After an early wake-up call (I live about 1h15m from JFK without traffic), we arrived at terminal 5 around 6:30am. Terminal 5 is JFK's newest, opening in 2008 especially for JetBlue.
JetBlue charges $25 per checked bag if you purchase the most basic fare, so we skipped that line and went straight for security. Unfortunately, I decided to try out using a real camera instead of my iPhone for this report but forgot to change the settings on the camera, so my pictures of the security lines didn't come out.
There were long lines everywhere and after about 5 minutes of trying to find the line, we found the precheck line. It only took 7 minutes to get through the line, but my friend didn't get precheck, so we had to wait for him. His line took about 25 minutes.
Once through security, the terminal opens into a large, open, modern space.
The big departure board listed our flight at gate 26.
There were also touchscreen interactive maps of the terminal.
Before heading to the gate, we searched for breakfast. There were only two breakfast options that we found across the entire terminal and about 5 fancier restaurants that weren't open.
Starbucks had to do, but of course, there were no free tables, so we found a nice comfy spot on the floor to eat breakfast.
After (a surprisingly good) breakfast, we made our way to the gate. Follow the signs!
JetBlue engine on the way.
Gotta get into the Caribbean spirit!
Aer Lingus lounge on the way. Aer Lingus and Hawaiian are the only two other airlines that use T5 at JFK.
We arrived at the gate at 7:45, 5 minutes before boarding was scheduled to start.
Gates 26 and 27 are right next to each other, and use the same seating area for both gates. Gate 27 had a flight to Antigua (I think) leaving about 10 minutes before ours, but there was still a good amount of seating available.
A nice surprise - power outlets below the seating!
Our plane of the day was N536JB "Canyon Blue" - a 14-year-old A320. Interestingly, this was the plane involved in the accident at LAX about 10 years ago when the front landing gear turned sideways.
Boarding began right on time at 7:50, starting from the back and moving up by rows of 5. Onto the plane we go!
JetBlue's Fly-Fi - free wifi for all customers in select areas. One of the features that makes JetBlue stand out from most other airlines.
We were on the plane at 8:00.
Our seats for the next 4ish hours - 19ABC.
Settling into the seat, I noticed a few things:
An A321 next to us.
JetBlue's massive legroom - 34" (and if you keep track of my reports - my trusty travel backpack!).
Plenty of width (I moved all the way to one side of the seat).
Old, small TVs (this model was introduced in 1995).
TV controls in the armrest.
I tried to explore the pamphlet in my seatback pocket, but someone had stuck it together with gum, so I stole my friends.
This plane was definitely showing it's age, with some nice pen marks on the seat in front of me.
A look forward into the cabin.
One of my favorite things about JetBlue is a tradition that the captain comes into the cabin to make his announcements. Our captain was very funny, announcing that our flying time was 3h36m at 36,000 feet. The temperature outside the plane would be cold, and the temperature in SXM was "26 degrees celsius, which comes out to…it's a nice day" :D. I think having a nice, friendly captain really enhances the flying experience.
We pushed back right on time at 8:25 and began our taxi at 8:31 to the recently resurfaced and extended runway 4L.
Hi, Emirates (landing on 4R)!
Our captain announced we were second in line for departure (behind this Delta 757).
We departed at 8:40, just 15 minutes behind schedule.
Below is the link to the takeoff video. The site had been automatically been deleting everything between the two youtube links when I published this report, so I can't link it directly, but if you're interested, check it out!
Once in the air, our TVs and Fly-Fi powered on (briefly).
Unfortunately, these services only worked for a limited time (see coverage map above). JetBlue's TVs have 38 channels of live tv as well as live music from SiriusXM. There are also 2 movies playing on a loop the entire flight, which normally cost $5, but were free on this flight due to the lack of coverage. The problem with this is, you can't start or stop the movie when you want to.
The wifi was very fast while it lasted, but as I said, we went out of coverage very quickly, about 40 minutes after takeoff.
The moving map had to provide entertainment for the rest of the flight (a poor one at that).
Flight attendants came through the cabin around 9:15 with (this surprised me) notepads, and wrote down what everyone wanted to drink. About 15 minutes later, the drinks arrived by in a small tray carried by the flight attendants. This was a nice touch - similar to what Virgin America does (not for much longer though :( ).
Another surprise - a full can arrived!
A snack basket came through the cabin about 5 minutes later, which contained an option of pretzels, chips, cookies, etc. Just enough to tide you over for a 3h30m flight.
My notes about the crew: there was absolutely nothing wrong with them. However, nothing really stood out about them, and compared to the rest of the flight, they were a bit underwhelming.
After that, nothing really happened as we made our way over the Atlantic, just lots of ocean views.
We began our descent into SXM around 11:55 and were in the cloud soon after.
We lined up with Runway 10 and landed at 12:16, 13 minutes ahead of schedule.
Below is the link to the landing video. The site had been automatically been deleting everything between the two youtube links when I published this report, so I can't link it directly, but if you're interested, check it out!
We back taxied the runway, waited for a few minutes for our gate to be vacated, and hooked up to the gate at 12:25.
We got off the plane about 10 minutes later and made it through immigration in 15 minutes. A nice Caribbean touch - while waiting in line, there was a live steel pan band playing music.
The baggage claim area.
Outside into the warmth!
That's all for this report! Be sure to check back soon for the return journey.
Thanks for reading, and comments are always welcome - I love reading and responding to them!
BONUS - the great (airport) view from the condo I stayed at.
New York - JFK
Saint Martin - SXM
JFK Terminal 5 - Nice, new, and modern, but lacking some essential services
Seat - Loads of legroom, comfy seats
Crew - Not good, not bad, just a bit 'blah'
IFE - Would've been fine in a coverage zone, movies on a loop :(, poor quality screens
Food - Just enough for a 3h30m flight, full soda can!
SXM Terminal - Very quick and modern, but a bit dark and stuffy
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