I hope you enjoyed my previous post. I will now continue with my travel from MBJ to FLL. I thought being home would have been more fun, but to my surprise I felt as if I were in a strange land. I miss going to the clubs with my multi- cultural friends and sharing our experiences. One thing that did not change was my love of aeroplanes and on a windy Sunday afternoon I decided to do some spotting at my favourite spot at Dead End Beach. Dead End Beach is similar to Maho Beach as the aircrafts are in close proximity and what is more fun than having Jamaican rum, sitting under a coconut tree on the beach and taking wonderful pics, while surrounded by warm Jamaiacn people. On this particular day there was a heavy crosswind and it was amazing to see how pilots battled the winds on short final.
Jan 21, 2007
Spirit Airlines- 268
ETD 15:50. actuall 15:50.
ETA 17:20, actual 17:15
I have uploaded pics that are clear.
Finally after two years from home I was on my way to evaluate the work that was done on the recenty refurbished Donald Sangster International Airport.It is now a managed and owned by a Spanish entity and now boasts16 jet bridge. My first impression when I enetered the area was that of an attempt by The Government of Jamaica to meet International operating standards, as to the hidden eye there are over 200CC cameras installed in the airport. It was 2pm and the airport was relatively empty as only US, NW,NK, AA, UA, DL. Skyservice and MY Travel had flights departing within the next two hours. JM has the hub time in the afternnon between 4pm and 6pm. I struggled with my bags to the NK check-in area and the friendly agent quickly processed my documents as I had already pre assigned my seat 23F.
Proceeded to do an outside tour of the facility especially the holding room where drug mules are often processed, before being taken to jail. The arrival area recently opened in preparations for The World Cupo f Cricket and was amazed at how far to the road they had built the new terminal. Impressive design and the concept was of a user friendly hub. Being thirsty I purchased a tropical fruit punch and headed to the security clearance, where only ticketed individuals are prohibitted. After being X rayed I went to passport control and I was on my way to the brand new terminal building. I wished I had the chance to take more photos in the terminal but it is not allowed as most Jamaicans are sensitive when it comes to their photos being taken. The existing terminal handles most of JM flights and was quite empty as it was only 2:30pm. In the new terminal I saw DL B767, US A320, UA A320, MY A330, NK 319 and 3 A320s for NW. The new terminal has more of a commercial Caribbean market place as you have restaurants and shops and with views of the ocean you feel as if you would like to be there all day. Strolled to my gate and waited for the boarding announcement. Spirit Airlines has a ground time of 2:20 mins. Most crews on these layovers would either do Duty Free shopping or eat in the resatuarant.
At 15:00 boarding announcement was made by the single gate agent and I was the second to board due to my seat being in the rear of the aircraft, one last security check and down the gate bridge and onto NK BabyBus. Was greeted by a Jamaican purser with her patios (lol) local dialect. This bus is small, but the grey leather seat gives the cabin a light air feel to it. Found my seat and was met by a typical grumpy FA who stood there without acknowledging my presence ( first impressions last). For those that have been on NK 319, the galley or the mini galley is incapable of serving transcon flights. I hope they plan to use specially configured A319 on flights to POS an there is no room for storage and it is only a few feet from the lavatory. Judging my the load the flight was 95% full in economy. NK has three crew members on this flight with the purser in Spirit plus and the other two in econ. Our PF was a big boned Texan who had the warmest smile. Doors were closed at 15:43 and we pushed backed shortly after. The area we parked was actaully a swamp and to see the work they did with it is a marvel. t
Taxied to runway 7 and passed a TampaCargo B767. Entered the active runway after the JM321 and off we went.
One thing I like in MBJ is the view you have of the turquoise Caribbean sea and the waves rushing ahead of each other.
Took a left turn and headed north for our 1 hour and 15 mins flight to FLL. It was cloudy and bumpy and still we had wondeful view. NK is a LCC and bevergae was complimentary on my flight, this has been recently changed and all items onboard are BOB. The service was typical of what you would expect on a flight with dis-interested crew members.
I filmed the service and it was nothing to write home about!, we flew north of Havana, To Andros Island then onto FLL vectors. During descent the spoilers were used to reduce speed, we flew along the coast of FLL then headed west, where we turned on finals at over The Everglades National Park for runway 9.
Touchdown was at 5:15pm and this was the smoothest experience to date. Taxied to the gate and there was a 10 minutes delay as another aircraft was at the gate. I am happy with NK's ambitious growth, but with international flights arriving so close to each other, it causes havoc at immigration and inconvenience for passengers as the line to immigration ended at the aircraft door and to make matters worse we stood in line for one hour. To my dismay had an oppurtunity with immigration regarding my trip to Dubai and was interrogated for 30 mins before I was released.
Spirit has a fine product and cheap fares, I would definately choose them for future travel.