The last time I flew JetBlue was March 2002, from Washington Dulles to Ft. Lauderdale. They were the cheapest option by far, they had to be, it was the only way at the time I would have booked away from United Airlines.
JetBlue has had a decent presence at Washington Dulles over the years, and I fly out of there when I have to, but I live near National so avoid Dulles as one of the more horrendous facilities in the country whenever I can.
Of course, JetBlue began flying to National airport in November 2010. But I hadn’t had occasion to fly them until now, largely because I’m a creature irrationally driven by loyalty and first class upgrades.
But I had to fly to Boston, and JetBlue’s flights were by far the cheapest for the times I needed to go.
And I was made to feel a little bit better by the fact that JetBlue’s partnership with American allows me to accrue AAdvantage miles on the DC-Boston route. It’s not a ton of miles, but at least I wouldn’t have to sign up for TrueBlue.
JetBlue doesn’t have wireless internet yet, but they do have DirecTV. That was impressive to me in 2002, but I take care of my own entertainment these days, and I rarely have time for it anyway, I’m almost always working straight through my flights.
They do have better legroom than the average coach product. But for $20 extra I purchased “Even More” which in this case was an exit row, which came with early boarding so I wouldn’t have a hard time with overhead bin space. At Boston for the return that’ll mean priority security, but they don’t have that at National airport.
I walked into the terminal, the entrance/exit is right at baggage claim with check-in desks to the right. The A terminal always seems like a zoo, at least that’s how I remember it, it’s been a long time since I’ve been in the A terminal. The last time I remember flying out of here was on Northwest, which used to have a club lounge just prior to security. Alaska used to be here. And I grabbed an Airtran flight from here back in the summer 2004.
The old historic terminal is a sight to behold and I wish they’d make full use of it. They only use the ‘banjo’, 9 gates populated by JetBlue, Sun Country, Spirit, Frontier, and Air Canada.
The security line was short but it was moving slowly, this terminal gets a disproportionate share of vacationers not used to flying, the woman in front of me wasn’t aware she needed to show identification at the checkpoint and began digging for her passport in a Ziploc bag.
I was actually perfectly happy for a slow TSA line, made better by lack of a nude-o-scope, because there’s not much to do past security.
I had about 20 minutes to kill, I picked up a bottle of water at the Hudson News and headed over to the gate area.
Soon enough they called for boarding, and there were lots of questions from passengers for the gate agent. Which all amounted to, “We board by row.”
They called first for rows 1 and 12, the ‘even more legroom’ rows that come with early boarding. We were the first passengers to board, and found a flight attendant joking around with two air marshalls.
Bags were stowed, my 20″ Baseline Briggs & Riley just barely fit in the overhead of the regional jet.
And I sat down to my seat, which indeed had plenty of legroom.
.. and a little DirecTV screen. Headsets were $2, I had my own of course but didn’t bother plugging in.
We pushed back on time, taxi and takeoff didn’t take long, and shortly thereafter a flight attendant came through for drink orders (I asked for water and was brought a cup of ice and a half-sized bottle) and whether anyone wanted a snack — I caught that there was an option for “chips, a cookie” and something else. I just asked for the chips remembering that JetBlue of course serves Blue chips which I’d like very much!
Except they brought chips that tasted like popcorn, and I don’t actually like popcorn.
No great loss, I didn’t eat them but it was a short flight.
I was still pounding away on work so it seemed like only moments before our impending arrival into Boston was announced. The flight was a bit bumpy but the landing was smooth enough, and we were 20 minutes early.
I’d fly JetBlue again on a short hop. Nothing wrong with it, and for a flight as quick as DC-Boston there’s no need for the extra legroom although if I don’t have status I might pay for it since it also comes bundled with the ability to secure overhead space and not have to gate check and priority security.
There’s so much that Washington’s National Airport could do with their historic terminal, but the banjo area is something of a ghetto. The lack of a lounge, sufficient seating, or reasonable eating options along with no premium security means I have to get there earlier than I’d like, on the chance security lines are long, and wind up cooling my heels without a place to be productive. The current A terminal is reason enough to avoid flying the airline. Unless, like today, it was much cheaper (even with the $20 add-on)…
Once at Boston Logan, I headed for the taxi queue, there were a ton of cabs lined up and no one waiting. The instruction to the driver was to head to Belle Isle Seafood, a 10 minute trip up 145 North. (Such a short run from the airport has been known to annoy cab drivers, they wait all that time for a fare and wind up with something cheap, so I try to tip reasonably if they don’t chew my head off for it first.)
The goal: a lobster roll for lunch, before heading into the city. And I was willing to head in the opposite direction from downtown to do it.
The cab driver pulled into the gas station next door to the seafood shop and seemed concerned leaving us, since this wasn’t the sort of place that had cabs coming by regularly. I was getting out with my luggage no less.
The seafood place is a little shack, though I understand they’re moving.
Their lobster rolls have a full half pound of meat. A lobster roll and a side (I chose onion rings) was about $19+, cash only. Well worth it.
The lobster came on a small toasted bun, on top of a small piece of lettuce, and was flowing completely over. It had two claws and tail meat, the chunkiest lobster roll I’ve ever had.
The place has only a handful of stools inside, but it was a lovely day, perfect for walking across the gravel parking lot to enjoy the sandwich on the water looking back out at the airport.
Finishing up lunch, I wasn’t worried about a cab, I tapped my phone a couple of times and Uber was sending a car. I just had to wait a few minutes, it turns out they sent someone who had been queuing at the airport. Even though it was farther away than the airport, it was a good bit less than a car service would have been from Logan to Downtown.