As a frequent flyer between American coasts, I have become a regular customer of JetBlue, with its typically cheap(er) nonstop flights from New York’s JFK airport to San Francisco. I still remember the first time I landed in JetBlue’s Terminal 6 in August 2007. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a dingy, crowded, sorry excuse of a baggage claim area and the upstairs departures terminal wasn’t any nicer.
That is all but a distant memory, as JetBlue has cut the ribbon on its newly renovated T5 terminal – just in time for the holiday season. The state-of-the-art aviation hub is equipped with 65 check-in kiosks, 20 security lanes and a children’s play area. The terminal has a more airy feel thanks to the huge floor-to-ceiling windows with their bright silver and blue design palette. Another new amenity getting plenty of buzz is the gourmet food court, with over 20 cafes and restaurants. Normally, I detest airport food, with its over-inflated pricing and sheer lack of appetizing options. However, at least now passing the time waiting for a delayed flight (Let’s not kid ourselves completely; things won’t change that much as this is still JFK airport), won’t be as bad. As an additional perk for the business travelers, JetBlue’s terminal will continue to be a free Wi-Fi zone.
The first flight landed and disembarked at the new terminal this morning from Burbank, CA at 5 a.m. EST, to a crowd of cheers from JetBlue employees. The discount-domestic carrier has been touting the opening for over a year, and retail and restaurant developments delayed the originally-planned October 1 opening. Airline officials say the new terminal will facilitate traffic better than ever before with 26 gates and the capacity to handle 500 daily departures and arrivals.