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Jetblue Double Inaugural Report - ANC & MVY 2011  
User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1918 posts, RR: 9
Posted (3 years 3 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 9391 times:

Jetblue Inaugural to Anchorage
May 23, 2011

A double Jetblue inaugural trip report week… Jetblue is busy inaugurating cities for the summer.
Let go up North first!

May 23, 2011; Monday
B6 500 LGB-ANC Lv1730 Arr2147 Airbus A320-200 N793JB “My Other Ride is a Jetblue E190” Barcode livery
Full photo album link:
http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8QbNHDNy5bqTNw

This trip report will be a bit more picture based, since there is really nothing much to discuss other than it is a great party. For a summer only flight, both cities (Long Beach and Anchorage) treat this flight as a major milestone. Considered both the mayors of Long Beach and Anchorage were present for the inaugural flight, and the mayor of Anchorage even joined us for the inaugural flight. I arrived at Long Beach airport very early and therefore I started with a few pictures of Long Beach Airport!

Long Beach airport entrance – a beautiful day in Southern California


Self check-in kiosks


Check-in counters


Entrance to gate


Display of the Long Beach Airport’s modernization project


Flight information board – Anchorage flight was missing from the screen


26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1918 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (3 years 3 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 9401 times:

After lunch at the sole sitdown restaurant – Legend at LGB, I proceeded to the observation deck and personally will appreciate it they can set up some benches here. It is a nice spot to spend a bit of time spotting planes.

Busy apron at Long Beach


Mainly Jetblue Airbus A320s


The “others”
US Airways CRJ-900 from Phoenix


Allegiant’s MD-83 from Idaho Falls


My “plane” arriving from Las Vegas – N793JB did a quick roundtrip to Las Vegas before heading to Anchorage


I used the kiosk to check-in and there was nothing special being setup at the counters. Nonetheless, I have already noticed a tent setting up at gate 1. I entered the gate area shortly after I spotted the arrival of the plane from Las Vegas. I was directed to a different security line after the agent spotted my destination. The atmosphere was quite festive at the gate with lots of celebration going on. A buffet featuring crab cakes, meatballs in tomato sauce, meatballs in sweet and sour sauce, cheese plate, sub sandwiches, and cakes was setup, and it was actually one of the better buffets I have encountered. There were various speeches by Long Beach airport authority, Mayors of Long Beach and Anchorage, Long Beach Convention center, and Jetblue representatives. I was surprised at the large amount of speeches both at Long Beach and Anchorage. The cockpit and flight crews also actively participated in the whole inaugural ceremony and it was cool that Jetblue really counts their staffs as important assets. We also have a four people crew on this inaugural flight. This route is definitely more significant than most people think. Various folks have already called for a year round flight, but it will be difficult in the winter. E190 will be perfect but not sure it has the range to cover the five hours flight especially with the strong headwind in the winter. My personal favorite is the spotting of Seymour the Moose.

Gate celebration


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1918 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (3 years 3 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 9392 times:

Closeup of N793JB


Inaugural parties


Inaugural cake


Crew of the flight


Mayor of Anchorage


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1918 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (3 years 3 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 9386 times:

Seymour the Moose


Seymour, Miss Long Beach, Miss Alaska, and Miss Long Beach Grand Prix


Seymour with the new destination poster


Destination Poster


Blue Carpet


Boarding began at 5am over at gate 2A and we got the special blue carpet treatment, which was pretty cool. Extra legroom seats passengers got priority too, which was a cool recognition. A gift bag from Anchorage Convention Center – a lip balm, two tourist guides, a stuffed toy, and the new destination poster, as well as a Moose hat, was placed at each seat. It was a pretty full flight with only a few empty middle seats, and there were a number of Jetblue ground staffs, as well as ramp personnel, were flying up to Anchorage to help out. The cabin crews, Marc (leading steward), Vicky, Talia, and Tony, were helpful and aimed to provide the best service possible. Door was closed early at 5:25pm, and we pushed back three minutes later. We took off from R/W30 at 5:37pm.

