kill time browsing at Borders and grabbing a bottle of water at Hudson News. This was about 6 a.m.—and even the Lacoste clothing store was open!

The flight itself was a breeze—on-time, smooth, and staffed with a friendly crew. JetBlue seats offer more leg room, which was nice, and it is still one of the few airlines that offers complimentary drinks and snacks (The flight attendants were exceedingly generous, encouraging passengers to take as many snacks as they liked). And, of course, there’s that 36-channel DirecTV system to help pass the time on the three-hour flight. The much-talked-about fee for pillows and blankets seems more than fair when you’re getting fresh-not-used materials, as well as a Bed Bath & Beyond coupon.

Having never flown JetBlue before, I was impressed with what was, all in all, a good experience. Nobody’s perfect and I’m sure there are plenty of customers who could share less satisfying experiences, but at least for one day—and for the first time in a long time—flying was once again a pleasure.

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