There are 3 reasons why this flight is special : it marks the first-ever non-stop flight between San Antonio and Boston. It also marks the first day of jetBlue operations in San Antonio. And lastly, it marks my first time on an A220. The ticket was booked in the last week of July, 2021.
Pre-pandemic, San Antonio to Boston was the largest unserved domestic market in the U.S.
While we checked in online the day before, there was no mobile boarding pass, for whatever reason. It was ok since, as a true avgeek, the paper boarding pass is always nice. Check-in counters are in Terminal A in San Antonio and could not be missed with all the balloons. We obtained our boarding passes easily and the interaction was straight forward, though there was an opportunity to acknowledge the first day of operations.
There was a (very good) cake, Sbarro's pizza, Dunkin Donuts (naturally, and individually bagged Boston creme pie ones), waters and inaugural flight coozies. And of course, plenty of balloons. It was logical to see press, city of SA staff, SA airport staff and jetBlue corporate staff all present.
TSA pre-check security was easy and we were quickly at gate A8 where it was clear there were festivities for the 2 inaugural flights.
The gate area quieted down significantly as B6 1826 SAT-JFK departed. Clearly all the corporate staff had gone back to New York. Interestingly, 1 couple missed their flight and were incredibly rude about it saying they couldn't hear anything with all the festivities. * face palm *
The flight was operated by jetBlue's 6th A220, N3065J, "Blue Plane Special", having been delivered in August, so not even 3 months prior. The time of day, position of the sun, and the gate, didn't allow for a decent photo from the starboard side.
It was clear the flight would not be full and boarding was fluid.
Initially in row 6AB on the 2 seat side, we were each able to have a window, so row 5 and 6. It's always delicate who gets the window seat when both travelers are avgeeks.
I definitely appreciate the higher and larger windows !
Taxi time was only a few minutes, as RWY 04 is right by the A gates.
The flight in it of itself was uneventful.
The service sequence started with an offer of headphones ($6, comes in a decent pouch) and snack boxes and then with drinks, followed up with the offer of snacks. Cheez-its would be the snack for this leg.
It can certainly be noted the cabin crew was present throughout the flight. And when I went back to the lavs, I was offered something each time. (FYI the forward lav is a little bigger than the 2 aft lavs.)
The wifi was a little spotty and there was definitely 1 horizontal area of the touch screen which did not work, clearly notable when trying to complete the survey that pops up on the screen about 1h prior to arrival.
I found the entertainment offering to be more than sufficient. With wifi and an in depth entertainment offering I am more than happy to be on a plane for 15 hours !
Some screen shots of the app-version of the in-flight card :
We landed in BOS on RWY27 and arrived at gate C9.
With no luggage, we were curbside after maybe a 4 minute walk.
The ever-evolving Terminal C has been nicely updated.
As I mentioned for the check-in, there was really only mention of the inaugural flight at the beginning of the flight and at the end of flight. Any other passenger never would have known. I think there was an opportunity here for a certificate or maybe even complimentary headphones for those who needed them. Perhaps the bakery who made the cake could have made 300 cookies for the inaugural flights, just some thoughts. Maybe my expectations are out of line.
Super cool experience with a bunch of "firsts". The A220 is precisely how flying should feel nowadays.
Super cool experience with a bunch of "firsts". The A220 is precisely how flying should feel nowadays. It is nice to see jetBlue adding to the traffic in San Antonio from an avgeek point of view and I definitely wish for success for this route.