Cabin Shot


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1918 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (3 years 3 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 9371 times:

Gift Bag


Farewell from LGB ground staff


Our flying time was five hours this evening, and daylight all the way due to the summer time. They cruised at 36,000feet during the whole flight, and the flight route took us towards California Inland and then towards the Canadian coast, and then Alaskan coast. Cabin service was typical of Jetblue long haul flights - buy on board snack boxes made its round first – no freebie though, and then the typical beverage and snack service, followed by another round of beverage an hour and half prior to arrival. Unfortunately, there was no free alcohol beverage on today’s flight – only headsets were passed out for free.

I bought the Wakeup Box!


Beverage


Complimentary Snack Service – Liden’s Chocolate Chippers and Terra Blue chips


I am sure a number of you would be curious on how the Direct TV and XM radio worked on this flight. I was actually surprised on how long the direct TV worked – the signal began to fade out around 8:53pm PST (three and half hours after takeoff), and I was able to finish the TBS “Family Guys” night, as well as watching the a new episode over at Adult Swim. XM Radio however continued to work throughout the flight. Anyway, Jetblue offers all the movie channels for free on this flight.

Trivia games were played and two free tickets were given out, as well as bottle of French champagne.

Scenery as we approached Anchorage – beautiful mountain


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1918 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (3 years 3 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 9364 times:

Downtown Anchorage shortly prior to arrival


Decent began at 9:13pm Anchorage time, and we landed on R/W14 at 9:36pm.


Water Salute typical at inaugural parties


New temporary home for Jetblue – B9


There was another party waiting for us at the other end. We were all invited to stay for the party, and those with checked bags need not worried, as someone will look after them at the baggage claim.


More celebration at Anchorage – more speeches and more food – nicer canapés – crab cakes, baked oysters and various small bites.


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1918 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (3 years 3 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 9352 times:



Seymour the Moose, as well as Miss Alaska, and various animals


Rescue Dogs


Alaska Native Dance


Flight information board at Anchorage


Frontier at ANC featuring beautiful Alaska background


A few additional photos featuring Jetblue’s new homes at Anchorage International Airport
Entrance at terminal


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1918 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (3 years 3 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 9344 times:

Check-in counters


Conclusion:
Jetblue definitely finds a cool destination to start and this 65th blue city will hopefully be successful. I can see it continued as a summer seasonal flight till it built up a loyal base. Jetblue definitely has a better inflight product compared to Alaska Airlines, as well as more advanced entertainment system, complimentary snacks, and one piece of complimentary check-in bag. Of course, Alaska Airlines has a much better mileage program, but I am sure it can steal some passengers who care more about comfort and will find the free check-in bag useful. I hope you enjoy the report!

Here is the second inaugural feature – two new Jetblue Cities in a week!
In preparation for the arrival of Memorial day weekend, Jetblue launches two new Jetblue cities in a week. Despite Jetblue has sort of flying to Martha’s Vineyard through its Cape Air’s codesharing, Jetblue is finally launching its own summer seasonal service to Martha’s Vineyard.


- Did you spot the hint on the problems this Jetblue’s inaugural flight will encounter soon?

May 26, 2011
B6 1338 JFK-MVY Lv1325 Arr1429 EMB-190IGW N309JB “Rhapsody in Blue”
B6 1339 MVY-JFK Lv1505 Arr1608 EMB-190IGW N309JB “Rhapsody in Blue”

Full album:
http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8QbNHDNy5bqTP4

I have struggled a bit before booking this inaugural flight. First, the original inaugural date for the Anchorage service was the same as Martha’s Vineyard, and my preference is Anchorage. However, Jetblue soon revises the Anchorage inaugural flight with a new earlier departure time for the inaugural flight. It made it possible to fly back to NYC the next day. Most importantly, I discover that airfares to these Northeast cities are relatively high and this inaugural flight may be the opportunity to fly to Martha’s Vineyard with an affordable fare. I missed the Nantucket inaugural, so I don’t want to miss the MVY inaugural.

