New JetBlue terminal at JFK

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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: