When I travel back to New York City to visit my family, I always fly JetBlue. When my boys were younger, I loved the play area at the airport and always found the staff to be incredibly pleasant and helpful. The pilots often let my transportation-obsessed sons visit the cockpit, even in this post-9/11 era. The on-demand, personal TV at each seat is always a bonus, even though I cringe at the thought of them watching six straight hours of Sponge Bob. Oh, and the online booking and electronic check-in is easy and I’ve found the ticket prices are usually good. The departure area was looking a bit ragged the last time I flew with my little one in June, so I wasn’t surprised when I got an email from JetBlue stating: Our new home at New York’s JFK International Airport will open October 22.
It was previously expected to be October 1st, but apparently the construction was running behind schedule. Terminal 5, or T5, as they call it, is brand new and cost $800 million. The new building boasts 26 gates, a spacious check-in lobby, plenty of natural light and fresh food and shopping areas, free Wi-Fi and a 20-lane security checkpoint, which is supposedly one of the largest in the USA. It will also feature wide roadway access, a 1,500-space car park and a direct skywalk connection to the JFK AirTrain. For aviation history and architecture buffs, T5 is linked to the Saarinen building, known as the TWA terminal in a previous life, which is one of JFK’s most iconic landmarks. Travelers can walk through this classic modernist building, which architect Eero Saarinen designed as a physical symbol of flight, to enter Terminal 5.