It was great! Inaugual flights JFK-OAK-JFK-
August 3, 2000
Diamond Tail, N506JB
I left Brooklyn via the B train at 4pm. Changed to the A train at W 4th St, and arrived at the Howard Beach/JFK station at about 545p. I boarded the shuttle bus, which crawled for 5 minutes, then quit in the long-term parking lot. I boarded the substitute bus, and headed to terminal 6. I had visited JFK via the subway/shuttle with a relative 2 days ago, and had introduced myself to the counter agents. I headed directly to the boarding area, and checked in with an agent I met a few days ago. I asked for and received the second exit row window seat. The way she was telling her coworkers about my trip to nowhere was either a) Why the heck is this crazy kid doing b) Wow….I’ve never seen anyone do this before or c) That’s great. I couldn’t tell . JetBlue’s boarding passes reflect their frugality, as they’re just supermarket type receipts. They had the standard information, and a barcode. They were fax-paper type, with and partially machine-torn at the edges to make tearing easier for the agents. Next to the gate, JetBlue (B6) had set up drinks and snacks on the counter. Standard Coke and Crystal Geyser water (8 oz.), plus bagel chip snack mix and milk and cookies were available. I walked over to the zoo at UA’s SFO/LAX area, and explored the rest of T6. The whole terminal smelled like pizza….mmm. I headed back to JetBlue’s wing, and spotted David Neeleman (founder of B6). He was doing some kind of TV spot, walking down and up several times. Delicious deli sandwiches and 20 oz bottles of soda were catered by B6 in honor of our inaugural flight.
Agents announced that there was weather (wx) moving into the area, but that we would board on time, as they were not anticipating a serious delay. Boarding started at 715p, and the agent let me through for pre-boarding. Goodie bags with a T-Shirt, B6 “inaugural west coast” cookie, and 2 postcards, as wells as headphones were passed out as we entered the jetway. The air conditioning air condensed in the cabin, so the cabin was foggy. I got settled in, and the rest of the people boarded. The flight was entirely full. Some people (teens actually) marveled out loud at the PTVs, but were disappointed at the appearance of a credit card slot . As some of you may have known, B6 stopped charging for the PTVs on 7/29 (I think). So Mary Alyce (the F/A making announcements) had to make several announcements telling people that the TVs were free. The ground crew brought aboard leftover sandwiches, and passed them out to passengers. The four F/As secured the cabin for pushback, and the ground crew thanked us for flying B6.
As we were pushing back, a teen (one of the ones oohing and ahhing at the PTVs) stepped up to Spencer (the F/A) during the safety announcement, and told him that “My brother doesn’t want to fly”. These were the same teens who marveled at the PTVs earlier. We headed back to the gate and let the 2 teens off. Most people felt sorry for the pair, especially the older brother, who “reported” the incident to Spencer. Bags were offloaded, with Mary Alyce explaining that people get panic attacks, and to be understanding, etc.
We pushed back again, and sat on the taxi way/apron….and sat…and sat…and sat…for about 3 hours. Apparently, weather had become more severe than they thought, and they had to get flights that were circling down first, then get all the aircraft up in the air. The captain had little to say, except that ATC kept telling us to wait. After nudging forward in the line, we finally took off at about 12am. F/As came around with drinks and bagel chip snack mix. I’m not sure if I heard it correctly, but I think they were charging for tea and coffee?! I was half asleep when we landed, so I can’t remember what time exactly we landed, but it was late…
August 4, 2000
Diamond Tail, N506JB
Deplaned, and headed to the ticket counter to get my boarding pass. Apparently, the computer had failed during the check in process hours ago, so half of the people had computer issued boarding passes, while others had paper/hand written ones. The agent seemed confused, but gave me the same seat, 12F. I made a few phone calls and boarded the A320. Goodie bags were again handed out. As I was getting settled in, a man came to my row…with the same seat assignment as me. His seat was computer issued, and I guess the gate agent just put the same seat as I had before, to make it easier for him. (Interesting, as I had reserved 6D online). With this flight being pretty full, the guy had to take the empty middle seat. Luckily for us, it was an exit row. Takeoff was quick (not much traffic at 3AM), and we set course for JFK. F/As requested that shades be pulled down, as daylight would appear soon, and if sleeping with a blanket, to fasten the seatbelt around yourself (as opposed to under the blanket) so they wouldn’t have to awaken you if the seat belt sign was turned on. One note about the lavatories- the floor had a tile design on it…a nice change from the standard gray. Service was the same on this flight, and landing was smooth. Arrival gate was gate 15. I thanked the F/As for the great job they did, and headed to the Howard Beach station for the 2 hour ride “home”.
Note on JetBlue- The seats were all leather, very comfortable, and equipped with PTVs. I emailed JetBlue regarding the 4 hour delay and they responded-
Thank you for your email, and thank you for taking the time to write us again about your JetBlue flight. At JetBlue we make every possible effort to operate on schedule. However, once in a while, inclement weather makes it necessary to delay flights. As always, our foremost consideration in these cases is the safety of our passengers. We sincerely regret that we were unable to operate your flight as
scheduled. Please accept our apology for the inconvenience it caused you. We were on a "wheels up" alert that evening at JFK, meaning we were waiting in line on the runway for departure clearance that can be given at any time. To return to the gate would have meant losing our place in line among all the aircraft waiting for a break in the weather, and an even longer delay. We value your patronage and look forward to future opportunities to serve you without incident. Thank you for your patience and understanding regarding this matter.
Hope all your skies are JetBlue!
-JetBlue Customer Commitment Crew