Just a short inaugural trip report on Jetblue from Tucson to New York JFK
, and unfortunately, there is nothing much to report back. As some of you aware, Jetblue chose to fly in an Airbus A320 earlier that morning and did all their press conferences and festivities at that time. Therefore there is really nothing much to celebrate at night. Unfortunately I need to finish my last UA DEN
flight (to get my 90,000 bonus miles), I can¡¦t change my plan to overnight at Tucson.
September 28, 2006
2330 0715+1 Airbus A320-200 N592JB ¡§American Blue¡¨ Mosaic livery
Well check-in counters are located between Northwest Airlines and America West, and the fully staffed counters opened around 8:15pm. The staff was very cheerful but everyone was not familiar with the kiosks, and one of the staffs asked to observe me when I used to the kiosk. But I did not think he learned much, as I pretty much sped through the process within a minute. Nonetheless, I like the updated IBM kiosk. The ground staff then asked if I was aware that the flight was running an hour late, and I was not aware, but not surprised due to the some weather in the East Coast. Later we found out that JFK
was closed for departure for two hours in the evening due to a front moving in and rain. The airport itself was very quiet at night with only our flight. The main restaurant closed around 9pm and you really could not linger much till 9:30pm. There was a galley area with lots of seating and the CIBO express coffee shops remained open.
Nothing much was happening and then I entered the restricted area, and TSA
was friendly and with no wait. A good point to travel to these secondary airports! Jetblue is the only redeye carrier. There was another CIBO express shop near our gate, gate 3 for Jetblue from now on, and the coffee shops and bar remained open at the further end of the concourse (near gate 8,9,10). I got a cup of tea and then found a spot with Internet connection. I love these Arizonan airports (PHX
and Tucson) with free wifi and very fast connection too.
Around 10pm, the gate agents brought out a large cake ¡V really nice marble cake with raspberry jam and bottles of water, PEPSI, and DIET PEPSI. That was our mini celebration, and there were lots of poster cards reflecting Tucson, a nice desert design with a caravan. The aircraft arrived a bit earlier than the midnight estimation, but as usual, the crew was trying to get used to the aircraft, and things were sort of slow. Boarding began at 12:17am and the ground agents were dealing with boarding passes and scanners. The loading for the first flight was pretty good ¡V not 100% full but I will say a good 70% full. The F/As were pretty cheerful, but service was pretty slow, as they were pretty exhausted after the two hours delay at JFK
, and more delays at Tucson. Door was closed at 12:52am, after two lucky passengers each got a free Jetblue ticket. The F/As performed their demo and then asked passengers to shut their window shades, but strangely, passengers also shut their windows at the exit rows, which the opposite should happen. To me, I was not in a cheerful mode, as my personal TV
was broken at 11D, and thankfully the passenger at the middle seat moved to an aisle seat and therefore I had to watch the TV
It was almost 1am and no activity was going on, and finally the pilot announced that (as many of you had predicted) the main runway was closed at Tucson and we were a bit too heavy for this flight. They were still working on the performance number ¡V either we had to burn off some fuel or we had to offload some cargoes. The door was reopened and at one point, some of the overhead bins were reopened. The passengers did not ask many questions, as they were either sleeping or focusing on the television. I was aware of the closure of the main runway, so I wondered what would happen next. Of course, most passengers closed their windows and I could not peek out and saw if they offloaded any bags. At 1:30am, the door was closed and I guess the problem was resolved. We pushed back seven minutes later, and then taxied towards R/W21. We finally took off at 1:47am, and flying time was four hours and ten minutes with an initial cruising attitude of 35,000feet, and then up to 37,000feet. The routing was a bit unusual for me, a bit more southernly, and then heading towards New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and towards Richmond, Virginia, and then turned NW
towards Atlantic City, the New Jersey coast, and into JFK
There was no shuteye kits passed out, which was disappointing, but there was the hot towelette service prior to arrival. Service was pretty quick, as not many people took part of it. Nonetheless, it remained bizarre to me why it took the F/As 36 minutes before taking beverage orders. The whole service took twenty minutes. I really think F/As should start the beverage service as soon as possible. With the lengthy delay, they could have taken the beverage orders, and I am sure most passengers would appreciate a bottled water prior to sleeping. Around 5:08am, F/As passed out OJ and bottled waters, and then hot towelette. At 8:32am (EST), we began our descent over the New Jersey coast, and landed on R/W31R at 8:57am and parked at gate 21 at 9:02am.
Well in conclusion, I was a bit under-whelmed but this so-called inaugural experience.
1. Festivities all took place earlier at the morning, and for future aviation enthusiasts, please went into the destination a day early especially on these redeye West Coast spots. I personally will not possibly do any more redeye inaugural flights, unless that city had a special meaning to me. I will rather do those medium haul inaugural flights, which were the focus on Jetblue these days anyway.
2. The broken entertainment system and the lack of shuteye amenity kit was a major disappointment. I think Tucson is a pretty West Coast destination.
3. Service was a bit slow, but nonetheless, it was a redeye.
Thanks for reading the report!