This report is from a trip I took for work a few weeks ago. Our job was on a building in Lexington, Virginia, so we flew into Richmond and drove 2.5-ish hours to the jobsite. SLC-JFK-SLC legs were on JetBlue A320s, JFK-RIC-JFK were on ExpressJet E-145s. That said, here goes...
B6 92 2330MST - 0450EST
A320, N563JB Seat 24A
We arrived at SLC around 10PM, which was just enough time to park, catch the shuttle, check in, stop at Quiznos, and hop on board. Overall it was a very nice flight. I was very impressed with the legroom on JetBlue (I'm 6'3 and I could stretch my legs completely), and I loved the whole personal TV/XM radio concept. I'd never been on a plane with IFE before (except for UA's Channel 9, which I also like). The only drawback was that the lady in the row behind me had a dog as her carryon, and it barked for 3 hours of the flight. However, I think JetBlue made a good move by placing her in the back - that way the majority of the plane did not suffer as much as us in the back. There was some decent turbulence over the Great Lakes Area, but other than that the flight was relatively smooth. The blue potato chips really hit the spot, too.
The cabin during boarding:
I slept through the last 90 minutes of the flight and was awoken by touchdown. We taxied for a few minutes and pulled up to "Gate 24" in a rather crappy terminal. There were tiny windows every few yards or so, and not much by the way of food. Of all the terminals I've been in, this one was the worst. JetBlue made it very clear that it was a temporary terminal - their new one had better be nicer.
BTA 6073 0805EST-0945EST
ERJ-145, N16559 seat 18A
I climbed up the airstairs, said hi to the F/A, and hit my head rather gracefully on the ceiling. I'd grown 4 inches since the last time on an E145 - and boy was I feeling it. Eventually I found my seat, again in the back of the plane, next to some JetBlue employees who were chatting about how crappy the E145 was compared to the E190, other random stuff about JetBlue, and F-22s. It was another nice flight - the flight attendant looked like he was 19 but was very friendly.
Some of only pictures I got at JFK, from my window seat:
We lined up on 22R after a short wait and departed through the overcast into blue skies above. After that it was about an hour and we were approaching Richmond:
Photo © Jeff Rodeback
We bounced on landing but it wasn't too bad, taxied to the gate and pulled up next to a United Express E145 in new colors. While deplaning, I asked permission to take a picture of the cockpit. The pilots were extremely friendly, and joked around a bit about my request - I guess nobody had ever asked them for a picture before. Anyway, we chatted a bit and I took my picture, cutting off their faces. I should've paid more attention to the camera, I guess...
We rented a car (van) and drove to Lexington, about 2.5 hours from Richmond. We stayed in this cozy little cabin about 10 minutes from our jobsite.
BTA 6074 1435EST-1350EST
ERJ-145, N16559 seat 3B
After oversleeping by 2 hours (hey, we worked a 20 hour shift the day before) hauling butt back to Richmond, and leaving the cell phone in the rental car, I had about 30 minutes to walk around and take some pictures. RIC was fairly busy, with a DL MD-80 departing right as we arrived and a fairly steady stream of RJs (US, DL, CO, XJ, NW) as well as some GA traffic.
ExpressJet's new colors. I think they look pretty good - I don't really dig that shade of gray, though.
Anyone ever checked a vacuum before? We did! (two of them, for what it's worth...)
A nice little Cirrus:
"Cincinatti: The Jet Hub" (if CVG is the jet hub, what in the world is ATL?!)
I didn't get a window seat on this flight, and I was kinda bummed - especially since the guy across the aisle had the cleanest window I've ever seen and a stunning view of a MaxJet 762 on finals into JFK. I survived, though. The service was good and the seats were comfortable enough to sleep in. Plus the lady seated next to me gave me some Mike & Ikes
These are some pictures from an extended layover in NYC, I hope it's OK if I post them.
Continental Express ERJ rolling on EWR's brand new raised concrete runway (what, you haven't heard?)
This was supposed to be a nice shot comprised of a CO 772 and EWR's two towers - but then we hit a pothole, and a tree came out of nowhere. Hmpf.
On top of the Mormon temple in Manhattan
Me in front (well, more like behind) the bull near Wall Street (seen "Hitch"?)
The "We" I've been referring to throughout the report
A little girl chasing pigeons in Battery Park
The Brooklyn Bridge
B6 87 2022EST-0045MST
A320, N583JB seat 18C
I was able to snap a few decent pictures from the Hertz Rental Car Return garage. Nothing spectacular, but it's stuff we don't get in SLC.
I was rather impressed with the approach these planes were flying, it seemed to be a long, wide circle and then straightening out just prior to the runway. Here in SLC the approach path is basically 15 miles of straight flying. Are there navaids to tell the pilots when/where/how much to turn - or do they have to fly that completely by hand?
We departed out of the crappy terminal again - and after a short taxi we were informed we were #26 for takeoff. That's where those PTVs come in handy - I watched a Nat'l Geographic special on 9/11, which I wish I'd watched before visiting Ground Zero.
The flight to Salt Lake City was smooth and I slept most of the way through it. We landed on 34R and after the smoothest landing I've ever experienced (there wasn't even a bump - I thought the reversers had come on early, it kinda scared me) and a short taxi we pulled up to B6's gates and my trip was over.
Overall I give JetBlue a 4.5 out of 5 - Excellent Legroom and free DirecTV was awesome.
ExpressJet gets a 3.5 out of 5 - friendly people but old planes, they're just not in the same league as the majors. I liked them A LOT more on this trip than I did than when I flew on them for Continental Express, though.
In any case, I hope you enjoyed my report. I'd love to hear feedback/questions/suggestions about it, if you have any.
Thanks for reading