June 10, 2004
B6 173 JFK-SJC Lv1730 Arr2045 Airbus A320-200 N588JB “Hopelessly Devoted to Blue” and Plaid tail
Here is Carfield’s inaugural report on Jetblue’s flight from JFK to San Jose, CA! The ticket costs about $129 including taxes one-way. The inaugural flight was fine, but I was disappointed that there was not any kind of first flight certificate, like the Seattle inaugural flight a few years ago. The F/As were in cheerful mood, but was not as fun as the Seattle crew. I arrived at the airport about two hours prior to departure, and the aircraft, a brand new Airbus A320, was already sitting at Gate 1. I tried to use the machine to check in, but had problems. The security line was rather busy, but got in within fifteen minutes. I went to the “Deep Blue Sushi” for some takeouts. Gate one was in a festive mood and two tables were set up. Various beverages, (no champagne though) and snacks, including blue chips, cupcakes and snack packs were available about an hour prior to departure. The flight was very successful, as the load was about 140pp and only middle seats were left about forty-five minutes prior to departure… announced by the agent. Boarding began at 4:55pm and the aircraft smelled fresh and I headed to my seat, 13C. Soon, the pilot made an announcement about our flying time, which was a long five hours and fifty-five minutes. Her wife was also flying as a flight attendant this evening. Door was closed early at 5:26pm, but we did not push back till 5:32pm. Due to thunderstorm activities in New York, departures were slowed and it took about half an hour before we lifted off from R/W13L at 6:06pm.
Service was standard Jetblue style – beverage and snacks – Blue chips, Doritos’ munchies mix, cookies, biscotti, and almonds after takeoff. The F/As patrolled the cabin a couple times with water bottles, and couple passengers used the call buttons. The F/As cheerfully answered the call, unlike other US major airlines. Direct TV was installed and this aircraft was equipped with the new FOX Inflight movie channels. It is complimentary for now, as it is being tested. Four movies were available – Moulin Rouge, Sound of Music, Princess Bride, and Rocky Horror Show. It was like the classic PTV on other planes, as they played in continuous cycle – not on demand though. In the future, the movies will cost money on all routes, except international flights. Around 10pm, beverage orders were taken, and a snack pack with Oakridge products, such as cheese spread, breadsticks, and butter cookies, were passed out. Throughout the flight, we had to deviate slightly at North Dakota, so descend did not begin till 11:15pm EST.
We landed on Runway 30R at 9:03pm San Jose time with clapping in the cabin. We headed to gate C8 at Terminal one quickly. Prior to entering the gate, two fire engines gave us a traditional water salute and everyone was happy. Due to a new station, it took a while for them to push the stair gates up to the plane. As we deplaned, we were given a San Jose Airport goodies bag, with various hotel and rental services vouchers and various bag tags. Then I headed to the observation deck and watched the flight being prepared and headed back to New York. Despite our late arrival, the plane managed to push back around 10pm. The crowd was definitely more enthusiastic at San Jose.
Well I spotted Airbus A330-300 in the tarmac. If I was correct, he was directing passengers to either the front or aft stairs, and helped passengers carrying stuff on board. Unfortunately, I did not get to meet him this time, but was sure that I could see him at another Jetblue flight in the future. Good luck with the new job!
I stayed overnight at Doubletree San Jose Airport. I used points to redeem a room, and this hotel was pretty dated. It took about forty minutes for the van to arrive, although the hotel was literally five minutes from the airport. I could not stop wonder where the bus driver was. I was not particularly impressed with this particular Doubletree.
June 11, 2004
UA 7154 SJC-LAX Lv1245 Arr1359 CRJ-200 Regional jet N17175 with Mesa paint
Originally, I did not plan to write about this flight, but since I flew all three airlines flying this route, it will be interesting to compare United Express with other two airlines, American Eagle and Southwest. I checked in using the machine, and the flight was rather full this afternoon, due to graduations at the area schools. This flight was operated by Mesa Airlines, and the aircraft arrived from LA around 12:14pm. C2B was our gate this afternoon. Boarding began at 12:40pm and the door was closed at 12:58pm. We took off from Runway 30R at 1:09pm. Flying time was a quick forty-nine minutes. The flight attendant, Don, was pretty nice, but I feel the limited beverage service was bogus. We were offered a choice of water bottles, Pepsi or Diet 7 Up – not even a pretzel. Southwest offers a full beverage service, as well as American Eagle. I did not see how much money United can save, and Don has to run back and forth in the narrow cabin carrying trays of drinks. Will it be easier if she just pushes out the drink trolley like American eagle? This flight costs me $120 one way from SJC to LAX and a RT ticket costs $170RT, and is not really cheap. No wonder everyone flies Southwest Airlines. I highly discourage you from choosing United on this particular route and I will rather fly American Eagle. I feel that United is extremely cheap and will not select United Express again on this route again. I will fly American eagle next time. Give me a break – how much can you save by not a bag of snack mix? 30 cents maybe… Fortunately, Don was smiling during the flight but spent much time explaining to passengers that no diet Pepsi will be offered. Descend began at 1:42pm onto a hazy LA afternoon. We landed on R/W25L at 1:58pm and parked at gate 86 a few minutes lately.
I hope you enjoy this short report!