New JetBlue terminal at JFK

 Travel  Comments Off on New JetBlue terminal at JFK
Mar 082009
 

This week I traveled to Orange County, San Diego and Hollywood for both business and a weekend of relief from the sub 40 degree weather. I selected JetBlue to get one last continental flight so I could get enough points for another free flight. I hadn’t flown the young “hip” Blue in quite a few months and this time was taken to Terminal 5 at JFK, the new US hub for JetBlue travel.

T5, the $743 million, 72-acre structure replaces the airline’s previous home in Terminal 6 — the former National Airlines and TWA facility. At the Arrivals terminal drop off, I was treated to a vacant warehouse wall of self promotion and 4 obnoxious round about revolving doors, that just plain don’t work. I with 3 others, struggled with baggage to slowly push around the doors to just enter the terminal – by far the worst engineering design of the terminal. At least those on the departure level had propped open the exit doors to escape comfortably.

The aesthetics are supposed to be white and minimal, with the traditional blue accents around. I didn’t have a whole lot of time to explore the terminal as I ran a bit late helping an old lady get her 6 bags through the revolving door and to check in. Security was fairly quick except for the idiot first time travelers: one that forgets to take his cell phone out of his pocket, one who would not put their bags on the security conveyor until explicitly told to by an also ticked off TSA screener, and the mother of two babies with strollers and too much unchecked bags.

The terminal boasts several food and bar spots (menus listed for all clearly just as you enter the main terminal after security – pic above), with stores that include: Lacoste, Muji, Ron Jon Surf Shop, Duty Free, and Borders. Free wifi has always been one of the biggest pulls for me to fly jetblue (except for the Oakland terminal) but this terminal also includes some laptop workstations with power outlets. Competitors should take note, as if there’s a difference in flight cost by at most 25, I’ll still take the Blue.

I found the terminal to be quite loud despite not having a lot of traffic, and quite inconvenient to get around from entrance to gate. That being said, I look forward to flying out of here again provided the side to the revolving door is open.

The flight back from Long Beach, CA over the rockies:

JetBlue’s gonna drop the Pressure

 Music, Nightlife, Society  Comments Off on JetBlue’s gonna drop the Pressure
Sep 282006
 

I’m early at JFK which these days is a fact of air travel because of the time discrepency every trip through airport security can present it self. I walked through the line quicker than I ever have but of course this round, I checked everything except my laptop. As I walked into the JetBlue terminal, I hear cheesy trance filling the open areas. Finding an open stool at the Deep Blue Sushi bar in the terminal, its apparent to me it’s the bartender’s iPod choice in music and from look, impression and music, I gather she’s a frequenter of the Jersey shore and South Beach, Miami… (I can say that because I find out later its the truth).

As I’m enjoying the free wifi, writing this post, and sippin on a level-n-cran the next track drops – “Motherfuckers gonna drop the pressure!” repeats the vocal over the Stanton Warrior’s Remix of Mylo’s “drop the pressure” (the best mix of this track in my opinion). My first thought is, nice ok the bartender has a smidgen of taste. Then I’m thinking is the sushi bar crowd and even the rest of the terminal concerned about “muthafuckas” too… I look around and no. It’s now obvious to me that the repetative boring trance has put all the awaiting passengers into a lull and they don’t notice 1) the infectious beat and 2) the plethora of “muthafuckas” shouting through the terminal. Or is it 3) this is JFK in New York the most forward thinking and international city in the states – there’s nothing that should be of concern here.

I’d like to believe its three and that some how some way this mentality could spread to the rest of this country… I can dream I guess

The video:

The Terminal

 Travel  Comments Off on The Terminal
Jul 142006
 

Every 15 minutes another half hour customer call… backing up and over loading my voicemail. The constant 2nd line beeps and stress was mounting as I struggle to handle the volume of inbound requests. I had a “hard stop” at 3:30 and scooped all my gear into the computer back in one grasp. Spiraling down the staircase, holding a bag of chips n salsa from lunch, my work gear in the other, I rushed to met my girl and catch a train for my “secret” trip to the bay area…

This was the surprise trip home I had set up months in advance with her friends back in San Jose and her mile stone birthday, 25. Coordinating a get-together with her friends, and with most groups is a pain but making sure everyone’s in town, getting them all to be in the same spot in one time and just participating in the coordination is a nightmare. After a while, I passed the baton to one of her good friends and just made the commitment I would get her to the party. The surprise of course never materialized at the airport terminal like I had planned, mark that one up to her constant picking and nagging like a child in Toys R US weeks before Christmas.

Sprinting home in 85 degree heat, 95% humidity and flash thunderstorms, I’m taking on water more from my over extended pores than the deepening sidewalk puddles. I’m cold-blooded and 85 in California can make me sweat but today I was losing 4 lbs. before making it to the 6 floor walk up.

I always forget a few things in such a rush but I know we remembered the essentials and headed down to the A train, our destination was JFK via Howard Beach Airtrain. She kept looking at me saying “we should have taken a cab” but my legacy KC watch said 4:30 and we had plenty of time to make it to the gate. We were riding the express A train through Brooklyn and I over heard someone comment “this train is like a refugee shuttle”… I’ve never experienced a camp personally but if it’s like having a full mix of different sized, colored, and strongly smelling people sardined into one car for 45 min then this is just like immigration.

We got to the terminal… dip the credit card at the AirTrain ticket machine…no-no-yes-boarding pass-double time the escalator-cut the line of 20 already disgruntled travels-shove all my metal into my most easily accessible of computer bag pockets at the same time I’m untying my shoes-laptop out-breath-walk non threateningly through security gates with boarding pass-lace up-sprint to gate 7 to make our flight by 15 minutes….huff-huff-huff-huff-huffffffffffffff……

Wait…. its exceptionally crowded at the gate and the first thing I notice is the fans and unlike our subway ride, the terminal air temp is MUCH hotter. Then I notice these people are ready to head to CA but are not on the plane. I approach the gate counter, a warning ominously blinks on the board… D… DEL….DELAYED.

Fuck!

I finally have a moment to shoulder my brow sweat and assess my situation. All the gates are full with frowning not so soon to be passengers, each vying for the next seats out of New York as they too are delayed. Next food court but there’s a line outside the New York Sports Grill 10 deep. Both mens and womens bathrooms backed up with reluctant travelers not wanting to experience the capacity overloaded stalls.

We knew there was a storm on the horizon but assumed prematurely the nor-easter would not effect Chicago and the midwest flight plans as to carry over to the Northeastern ports… The boards are showing us our flight is 5 hours delayed and now we’re stuck in Terminal hell. What else to do but to check the internet or goof with some puddy and take down some sake at the sushi bar!!!

It’s been 3 hours and we’ve expended the majority of our comedy and patience. People are irritable, arguing with the staff and getting screwed with their travel arrangements. Flights are canceling and the chance of ours dying on the tarmac is growing more realistic. The girl is sleeping and I’m fighting with other electronic device commissioned passengers for power plug space. Finally we get the announcement, it’s a few minutes past 10 pm and I’m closing this one up… I do hope I make it on and out.

UPDATE: We made it to Oakland, it was 2 am when we finally landed, almost 7 hours after we should have. At least Jetblue trys to flater us along the way: