Thursday, January 8, 2009

JetBlue JFK Terminal 5

In December I flew on JetBlue from Buffalo to New York. It was about my 10th flight in the same number of days, and I was a bit tired of the hassles involved with flying these days. But, I was very pleasantly surprised by JetBlue's friendly and energetic staff as well as the seat spacing and cleanliness of the plane. It's a real relief from the cramped seating I am used to.

An added bonus was flying into JetBlue's new Terminal 5 at JFK. I have always loved the Eero Saarinen TWA Terminal and seem to vaguely remember television advertisements for it when it opened ... something like "the wings of man". JetBlue's terminal is on the airside of the old TWA terminal. Here's a photo looking out from a magazine stand at the old terminal.

The new terminal seems to be extremely well designed for the way airlines operate today, there are lots of different food stands, Internet access points, shopping, and wide open corridors. I felt a real sense of spaciousness that is lacking in most all airports (admittedly I arrived at 1 pm on a Friday afternoon, not a peak travel time).

I really liked some of the shopping: a MUJI to Go store (MUJI things for travelers) and an ExOfficio travel clothing store. I was sorry I did not have time to shop!

Since I was arriving I did not want to eat anything, but according to JetBlue's website there is a wide variety of food was available. I thought I read a general review of several restaurants but I could not find it in a quick web search. The restaurants looked pretty good to me as I walked by.

As you leave the baggage claim - which, by the way features a nice orange color on the carousel center contrasting nicely with the generally blue color scheme - there is a Welcome Center where you can get information on how to get to the city or elsewhere. The staff were friendly and helpful. They have schedules and maps for many public transport options.

In summary, my experience with JetBlue and its new terminal was great. I wish more airlines and airports were similar!

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