I am sure most of you are familiar with Jetblue’s new home at JFK or can easily find terminal pictures. Not much terminal pictures! Despite being said many times, Jetblue’s new terminal is excellent in many aspects – lots of retail shops, restaurants and spaces. Memorial day weekend traffic has not hit JFK yet, and things were still quiet and I was through security within ten minutes.

Gate 16 was our gate this afternoon, and when I arrived around noon, the inbound flight from Burlington had already arrived, and the gate was being set up to welcome the inaugural flight. Compared to Anchorage, this inaugural is very low profile, but nonetheless, the usual amenities are offered – gift bag and buffet. Soon an announcement was made to welcome MVY passengers to the buffet. It was definitely a nice thing to do and the buffet was very good with many sandwiches, wraps, and subs with chips and plates of cookies. The usual speech was made prior to boarding, and I will let the pictures do the talking now!

Gate 16 – blue and white balloons – a grand entrance


Star of the Day – N309JB “Rhapsody in Blue”– EMB190IGW delivered in June 2009


Window Pane livery


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1918 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (3 years 3 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 9321 times:

Nice buffet


My favorite – a real Jetblue’s beverage cart


Speech time – Various Jetblue’s staffs with cockpit crews – Captain John Costello and Mark Williams, and cabin crew – Melissa and Megan


Boarding time


Line of goodies


Jebtlue MVY bag


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1918 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (3 years 3 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 9313 times:

Gift bag – content


Lovely Cabin shot


My seat, 12A


Exit Row


Flight information:
Boarding began at 1:08pm after all the speeches. The load was actually very good and lots of folks heading to MVY for the long weekend. Lots of surprise faces when they realize they are on the inaugural flight. The flight went out 90% full – 91 passengers in total. However, we were slightly delayed, as there were two late connecting passengers. Jetblue sort of goes back and forth on waiting for them or not. With the fast flying time of thirty-two minutes and little traffic at JFK, and most importantly, lack of connecting flights for these two passengers, we waited and they finally showed up at 1:45pm, and we closed at 1:51pm, and pushed back shortly. We took off from R/W22R at 2:03pm. Flying time was estimated to be thirty-two minutes and we stayed at 17,000 feet. Express beverage service was offered today (Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite or Water), and choice of snacks – Linden’s chocolate chippers and Cashews, were offered.

Captain Mark Williams made the pre-departure speech


Snack – diet coke and Linden’s chocolate chippers


Descent soon began at 2:21pm. There was a thick layer of cloud over the coast, and I was able to take these two pictures spotting the coast as we prepared to land.


Gear than came down at 2:39pm, and I took this picture showing the reflection of the landing gear, but you could not really see any ground. A thick layer of fog…


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1918 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (3 years 3 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 9304 times:

Soon, the engine spooled up again, and the pilot executed a turnaround. He climbed back to 2000feet and then circled around the coast while talking to the tower. He kept us well informed during the process. He first said that the weather was really poor, and the worst, the glide slope guiding the plane to land decided to go out of order shortly after our departure from JFK. He would talk to the tower and the control center and got a weather update. Then we climbed to 3000feet and then 4000feet. Finally, the pilot came on again and told us that the fog still lingered on and the airport was busy fixing the glide slope. We would divert to Boston Logan for the time being and picking up more fuel before returning to MVY.

Landing at BOS


View of Boston


We landed on R/W27 at 3:16pm and parked at gate C25, Jetblue’s outflowing gate, at 3:22pm. The pilot immediately made an announcement and apologized for the diversion. Without the glide slope and the short runway at MVY, it was hard to land. He also informed us that Cape Air has already delayed all flights to MVY due to the equipment fixed and the fog dissipating. Some passengers decided to deplane and drive there, and Jetblue made all the necessary arrangement. One non-rev passenger decided to return to JFK from BOS, and I decided to ride it out since the crew told me that they were taking the plane back to JFK, and Allison, the Jetblue Communication officer, promised that Jetblue would take care of me, if I were stuck at Martha’s Vineyard. We also were being kept on the plane because we parked at a non-secured gate, which was Jetblue’s surplus gate for parking overnight flights. Since our time at BOS would be short, we had to stay onboard. Both Melissa and Megan served water and snacks, and we had a number of children on board. Thankfully everyone was in good spirits. After communicating with the main office, Allison immediately started a raffle, and offered four pairs of Jetblue roundtrip tickets. It was a good rescue.

