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. Continue reading »
A few years ago I wrote an essay called “First Flight” that was published in The Best Travelers’ Tales 2004. The piece focused on the marvel of flying and how these days we fail to appreciate what we’re doing when we leave the ground and cruise through the air at 30,000 feet. I lamented that flying wasn’t a marvel anymore and told a story about my first flight, an experience I found astonishing and fantastic in the traditional sense because it was so unusual.
Other writers have addressed the notion of getting window seats whenever they fly because they don’t want to miss the extraordinary sight of Earth from cruising altitude, an experience no one had ever had before the 20th century. I remember John Flinn, executive travel editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, writing about how he would stubbornly refuse to lower his window blind to accommodate movie-watching passengers because his entertainment was outside. “Bravo!” I said when I read that column. Continue reading »