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This past weekend my family and I flew from Las Vegas to Long Beach and back on JetBlue to take advantage of the recent Virgin America points match promotion. Believe it or not it was our first time ever flying JetBlue given the carrier’s small presence on the West Coast.
This trip was actually planned quite awhile ago as a quick beach weekend before my son returned to school on Monday. Instead of driving like we had initially planned, we ultimately bought JetBlue tickets and flew. I think it was worth it.
JetBlue flies out of McCarran’s new Terminal 3 which means a somewhat quicker security and check-in experience. You also don’t need to take a tram anywhere since the gates are just past security. Our flight to Long Beach showed as on-time, but a small maintenance issue caused a 25 minute delay that was never reflected on the board. It was the only unfortunate part of our entire experience.
The Flight Experience
While the flight to Long Beach and back is short, I cannot say anything but nice things about JetBlue. The extra couple inches of legroom makes a huge difference, the small entertainment screens are nice and the FlyFi free internet WiFi works well. In fact it worked so much better than Gogo. I was impressed.
Another commendable and noticeable fact was how friendly the crew was on both of our flights. It can be hard to give a quick friendly service on such a short flight, but they did it with a smile and great customer service. This is something I rarely see on United or American. The crew is generally not rude, just not friendly.
Long Beach Airport
Equally as impressive as our flight experience was JetBlue’s Southern California “hub” at Long Beach Airport. With two concourses and only nine gates, the airport is very old school. There are no jetways and you get on/off the plane from both the front and rear. It also has a charming outdoor section and you can get from plane to curb in two minutes. It is a stark contrast to LAX and is an airport I wouldn’t mind flying into again in the future.
Waiting for the Points
Other than the brief delay on the outbound, the only slight quirk I have found with JetBlue is the amount of time it takes for the points to post. Some have said a week, some a few weeks. Luckily I don’t have immediate plans for the points (not even our base points have posted), but I don’t know why they would take so long. A minor annoyance though and not one that would make me hesitate to fly JetBlue again.
In a world where my chosen airline AA continues to disappoint in just about every way possible, it is refreshing to find an airline like JetBlue. I mean, I had always heard about them and knew what they offered, but I am glad I got to experience it for myself. On one hand JetBlue’s promotion definitely worked in that it got me to fly on their planes, but on the other hand, I’ll have a ton of points which means I won’t be paying to fly them for awhile.
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