Leaving Boston and a couple Jetblue planes
Blueberries


Plaid


Finally at 4:32pm, the door was closed, and we pushed back at 4:35pm. We took off from R/W22R again at 4:50pm. It was a sixteen minutes flight to Martha’s Vineyard with a cruising attitude of 9000feet. Melissa and Megan did a quick trash pickup. Finally Martha’s Vineyard is in sight!

Approaching Martha’s Vineyard


We finally landed on R/W24 at 5:11pm. There was the usual water salute, and Allison also announced that our flights would be comp due to the delay. We would receive an email soon!


Water Salute Canon


Martha’s Vineyard Terminal and ATC tower


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1918 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (3 years 3 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 9291 times:

N309JB at MVY


Martha’s Vineyard ATC tower


Arrival Greeting Area


Martha’s Vineyard Sign


Entrance to Baggage Claim


May 26, 2011
B6 1339 MVY-JFK Lv1505 Arr1608 EMB-190IGW N309JB
I did on line check-in so everything was fine. I went through TSA and it was a very civilized and friendly affair here at MVY. The lounge area was really small and we were not permitted to wait outside even though it looked nice. Boarding finally commenced at 5:40pm, and with a loading of nineteen passengers, it was a relatively quick affair. However the ground crew needed some familiar time with the plane. But they tried to hurry things up, as JFK was pretty busy at this time.

Check in counters – Delta, US Airways, Cape Air and Jetblue are the major carriers serving MVY


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1918 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (3 years 3 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 9285 times:

Gate 1


Boarding time again


Closeup of N309JB at MVY


I love this nose gear shot


Engine – CF34-10E6


Door was closed at 5:56pm and we began our taxi towards R/W24 soon after.
Farewell from Jetblue MVY


Heading to R/W24


User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1918 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (3 years 3 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 9276 times:

We took off at 6:04pm.


Fog was rolling in again


Flying time was forty-four minutes at a cruising attitude of 16,000feet.
With a light load, a full beverage and snack service was offered, and Allison passed out the MVY bags again.

I took a few more cabin shot, since I did not have much chance to take a clean shot in the aft cabin.


Descent began at 6:16pm and we landed on R/W22L at 6:48pm. Allison also made the announcement that every passenger would receive the credit for the flight back, as an apology gesture on this weather delay. We returned to gate 16 at 6:57pm, and the plane would turn back to Boston again in a few hours.

Baggage Claim Carousel 4


Conclusion:
Jetblue is really a good airline and I know inaugural flights always feature the best of the airline, but after a few of them, not all airlines have to do a major launch and need to provide a free buffet and to pass out gift bags. I will give credits for Jetblue to treat these inaugural flights as a majo r event. The Martha’s Vineyard market is a bit lower key, but gives me enough surprise. The delay was unfortunate, as well as the subsequent diversion. Nonetheless, Jetblue keeps passengers well informed, and Allison and the staff did a good job in answer passengers’ concerns and tried to arrange alternative plan. The compensation was unexpected but given the inaugural nature of these flights, and it is an excellent gesture, and most passengers seem to be happy with the option on flying a larger plane with PTV and full beverage and snack service. Maybe it can be a daily year round feature in the future.

I hope you enjoy these double features!

Carfield


User currently offlinemabadia71 From Costa Rica, joined Nov 2008, 76 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (3 years 3 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 9266 times:

Exelent trip report. It gotta be a great experience to be in not one but two inagural flight.


mabadia71
User currently offlinejfk69 From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1418 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (3 years 3 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 9252 times:

Well, I feel Jipped.

I flew the JFK-PIT Inaugural some years back and all we got was some lousy cake.


User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1930 posts, RR: 24
Reply 16, posted (3 years 3 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 8745 times:
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Great report!

