flyCMH
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JetBlue Inaugural Flight From CMH (Very Detailed)

Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:29 am

With JetBlue coming in to my hometown of Columbus in October and the $39 introductary fares that came along with it, I decided to check out the "JetBlue Experience" for myself, and booked a ticket for their first flight out of Columbus this past Tuesday.

03 Oct 2006
JetBlue Airways Flight 1094
CMH-JFK Embraer 190
N190JB Luiz F. Kahn "Mosaic" Tail
ETD: 11:55AM / ATD: 11:55AM


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Photo © Anthony Russo



I arrived at Port Columbus at 10:20AM, and made my way over to the JetBlue counters at the northernmost end of the departure hall. JetBlue's counter setup at CMH includes 3 positions: 2 sets of 2 IBM kiosks with 1 employee workstation on the back of each, and then two standard check-in desk positions. The kiosks were definitely very eye-catching and user-friendly, and within moments I had my boarding pass, which was printed on a flimsy, almost receipt-like paper. The security checkpoint for Concourse C, where JetBlue operates, is only a few steps away from their counter. Within 5 minutes, I was through and I made my way to C50, where a large contingent of people had gathered for the press conference heralding JetBlue's arrival into Columbus.

The gate area was a buzz of activity. Three large posters with various blue animals, such as hyacint macaw parrots, exclaiming "Columbus Goes Wild for JetBlue" were set up in front of the boarding area, where a podium was flanked by blue and white balloons, as well as two red, giant balloon apples. A human statue of The Statue of Liberty posed close to the gate podium, holding in his hand an orange wand instead of a torch. A table had been set up along the windows with a complete selection of JetBlue's trademark snack selection. Outside, N190JB glissened in the late morning sun. Special guests included representatives from the City of Columbus and JetBlue Airways, but probably the most entertaining speaker was Jack Hanna, Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and famed talk show guest, who brought several animals to go along with the "Columbus Goes Wild for JetBlue" theme, including a merecat, and a set of penguins.

After the media event, which included a quick tour of the aircraft, the excited local JetBlue crew began boarding procedures, one of which I worked with at Independence Air and another with whom I attended Ohio State, and is a fellow a.net forumer. The load was light but admirable for the first flight from a new station, with 56 people manifested for the flight including a friend and colleague of mine from my days at both America West and Independence Air. After pre-boarding, general boarding for all passengers was called, and, after helping myself to a free set of headphones, I made my way down the jetway. I was greeted with a smile by one of out inflight crewmembers (whose name escapes me right now), and made my way to seat 18A, a window seat on the left-hand side of the plane.

First impressions were very favorable. The aircraft was immaculate; very clean and spacious. JetBlue's leather seats on the 190s are exceptionally comfortable, and seem to have a higher back and better cushioning than the 170s I have flown on. The 34" pitch was certainly noticeably. I stand at 5'11", and was able to comfortably cross my legs. And, of course, I had my very own DirecTV screen in front of me, along with 100 channels of satellite radio to keep me occupied through the flight. Though during boarding, taxi, and takeoff, the system only showed a Mapquest version of Airshow, displaying our current position, and random JetBlue messages, such as "You look cute...in leather" and "We're an airline with vision...Television."

As boarding drew to a close, our captain presented himself at the front of the cabin and detailed our course to JFK for today, which would take us over northern Pennsylvania, across New Jersey, and into New York, with a view of Manhattan as we approach JFK. There seemed to be a bit of confusion as to whether a passenger booked on the flight had made it onboard, but doors closed were closed shortly after and we pushed back right on time. The safety briefing was performed by our two inflight crewmembers along with a pre-recorded voiceover of the safety features of our E-190. The taxiways on runway 28R are undergoing resurfacing, forcing its closure, so all arrivals and departures were to use runways 28L, including ours. We were first in line for takeoff, which turned out to be incredible, definitely rivaling that of my favorite aircraft, the 757-200. The plane literally shot off the ground and climbed like a rocket. We were afforded a fantastic view of downtown Columbus before turning north towards Cleveland. At that time, the DirecTV and XM radio was activated.

