New York (JFK
) to San Francisco (SFO
Airbus A320 N529JB "Ole Blue Eyes"
Scheduled departure time was 6PM so I arrived at JFK
around 4:30. I took the A Train from my home in Brooklyn Heights to Howard Beach and then the Air Train to Terminal 5/6 which took about an hour. The train station is in between Terminals 5 & 6 and the passageway to 6 was closed off. It seemed like a rather long walk, but there was a good view of the old TWA Terminal Building. When approaching the escalator at the end of the bridge you see a huge check in area with tons and tons of self check-in kiosks. I attempted to check in using my TrueBlue Username/Password but the computer kept timing out and didn't work (the same thing happened on the return trip so I don't know what the deal is with that). I retrieved my boarding pass which was printed on a thin piece of paper and proceeded to the bag drop desk. There was a short line for it, but it moved quickly... I walked up to the desk and handed the girl my boarding pass. She scanned it and my baggage tags printed and within seconds my bags were on the belt, claim sticker on my boarding pass, and the girl directed me towards the security line. Very fast and efficient check in process, took maybe 5 minutes.
I was through security in maybe 10 minutes with just a short line. The new terminal is amazing! Tons of shops and places to eat and a really nice layout. I walked up and down for a while and loved the lounge area with comfy seats and a nice viewing area of the runway. I heard an automated announcement that my gate was changed so I went to the new gate. The automated announcement system read the change like 10 times although I'm sure of course some people still didn't hear it. Pre-Boarding began right on time and quickly moved to the back rows... I was in seat 24F.
I definitely love the A320. Before recently moving to NYC I always flew on Southwest and 737s and the A320 is by far much more spacious and comfortable. The seats were nice and I had tons of leg room. I could tell this aircraft was probably one of the older ones, but it was in great condition and very very clean. Boarding seemed to go very fast. The captain came on and introduced himself and the flight crew and said that we had a 40 minute taxi time built in but thanks to one of the passengers who was friends with someone in JFK
Tower, we might be able to get off sooner. There were 4 male flight attendants which I thought was odd.... I knew that they had cutback to just 3 and on the return flight there were only 3 so I'm not sure why there were 4 on this leg unless one was training or something. The flight was 100% full and the F/As were busy walking up and down assisting passengers with their carryons and trying to get everyone seated as quickly as possible.
We pushed back right on time and although I noticed before departures were going off of 31L - we taxied to 22L.. held for a minute or two and took off within 10 minutes of leaving the gate which was amazing (on climbout I saw the long line of planes waiting for 31L). We banked to the left and circled around and headed up north over the sound. The usual JetBlue service commenced with drinks (full can) and the snack basket. I got Dunkin Donuts coffee which was fresh and tasty. Compared to Southwest they definitely get around the cabin A LOT faster. I remember flying WN
and how it took over an hour just to get a quarter cup of ginger ale.... they definitely had drinks and snacks out to everyone within the first 30 minutes of the flight. Unlike some airlines where they come around several times during the flight, there was only one drink/snack service and after that they just sat back and answered the F/A Call buttons... but they were very accommodating and I think most people would prefer that over being disturbed especially on a night flight. The F/As weren't overly friendly like some JetBlue crewmembers.... but they did their jobs very well and it was a very pleasant experience. The Live TV
system worked great... although some channels weren't available.
Within a few hours the captain came on and said we would be beginning our decent into the Bay Area. Flight Attendants came around to collect garbage since "one of the ways JetBlue remains efficient and keeps cost down is by preparing the aircraft for it's next departure while still in the air". We came in for a smooth approach and landing on 28L... I'm not sure if it's JetBlue Operating Procedure or just the A320 that doesn't use reverse thrust on landing... but it was all very smooth opposed to my experiences on WN
737s (smash down, full reverse thrust, turn off first taxiway). It was about a 15 minute taxi to the international terminal, and then it was over. Bags were already on the belt when I got there which was a pleasant surprise because I was TIRED.
Overall - I really love JetBlue. Sure they don't have mood lighting and game consoles and stuff.... but they're a simple, quality, and professional airline that met my needs and got me there comfortably.