in praise of jetblue
it's official: i'm a jet blue fan (said in the tone of consultant bob in office space when he says "i'm a michael bolton fan").
i had long been interested in flying them based on many a positive review, and was pleased to discover that my office had booked the first half of my biz trip on a direct flight from AUS to JFK. my pleasant experience began long before the flight itself when i created an account online and became a true blue member. just like southwest, jet blue has bypassed the stupid frequent flyer mileage programs embraced by so many other airlines and done a straight up point system where once you reach 100, you get a free flight. no muss, no fuss.
check-in was a breeze... i'm a big fan of the kiosk system, and the screen savers on their kiosks were programmed with fun and quirky and non-TSA-seeming messages like "hey, what's up?" or a simple but effective "hello." once i got onto the plane, i was pleased to discover that despite its relative smallness (one aisle down the middle, 2-3 seats on each side -- pretty much standard for austin flights and something that i'm used to by now), it didn't disappoint on its promise of leather seats and a TV screen in each seat.
dude. the TV was money. the channels! the fact that you can start watching from the second you can in your seat! i started off with some food network (barefoot contessa, queen of the hamptons) and then decided to pony up $5 to watch a movie (easily purchased by swiping my debit card). i chose to watch the namesake and absolutely loved it. jhumpa lahiri is one of my favorite writers and although i still prefer the book to the movie i thought mira nair did an amazing job bringing the story to life. i even teared up at a few moments.
the service was a hybrid between continental's firm professionalism and southwest's (occasionally extremely annoying) quirkiness -- friendly but not overly so, professional but not robotic. they served drinks and snacks but otherwise left us the hell alone, which i appreciated. once the movie was over, i got completely caught up in TLC's show "miami ink" and started wondering if maybe i should get a tattoo (i haven't... yet).
we landed @ JFK 10 minutes before our scheduled arrival time and had to hang out on the tarmac a bit until our gate became available but all in all i would say that my first jetblue experience gets a 9 out of 10 (not a whole 10 because that just seems silly).
well played, jetblue.