How fun to attend these two inaugural flights! The food at JFK prior to the flight to MVY looks really good. What a spread!

Thanks for sharing,

Matthew


User currently offlineJetBlue777 From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 1454 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (3 years 3 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 8596 times:

Wow, great trip report! And yes, the food on the MYV inaugural was pretty generous! Alaska also looks great, it's my wish to be a part of an inaugural flight someday and oh, you're very lucky: 2 Inaugurals, a Go Around, A Diversion and all those goodies! 

The new B6 A320 cabin also looks pretty attractive, gotta love JetBlue!  



It's a cultural thing.
User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8232 posts, RR: 23
Reply 18, posted (3 years 3 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 7704 times:

Hey, I have that moose hat! I used to de-ice airplanes with it on back in the day...


This Website Censors Me
User currently offlineEAL1011 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 18 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (3 years 3 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 7577 times:

Quite simply one of the best TRs that I have ever reviewed.
Awesome photographs and they illustrate the story extremely well.
Congratulations !


User currently offlineeastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 773 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (3 years 3 months 1 day ago) and read 6762 times:

Even if my knowledges are rather limited on both Jetblue and those Cities, you deserve a kudos for this nice report, so many gifts received, and the food buffets were both well stocked

Quoting Carfield (Thread starter):
This trip report will be a bit more picture based, since there is really nothing much to discuss other than it is a great party.

you seemed to have a great time indeed...

many thanks



Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1696 posts, RR: 30
Reply 21, posted (3 years 3 months 21 hours ago) and read 6659 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi Carfield!

A double inaugural, wow, that's impressive! Nice report with lots of party pics, that's how we like it. Sure Jetblue and the airports did a nice effort in presenting their new flights. And their aircraft names are sometimes hilarious   You know, you should maybe team up and do a joint venture with a-netter FlyingFinn76, he is 'the king of inaugurals' in the Scandinavian region  



Bye,
(sulta)Nils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlinecontrails15 From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 1181 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (3 years 3 months 12 hours ago) and read 6475 times:

Your MVY flight was late due to late connects from TPA which came in on gate 17. I should know, it was my flight. To add insult to injury we had a VIP on that TPA flight so lots doing around your gate. When I got home my friend in OPS told me MVY had to divert to BOS. Worst inagural flight we ever had and I'm with the company 9 years. However, you can't predict the wx. They really tried getting your flight down but the fog was insane which is ironic because JFK had horrible fog that same morning. Glad you had a good trip though. I can't wait to go up too ANC.

Fantastic TR report btw.



Giants football!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
User currently offlinesomething From United Kingdom, joined May 2011, 1633 posts, RR: 21
Reply 23, posted (3 years 2 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 6054 times:

Thanks for the picture-heavy post   Love every single bit about it. You Americans sure know how to throw a party. There are also some girls featured in the pictures I sure wouldn't mind getting to know :P Great to get such an exclusive inside view behind the scenes  

But I have a question about B6s interior. Their A320s look super spacious. Apparently they offer 34-38'' pitch. I've never heard of such generosity. What's the reason behind this and will B6 in the future go for the new slim line recaro seats? I know B6 puts their A320s on some very long flights and maybe they can't fill their jets with too many seats to retain the range.. but 38'' pitch in coach? That can hardly be economical.

After seeing this trip report though, I know for my future domestic US travels it's JetBlue or nothing.

Thanks again for posting!



..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
User currently offlineglobalflyer From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 926 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (3 years 2 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 5992 times:

Terrific TR! Wonderful pics. And you got a free ride to BOS!   MVY looks like a great little airport! Thanks for sharing!


Landing on every Continent almost on an annual basis!
25 richierich : Thanks for posting, Carfield! Great photos as always! Given the success of JetBlue's ACK service, the MVY direct from JFK was a no-brainer. It's too b
26 gabrielchew : Well, it certainly looks like Jet Blue can do a decent inaugral party. The seats on the A320 looks really comfy. Thumbs up to Jet BLue for the refunds
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