This is a report on my recent trip to LGB where I attended "Club Blue" The inaugural party that night as well as my trip home.
Flight # 215
A320 N520JB "Blue Velvet"
I arrived at T6 at about 4:00PM for a 6:00PM departure. There was very little traffic so we arrived a bit early, and needless to say I was not dissappointed. I checked in effortlessly, and made sure to change my seat which was a middle seat in the back (18E) to an aisle seat up front (2C). I made my way to gate 17 and sat down with a little over an hour to spare before departure. During my time there I saw "Blue Velvet" pull up to its spot at gate 17. About 1/2 hour prior to departure the caterers came and the line for sandwiches and drinks began. I helped myself to some water and sat back down, not wanting to spend my time at JFK waiting for a sandwich. At 5:40 boarding began, and I watched the caterers load the "inaugural" sandwiches on the plane, much to my surprise as the other two inaugurals I've been on the food was gone before boarding began. As I was seated in Row 2 I had some time to wait, as the plane was clearly full. I finally sat down in 2C next to a father and his daughter. We waited for a while as the inflight crew had to move some people so a lady could take her pet cat on board. Scheduled departure was 6:10 and we pushed back at 6:25. Not a terribly long taxi and we were soon cleared for takeoff. Takeoff Roll was as expected a little longer than usual but soon we were up to FL 390. I spent most of the announced flight time of 5 hrs 12 mins talking to a gentleman across the aisle who really enjoyed the airline and asked me a bunch of questions about jetBlue. I then chatted with a F/A named Kateri who noticed my invitation to Club Blue and asked me about it. I also talked to the other F/A's about how they felt about LGB, and most seemed enthusiastic. After a while we began our descent into the LGB area, with an approach on the Pacific Coastline south of LGB. After a smooth landing and a short taxi we pulled up to our set of 2 airstairs very much right on time, and I could not believe how small LGB was. Our Gate I believe was A2 (outdoors), which was a metal bar door guarded by Police with a fairly large crowd of people waiting to meet friends/family as we disembarked, it was certainly an experience. I then went to the baggage claim, surprise surprise it was outdoors, obviously covered though. I left my suitcase with a friend and went up to Club Blue.
From the plane the viewing area converted into a party setting was visible, and as I went into LGB's main terminal (Indoors) I went up stairs to the restaurant, where the party was being held. At the welcoming area, I was stopped by a lady who, although I was dressed right obviously did not expect people so late (Party started at 7, and ended at 10, while my flight arrived at 8:55). She sternly told me that the party was private, and I would have to leave. Well, keeping my cool I went into my carryon and produced my invitation. She immediately changed her demeanor and apologized and told me to go right in. I did and was immediately awed by what I saw, the first thing being a house band in tuxedos playing soft Jazz, this restaurant was certainly changed into a night club setting. There were waiters giving drinks to people off of trays, and surprise they were Bluey Martinis. There also were tables set up for gambling, both Roulette and BlackJack. I went out on the deck on the left where there was a second bar set up, as well as what looked to be a side of beef being carved and served by a chef. Seeing some people I've met on other inaugural flights I said hello and then said hello to a jetBlue LGB employee who was very awestruck at the sight of such festivities in so small an airport. As I left Club Blue I received a "Goodie Bag" containing a "Goodbye LAX" T-Shirt, a LGB mousepad and mini foam plane, as well as some other promotional materials. Club Blue was certainly an experience that I will never forget, and I left it to head up to Burbank where I was staying. Outside of LGB were 3 Volkswagen Beetles advertising jetBlue, quite a nice touch.
Flight # 206
A320 N522JB "Blue Ribbon"
I arrived at LGB at around 10:30 am for my 12:05pm departure, and after changing my seats once again (20D to 2C), I headed up to where Club Blue once existed but now was a restaurant. I sat down to a light meal as I watched "Blue Ribbon" land. I finished up my meal and went to the indoor gate area for departing passengers. Boarding commenced at around 11:40 and I was one of the last to board at around 11:55. On a side note I would like to compliment the crew at LGB for their boarding of the A320, which was done by boarding the middle section first (Rows 5-21) and then the front and back boarded through the two sets of airstairs. Well done JB. Then the drama began. The gentleman next to me in 2B seemed very nervous, and he was on his phone constantly. I was able to tell that he had a late coming bag that was being rushed to the airport, and we were really close to pushback. Just as the door was being closed a baggage agent sprinted out of the terminal with a thin box, and it just made it on the plane. This guy literally made it by seconds. I asked him what it was, and it turns out he was the boy band (Of which I'm not a fan) NSync's DJ. He was on his way to NY to perform with them at the MTV Video Music Awards and the package he barely got were the records he needed for their performance. So right there was my little brush with fame, and too bad I'm not a fan of boy bands. After a surprisingly long taxi we took off relatively on-time at about 12:15. The flight was uneventful, by the way jetBlue offered two drink/snack services on both coast to coast flights. I once again chatted with some of the F/A's about how happy they were with jetBlue, all of which were very happy and proud to work for jetBlue. I then passed the time reading and watching the news on the PTV, and soon enough we began our descent with a great view of manhattan as we got close and had a fine landing by the captain. I said goodbye to my "celebrity" seatmate, and went down to claim my bags.
Thank you very much for reading this little trip of mine and as always comments and questions are gladly appreciated.
If anyone would like a recipe for a "Bluey Martini" let me know as I made sure to take the recipe card from off of the bar, as there were many.