Other than for gazing out the window and talking with the flight attendants about JetBlue and the airline industry, I spent most of the duration of the flight flipping through the endless array of audio and video channels made available. I don't think it is humanly possible to be bored on that aircraft. A little bit into the flight, our drink orders were taken. Our inflight team was very busy throughout the flight, whisking up and down the aisles with trays of drink orders, very personalized service. Baskets arranged with JetBlue's variety of snacks were also served, including Terra Blue Potato Chips, biscotti, chocolate chip cookies, cashews, and a Doritos-Cheetos-Pretzels snack mix. I chose a ginger ale and received the entire can, along with the potato chips (which were very good, surprisingly, as I'm not a big fan of potato chips, but I had to try them), and the Doritos mix.

There were a few chops above northwestern Pennsylvania, but for the most part the flight was incredibly smooth and comfortable. In what seemed like no time, we began our descent into the New York City area. Before our descent, however, one of the JetBlue directors from the press conference came to the front of the plane to do a raffle for 2 free tickets anywhere JetBlue flies. The lucky winners were chosen by picking a seat row number, then a seat letter. The winners were seated several rows in front of me, but it was certainly a nice gesture for the inaugural flight. As we approached JFK, the view of Manhattan promised at the beginning of the flight was fulfilled, and we received a spectacular view of Midtown and Central Park during our descent. The approach then took us out over the Atlantic and back towards the airport, lining us up for runway 31R. The landing was smooth and our inflight crew welcomed us to New York. We taxied only for a few moments, and pulled up to gate 17. JetBlue’s Terminal 6 was pretty busy for a Tuesday. The terminal itself is very reminiscent of Las Vegas’ Concourse A/B, but the latter is in better shape. Though, the progress on JetBlue’s new Terminal 5 is coming along nicely and I’m sure will be vast improvement over Terminal 6.

Overall, the "JetBlue Experiece" did not disappoint. The service on the ground and in the air was top-notch, and at an unbeatable price. The E-190 has also secured a spot on my list of favorite aircraft. Here's hoping JetBlue does well in the Columbus market, it's definitely a pleasure to have them here.
 
PlaneHunter
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Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: JetBlue Inaugural Flight From CMH (Very Detailed)

Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:45 am

Very interesting report, thanks for sharing.

Quoting FlyCMH (Thread starter):
Though during boarding, taxi, and takeoff, the system only showed a Mapquest version of Airshow, displaying our current position, and random JetBlue messages, such as "You look cute...in leather" and "We're an airline with vision...Television."

Is it possible to listen to a radio channel while watching the airshow?

Quoting FlyCMH (Thread starter):
I chose a ginger ale and received the entire can, along with the potato chips (which were very good, surprisingly, as I'm not a big fan of potato chips, but I had to try them)

Exactly my thought when I tried the blue chips for the first time!

Quoting FlyCMH (Thread starter):
Overall, the "JetBlue Experiece" did not disappoint. The service on the ground and in the air was top-notch, and at an unbeatable price.

Good to hear they keep their high service standard.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
JetBlueAUS
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RE: JetBlue Inaugural Flight From CMH (Very Detailed)

Fri Oct 06, 2006 6:38 am

Glad to had a great time on JetBlue! Great Trip Report!
Not all of us can be heroes, some of us can only stand on the sidewalk and clap as they go by.
 
buck3y3nut
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RE: JetBlue Inaugural Flight From CMH (Very Detailed)

Fri Oct 06, 2006 6:41 am

Great TR. I can't wait to try them out Dec. 6 when I fly to JFK  Smile
 
bluejackets
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RE: JetBlue Inaugural Flight From CMH (Very Detailed)

Fri Oct 06, 2006 7:28 am

Thanks Jose, this is just what I was looking for after not being able to be there. I'm actually pretty surprised the flight wasn't fuller for the inaugural segment. What a treat it must have been to take in a company press conference and celebration at CMH.
It's funny when I tell people I love planes and they think I'm weird.
 
flyCMH
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RE: JetBlue Inaugural Flight From CMH (Very Detailed)

Fri Oct 06, 2006 10:06 am

Quote:
Is it possible to listen to a radio channel while watching the airshow?

