After what I thought would be the never ending school day, I arrived home, and after an hour home, departed for the airport. I was very pumped for my first flight in over a year, and my first of 4-6 this calender year!
We pulled up to the parking deck...long term was full....we then continued past the tower lot (full), park and save lot (full), and holiday lot (full)...we arrived at the holiday EXTENTION lot, finally, and, after paying $6, we took our shuttle bus to the terminal. There were many upset people on our bus, including someone who usually got their car valet and waxed while on his trip...however, the VALET lot was full, so he was stuck with us. I heard that it is like this every week, so next time I'm taking a car service.
We arrived at the terminal and went up 2 escallators, past the Continental Airlnes and Northwest Airlines ticket desks, to the jetBlue ticket desk...here was our conversation:
Agent:With a smile: "What time is you flight?"
Agent: "Oh, your going to LaGuardia...thats a very popular flight, they've been full since the start...seems like you've been waiting for us there! You're leaving from gete B8..."
Agent 2: "B concourse is closed, power outage!"
I'm thinking..."oh ______! What is going to happen?"
So, after checking our bag, we WALKED down the "escalator" to a dark security line. no flight boards, no plasma screens, no nothing...except for this annoying tropical bird music and a lot of screaming. They called for passengers for the USA3000 flight...not many people were man enough to step foward for that one...then a couple of WN flights and B6 378 which was the flight before ours. That helped the line move and would would have been an hour plus wait was only 25-30 mins. Note: The screening machines were working fine throughout the power outage. I'd just like to give a little shoutout to the TSA agents, Southwest employees, Broward County employees, jetBlue employees, and USA 3000 employees for their professionalism in dealing with the situation and for getting us all through with only a few people inconvinenced.
Then, we proceeded through concourse B as the power came on. Silly me thought that gate B8 was the first gate, so boy was I suprised to see the BWI flight leaving from there...and then a TPA flight leaving from the other B9. I finally found the REAL B8, and proceeded just as B6 378 was departing (20 mins late)...I could not get a reg # on it, sorry. I like B concourse, and look foward to exploring it furter on my flight to JAX in November, hopefully without power outages!
I saw a few planes with SW tail numbers and a few with WN tail numbers....a gate or 2 over was this suprise, though:
Photo © 737doctor
I don't know if it was this one or the other 733, but it was the 733 version.
Then, I found a seat near the front of the gate, facing where the cockpit would be, and saw a few southwest planes pass...including one that actually had its final boarding call before we boarded! Then I got to see one of jetBlue's newer planes: Hopelessly Dreaming in Blue:
NO PHOTO AVAILABLE!
SCH DEP FLL 6:30pm
ACT BOARD: 6:30pm
ACT DEPARTURE: about 7pm
SCH ARR: 9:30pm
ACT ARR: 9:23pm
The plane arrived at our boarding time...6pm, but I felt some sympathy as half the plane wasn't there yet, anyway. Deplaned from jetway and airstairs.
Then, 1 gate agent walked on board with a mini vaccum! I thought it was funny, but it does save money.
Boarding began at 6:30pm from gate B8...the supervisor was also making announcements at B9 for passengers in the back rows...it turns out that this dual boarding system works well... my row was called to board on the airstairs (3rd group to be called) while we were still preboarding the front cabin! I grabbed my headphones, and sat down...The FLL ground crew came on and thanked u for flying jetBlue...nice touch!...they made sure everyone sat down quicky (my dad compared it to the subway!) and pushed back. To my pleasure, the safety presentation was done in my row...however, the lady seemed so disinterested in it! She seemed like she hated it...come on, service with a smile??? Good thing I never saw her again! We had one other female FA (making the announcemnets and nothing special there...just by the book.) and 2 male FA's. The 2 male FA's (one of which seemed more like a businessman and seemed like he belonged in the leather seats watching CNBC) were much more professional then that woman. How come they don't put a safety video on the screens?
As we taxied out, I noticed that there was plenty of room at C concourse...they could have moved us over if there was going to be a problem.
Captain announced that we were #3 for takeoff and for FA's (excuse me, cabin crew members) to take their positions...and one of the male FA's ran down the aisle...and the FA on intercom said "Run Forest, Run!" I think I was one of the few who caught it as the DirecTV was already on, but I was laughing at that one with the FA who passed us right as the joke was told! I think it is that kind of FA relationship and humor that makes the service that much better, and the smile that more genuine!
We made our steep takeoff on 13 and banked a little and, while the rest of the plane lost signal, I enjoyed my airshow! The Airshow was my friend this flight! Reached 10,000 feet and the usual electronic devie announcement was made. Shortly thereafter, drinks were served. For the first time, the FA (one of the male FA's, not the CNBC guy) actually came and took our drink orders and delieverd them with a cup of ice in soem tray. We got the full can, and even got to open it oursleves, whenever we wanted. I was hoping for a second drink service, but only got one...btw, my drink of choice was orange juice (which was OK at best).
Deep into my Wings marathon, we reached 39000 feet, our crusing altitude and were served our snacks. I opted for Blue Chips which were pretty good, actually.
I then made a stop to the lavatory, and guess who I see...little miss lets put on makeup while I make my two men do the serving. These poor guys kept coming back for more stuff while she was putting on blush! Oh well, there will always be that one, I guess. I was suprised that in th lavatory was soap...and it smelled! Thats a plus from a LCC!
Around Washington DC, I tuned to Dateline NBC and ESPN2 and we made our LONG decent down... I was treated to a MAGNIFICANT view of...New Jersey...serves me right for booking the wrong side of the plane on the 1 nice night of the year! We came around and with flaps at full, landed on 13 and did not use thrust reverse or anything! The A320 was a great airplane from takeoff to touchdown (one of my best touchdowns!) My only complaint was the seat pitch...TOO MUCH (that's right, TOO MUCH)...I couldn't seem to find the back of the seat! Also, the windows were small, but with the DirecTV, it was bearable.
We taxied toward the gate and held while the (LATE) flight to FLL, which I had seen taxi FROM FLL hours before, was on its way out. We taxied to gate A2 next to an Air Canada 757(?...I was tired at that point!)The LGA grounds crew came on and thanked us for flying jetBlue, a nice touch that complimented their announcment at FLL. Unfortunantly, we couldn't use airstairs, but we still deplained quickly.
We then passed CO's sizeable operation at LGA...although, two flights were going to departing across from each other to IAH...confusing! Bags did get out in 15 minutes, and we headed for Avis and began our vacation/college visit.
Parking: 0/10: it pissed us off!
FLL customer serivice: 12/10...10 +2 points for unforseen circumstances
TSA: 12/10: see above
Concourse B in general: 5/10...lacking a lot, plus Cheeburger Cheeburger was out of Cheeburgers!
Plane: 8/10.spotless, but for some reason, I kept having to lean foward. I'd give it a 7, but, hey...its leather and it has DirecTV plus FOXinFlight!
food: 5/10...it was ok at best...we'll see tomorrow
cabin crew: 8/10...sorry, but ladies putting makeup does not qualify for 10/10!
LGA customer service crew crew: 10/10...The last flight left...they could have gone home like Air Canada and CO's crews!
LGA Airport: 10/10...very nice
Rent a car: 4/10...terrible driver, plus couldn't find car!
1) does jetBlue handle their ground by themselves at LGA? If yes, does that save money?
2) why was the TSA there even though the last flight departed? When do they leave?
Final note: FoxInFlight begins to cost $ in NOV! Look for part 2 tomorrow!