Wednesday, 6 July 2022

Jetting off to Boston with Jetblue’s ERJ-190

 Welcome to my 2nd Jetblue trip report! 


Jetblue ERJ-190 in a special livery (Photo: Devin) 


Introduction 

My arrival at New York JFK late at night left me with few options but to purchase the next day's morning flight ticket to Boston. Sometimes for joyrides like this, sacrifices had to be make. I could have booked a hotel at night to somewhere nearby, perhaps at one of the hotels near Jamaica station, but I find it troublesome and expensive just for the 6 hours layover. Furthermore, I have to pay $16 altogether for the return airtrain ticket, which in my opinion is expensive. At least I had a good time at the TWA Hotel, I spent about 5 hours over there before heading over to the terminal 5 to check in and spend the rest of the time at the air side before my flight departure. 

If I had gotten onto my original flight AA1278 on the same day as my previous flight, I might have flown on N117NN, American Airlines Airbus A321T .



A Brief History of New York JFK Airport

JFK (John Frank Kennedy) Airport was formerly known as Idlewild Airport (IDL) as this piece of land was previously a golf course called Idlewild Beach Gold Course. This airport was built to ease the traffic at LaGuardia Field (now known as La Guardia Airport LGA) which was opened in 1939. Construction of this airport took place in 1943 and with lots of work involved in this massive project, the airport finally opened in 1948. Even though at that time, it was known as New York International Airport, Anderson Field, however this airport was still known as Idlewild. 

In 1954, this airport had 7 runways and 8 terminals to cope the load of the traffic. As years passed by, terminals were upgraded with new construction of buildings which to lead to today's JFK Airport. This airport was then renamed to John Frank Kennedy, about a month after President John Frank Kennedy was asssassinated. The IDL/KIDL code was reassigned to another airport in Mississippi. While this airport was given the code JFK/KJFK. 

The Airtrain JFK people-mover system that you see now started construction in 1988 and this train system links the terminals and also connects to the subway making it a more affordable mode of transport for the commuters. It started operation at the end of 2003, after a year's delay due to delay in construction and a fatal crash. 

This is the layout of JFK Airport


To travel by subway to JFK Airport. You can either take Subway E, J and Z operates to Sutphin Blv and change for the train to JFK Airport or take Subway A to Howard Beach JFK Airport station and change for the AirTrain to the airport. 


Check in

I did my check-in during my Jetblue flight from LAX to JFK. 




Only one seat was available while doing the check in procedure. 


On the day of departure 

After leaving the TWA Hotel, I walked over to the the departure terminal of Jetblue which is at located at the terminal 5. At around 4.40 in the morning, it was quite busy with the TSA started at full swing. I did my check-in and went through the TSA Screening and that took about 20 minutes before reaching the land side. I did a check which aircraft would I be flying on the day before, N307JB would get me there. 


 Land side of terminal 5 



Air side of terminal 5 

I did a bit of walking around even thorough I was feeling exhausted from the lack of sleep. 





Looking at the flight display, my flight was operating as per normal.


Beautiful weather that morning! It was rise and shine for the Jetblue's aircraft, dominated by Airbus A320 series. Most of them were being prepared for departure. 



One of the ERJ-190s getting ready for departure. (Not my plane)


Free Wifi was available, courtesy of Jetblue. The connection was good. (I forgot to record the strength of the wifi.) But its good for video calls and recording of videos.


There are seating areas for charging of devices, Jetblue called this the 'Juice Bar'.


Water bottle refiller is available 



I spotted a special livery A320 waiting at the gate beside this aircraft. Do you recognise it?


This is Jetblue for Good special livery (N807JB - photo by Kory Crohn Photography)



There is a little aviation gallery for the young ones, reminds me of the TSA (Taipei Songshan airport), they also have one dedicated to the kids.




After that, I made my way back to the gate.


The boarding gate of my flight 


My ride: N307JB (Photo: Derek Morrison) 


About this aircraft 

Jetblue ERJ-190AR (Owned)
Name of the aircraft: Mi Corazon Azul
Delivered in June 2009
Configuration: Y100
Engines: 2 X GE CF34-10E6
MSN: 19000286
Built in Sao Jose Dos Campos (SJK)

My flight route: JFK-BOS 


Miles: 187 

Time to board! 


Date of departure: 5 June 2022
Airline: Jetblue 
Flight number: B6518 
Flight route: JFK-BOS
Aircraft: ERJ-190
Registration: N307JB
Departure terminal (JFK): 5 
Gate: 4 
Seat: 7A 
Scheduled departure: 0659 
Boarding: 0624
Push back: 0653
Take off: 0705
Flight duration: 38 mins 
Actual flight time: 38 mins
Scheduled arrival: 0814
Actual arrival: 0745
Load: 100%
Arrival terminal (BOS): C 
Arrival gate: C20
Departure runway: 13L
Arrival runway: 4R

I didn't get a chance to get a clean shot of the cabin, so here are a couple of photos from other photographers.

The ERJ-190 cabin is configured in a full Y class cabin with the front row and the emergency exits (Even More Space seats) offer better legroom space. They cost $27 for upgrade for this short flight. 

Boarding took place about about half an hour before departure time, it is important to be there early or just before the gate closes. For U.S domestic flights, the gate is usually closed 10 minutes before departure (subject to changes), please check with your airline or even better still, save the worry by arriving early. Once on board, I was greeted by another good set of cabin crew. The cabin interior looks dated with the original seats and IFE system, so this time I get to experience Jetblue's dated cabin. I had a hard time squeezing my bag into the overhead compartment as it's so small especially compared to the A321NEO new overhead cabin. 

The leather seat is comfortable as it is thick and padded , with adequate legroom space for this short flight, certainly not the worst! The worst legroom space on an ERJ-190 ride so far, still goes to LOT Polish! You can check out the trip report over here.