Technically it isn't, since the playlists and radio channels are displayed on the screen. However, since there was no one seated next to me, I could watch the airshow on the monitor in the seat next to mine, while I listened to the radio.
 
david21487
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RE: JetBlue Inaugural Flight From CMH (Very Detailed)

Fri Oct 06, 2006 10:27 am

Sounds great. I'm glad you enjoyed the experience. I work next to the JetBlue counter at Delta and I was off on that Tuesday. I was going to non-rev out to New York just for that day and then buy one of those cheap $39 JetBlue fairs to get back home later in the evening, but unfortunately I was unable to do so.
-- Step! Jump! Slide! --
 
DeltaRules
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RE: JetBlue Inaugural Flight From CMH (Very Detailed)

Sat Oct 07, 2006 12:01 am

Nice report FlyCMH. Glad that somebody from CMH from A.net was on that flight, as I was interested to see how it went.

I'm looking forward to seeing how JetBlue does at CMH. I've always wanted to try JetBlue out. I wanted to go on the same flight you were on & then return later in the day, but wasn't able to due to my college schedule.  

DeltaRules

[Edited 2006-10-06 17:02:03]
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flynlr
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RE: JetBlue Inaugural Flight From CMH (Very Detailed)

Mon Oct 09, 2006 5:34 pm

reminds me of my 1st jet blue flight .

I was watching the worldcup on the IFE and needed about 20 mins
more to finish the game . damm we needed a delay!,

nice TR
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WMUPilot
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RE: JetBlue Inaugural Flight From CMH (Very Detailed)

Sat Oct 14, 2006 11:57 am

Quoting Flynlr (Reply 8):
reminds me of my 1st jet blue flight .

I was watching the worldcup on the IFE and needed about 20 mins
more to finish the game . damm we needed a delay!,

nice TR

I actually had a flight that landed into BOS the other day and the Yankee's where in the 9th inning of game 3 with the Tigers, I believe we had some 15 people request to stay on to see the last inning, since the plane wasn't leaving for 2 hours we let them. Fortunatly the Tigers won  Smile
JetBlue - Bringing humanity back to air travel
 
buck3y3nut
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RE: JetBlue Inaugural Flight From CMH (Very Detailed)

Sat Oct 14, 2006 12:47 pm

for the OP,
which seat did you have on this flight? I have the exit row requested (i believe is 14A). Is that a comfy seat? I mean does it recline. not that i would need it for 2 hours, but just wondering  Smile
 
September11
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RE: JetBlue Inaugural Flight From CMH (Very Detailed)

Wed Oct 18, 2006 12:12 pm

I just read this. What an adventure. I was at work when jetBlue's inaugural service to CMH began --- that day, jetBlue, in a public advertising effort, displayed airplane-shaped "jetBlue" blimp in downtown Columbus. I hope jetBlue will continue to operate out of CMH for years to come.
Airliners.net of the Future
 
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TVNWZ
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RE: JetBlue Inaugural Flight From CMH (Very Detailed)

Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:34 am

I have yet to fly on a 170 or 190. What are the seats like specifically? Are they in line with 737 seats or RJ/ERJ seats width and comfort wise? And is the overall experience like an RJ/ERJ or more like a mainline aircraft?
 
WMUPilot
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RE: JetBlue Inaugural Flight From CMH (Very Detailed)

Fri Oct 20, 2006 2:34 am

The 190 is extremely comfortable! 2 by 2 leather seating, 34" seat pitch, and is by no measure a RJ! You have a full cabin and can easily stand!
JetBlue - Bringing humanity back to air travel
 
buck3y3nut
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RE: JetBlue Inaugural Flight From CMH (Very Detailed)

Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:28 pm

Actually I have 12A. It's the exit row with most amount of leg room. That seat has a 36" pitch according to Jetblue...  Smile
Not bad for a short 1 hr hop to JFK...

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