Photo of the cabin from day 1 in operation (Photo: Marcos Oliveira - AroundWorldImages)


Photo: M.C Sikoutris


My cabin shot photos 



This is my seat. The window is not aligned to my seat which can be troublesome for photography.





The first generation IFE system with the credit card swap feature. You don't see them on new planes these days.


Legroom space was ok for me. 



The remote control and arm rest. I had no problem using the remote control for the IFE system. 



Somehow this IFE system reminds me of my long haul flights in the past.


My in-flight experience 

Once boarding was completed, we pushed back and taxied to runway 13L. As traffic was light during that hour, we were 2nd in line and took off in this beautiful weather. Why can't the weather be like that on the day I was supposed to fly on Southwest? That's life I suppose. 

Once airborne, we were greated with magnificent view of New York including JFK Airport, I can't ask for more. I am glad I chose the right side of the aircraft. For this 38 flights, I just sit back and relax, enjoying the view and later on the flight, talking to my seat mate. It was certainly a very pleasant flight, perfect day for flying. 

Even though the flight was short, drink service was served. We had a choice of juice, coffee/tea and water. I chose the latter, as I planned to have a good breakfast later at Boston. The flight was uneventful, bits of bump along the way. One snap of the finger, we started our descend and the crew had mentioned in-flight sales was not available on this flight, which is understandable for such a short duration. Free WiFi was available on the aircraft but you need to be a Jetblue Trueblue member account and log in to be able to use the wifi. 

Once the aircraft touched down, we were 29 minutes early! Not a surprise when the pilot told us that we had to wait for a while as our assigned gate was still occupied. I didn't mind a bit as I was doing some planespotting. Once we reached the gate, the captain was at the door to see us off. I thought that is a very nice gesture. Certainly the airlines I usually fly from my region, don't do that. 

What's inside the seat pocket?  

The in-flight menu (the airline offers complimentary snack and drink, depending on the duration of the flight)



The safety card 


WiFi is available on this aircraft, only for Trueblue members. As I didn't have an account, I didn't use the wifi. I suppose you can apply for one and just log in with your new account, perhaps I should have done that test the wifi connection. 


In-Flight drink 

It was nice to receive drink service even on this short flight.


Window shot photos

This Jetblue A320 was on its way out for departure 


Taking off in this beautiful weather with the sun shining on the other side of the aircraft. 



Flying over the broad channel 



The weather on this day was spectacular!


The view of JFK Airport! 





Soon, the city of Boston appears. 


We started our descent and soon we were cleared to land. 







We touched down smoothly on runway 04R. 




When you arrive at the airline's hub, chances of you catching one of the airline's special livery is high. 


After stopping for about 10 minutes, we were cleared to taxi to our gate. 



Even with the delay, we still reach the gate ahead of our scheduled arrival time. 


Is Jetblue's ERJ-190 a great ride? 

Yes, even with the outdated cabin, I find it to be comfortable and adequate for short haul flights. I have always been a fan of Embraer jets as I like the cabin for its high ceiling, 2-2 comfortable layout and its generally a quiet aircraft, beats flying on a turboprop anyday, that's for sure. I hope to try the ERJ-175 perhaps with one of the regional airlines, that should be for next year. 

Summary of my flight 



Boston Airport Terminal C 

As it was too early to check in at my accommodation, I decided to hang around at the airport for a while. First I went to have my breakfast at a fastfood restaurant. 

I had the beef burger and fish and chips! That was how hungry I was. 



There are 5 terminals at Boston Logan Airport (Terminal A,B,C,D and E)






It was crowded at certain parts of the terminal and quiet at others. 




You can easily find tables to do your work or charge your devices. Free WiFi is available. 


Jetblue's Airbus A321CEO 


Another of the airline's ERJ-190 


A mismatch colour engine cover on this A220-300


Initially I wanted to fly on this airline's A220-300 but I decided to spend a day here exploring the city instead. Next time perhaps.


The Boston Celtic livery 



Once, I was done with plane spotting, I made my way out and catch the silver line to South station. 



My rating 

Airline's website/mobile app: 2.5/5
Airport staff at JFK: 4/5
In-Flight Service: 4/5 
Cabin interior: 3.5/5
Cleanliness of the aircraft: 4.5/5
Seat comfort: 4/5
Punctuality: 5/5
Overall rating: 29.5/35
Percentage: 84%
Verdict: Great! 

Conclusion 

I paid about US$90 for this one way flight which allows me to change my flight when neccessary and more importantly I was allowed to bring on board my carry-on. So add up this flight's fee with my Jetblue LAX-JFK flight, it is still cheaper than today's flight which cost more than $300. Jetblue offers competitive products and now with the new products in the market, they are certainly giving the major airlines a headache. One disadvantage for Jetblue is  the lack of partners compare with the major airlines in the alliance. That's the main reason why I didn't sign up with Jetblue. I used my American Airlines to earn miles on my Jetblue flights which can be used on any of the airlines in the Oneworld Alliance. I enjoyed both of my flights with Jetblue. In-flight service was good and the A321NEO is definitely a winner in terms of passengers comfort and in-flight entertainment. Despite the issues the airline is facing, I won't hesitate to book with this airline and in fact I am even considering flying this airline on the transatlantic route (LHR/LGW-BOS). 

Do note that Jetblue has plans to replace the ERJ-190 with the Airbus A220-300. So if you have the chance, do fly the ERJ-190 while they are still around. 

Hope you enjoy this trip report!

For my Jetblue A321NEO trip report (LAX-JFK), click here.
For my Delta A321NEO trip report (BOS-ATL), click here

Thanks for reading!
Charles 

No comments:

Post a Comment