For our journey to Turks & Caicos, I booked two separate tickets. I booked one ticket from Tampa to Fort Lauderdale on Silver Airways, after which individually I booked a roundtrip on JetBlue from Fort Lauderdale to Providenciales.
I used to be sort of excited concerning the JetBlue flight, because it was my first time flying a JetBlue Embraer E190, and it was additionally my first time flying with the airline since reciprocal AAdvantage elite perks have been launched.
How I booked our JetBlue flights
JetBlue’s fares between Fort Lauderdale and Providenciales was fairly affordable. Despite the fact that we booked final minute, the roundtrip value simply over $200 per individual, together with all taxes & charges. Ford and I each had JetBlue Journey Financial institution credit, so we didn’t even must pay something out of pocket.
For what it’s price, we booked the next flights:
02/05 B62015 Fort Lauderdale to Providenciales departing 3:54PM arriving 5:43PM
02/10 B62014 Providenciales to Fort Lauderdale departing 6:43PM arriving 8:42PM
JetBlue Mint & Mosaic check-in
I had a really lengthy layover in Fort Lauderdale (practically six hours, as flights between Tampa and Fort Lauderdale are restricted). Upon arrival at Fort Lauderdale Airport I headed over to Terminal 3, the place JetBlue departs from.
Whereas the check-in space was busy, there was no wait on the JetBlue Mint & Mosaic counter, and it was nicely staffed. American AAdvantage elites can use the counter (regardless of the dearth of signage indicating that), in order that’s nice.
The check-in course of was environment friendly, although it did take a couple of minutes for the agent to confirm all my journey paperwork for Turks & Caicos (I’ll define my expertise with that in a separate publish).
He additionally jogged my memory that I’d be allowed to board when Mosaic members have been invited to board, no matter whether or not or not AAdvantage elite members have been particularly known as.
Killing time at Fort Lauderdale Airport
I had roughly six hours at Fort Lauderdale Airport. I can work from wherever, so I don’t thoughts lengthy layovers like this. I figured I’d share a couple of ideas. Since Terminal 3 & 4 are related airside, I break up my time between them. Sadly neither terminal has a lounge.
I spent most of my layover in Terminal 4, which was tremendous good, particularly in comparison with the terminals I’ve used on the airport previously. It was vibrant, ethereal, and fairly quiet, and the individuals watching was fairly one thing.
Like, significantly, there are some attention-grabbing individuals at Fort Lauderdale Airport.
Terminal 4 additionally has a Precedence Cross restaurant, Kafe Kalik, although the service was so unhealthy that I didn’t even trouble eating there without cost. I should have stood on the entrance for 10 minutes and nobody got here to seat me, regardless of a number of individuals me, so I figured I used to be simply higher off sitting within the terminal.
Finally I headed again to Terminal 3 through the connector.
The terminal positively isn’t as good, and likewise bought a lot busier.
JetBlue Embraer E190 cabin & seats
Our flight was scheduled to depart from gate F7 at 3:54PM, and boarding was scheduled for 3:19PM, 35 minutes earlier than departure. That point handed with none form of replace from the gate agent. Lastly at 3:40PM boarding began, with TrueBlue Mosaic and AAdvantage elite members being invited to board first, together with those that wanted further time.
Sadly on the backside of the jet bridge issues weren’t wanting fairly pretty much as good. The 2 pleasant flight attendants have been caught off guard, and stated “wait, they began boarding? We don’t have pilots. Simply look forward to me for a second.” After a few minutes they stated “nicely I suppose we’ll simply board and see, welcome aboard!”
Anyway, this was my first time flying a JetBlue Embraer E190, which is JetBlue’s solely non-Airbus plane (I’ve reviewed the brand new fashion financial system on the A320). This explicit aircraft had the license plate N236JB, and it was a roughly 15 yr outdated plane, making it one in every of JetBlue’s older E190s.
Within the period of slimline seats and convey your individual leisure, what an absolute delight this plane was. JetBlue’s Embraer E190s characteristic a complete of 100 seats, unfold throughout 25 rows in a 2-2 configuration. You’ve gotta love that there are not any center seats, and that is particularly superior whenever you’re touring with a companion.
These seats have been thick and nicely padded, in order that they have been snug to take a seat in. JetBlue additionally has 32″ of pitch as the usual on the Embraer E190, which is superb. Apparently Even Extra Area seating simply consists of the primary row and a few rows across the exit row, and we determined to not pay for that. As a substitute we assigned ourselves seats 8A & 8B.
Every seat had a private tv, which you don’t usually discover on an Embraer jet. Okay, the screens have been pretty low high quality and small, on condition that they’ve been there for 15 years, however nonetheless.
Private leisure capabilities might be managed from buttons on the facet armrest.
Every seat additionally had a seatback pocket and a tray desk.
Then there have been overhead consoles with studying lights and air nozzles.
The JetBlue Embraer E190s even have massive overhead bins, which may accommodate a typical dimension carry-on.
JetBlue departure delay attributable to lacking pilots
The aircraft was solely round one-third full, so everybody was boarded fairly rapidly. Sadly we didn’t have pilots, as they have been apparently arriving shortly on one other flight. Enormous credit score to the 2 flight attendants on this plane, who couldn’t have been nicer or extra skilled.
They used humor throughout the delay, consistently checked on passengers, and have been simply usually pleasant individuals who you couldn’t presumably be mad at.
About 20 minutes into the delay they distributed immigration and customs kinds for Turks & Caicos.
In addition they distributed complimentary snacks, with the alternatives being both cookies, popcorn, or Cheez-Its.
The pilots lastly confirmed up round 4:20PM, 40 minutes after we boarded. They did their pre-flight checks, however then there was additionally some form of a upkeep challenge, so we needed to look forward to upkeep to log off on one thing. The door lastly closed at 4:50PM, nearly an hour after schedule.
I in fact can’t in any method blame the crew for the delay, and as an remoted incident, delays in fact occur. Nonetheless, basically JetBlue actually struggles to run a punctual operation.
Anyway, as soon as the door was closed the captain suggested us of our flight time of 79 minutes, and our cruising altitude of 37,000 toes. At 4:55PM we started our pushback, at which level the crew carried out a security demonstration.
We had a fast taxi to runway 10R, the place we have been airborne at round 5:05PM.
JetBlue Embraer E190 leisure & Wi-Fi
As talked about above, JetBlue’s Embraer E190s characteristic leisure at each seat, together with 36 channels of DIRECTV, 100+ channels of SiriusXM, and a flight map. Nonetheless, since this flight was over the water, many of the leisure solely labored for the primary 20 minutes, which is truthful.
Happily the map labored all through the flight.
JetBlue additionally gives complimentary Wi-Fi by way of Viasat, which is an superior characteristic. Simply as is the case with the remainder of the leisure, this solely labored for roughly the primary 20 minutes.
JetBlue inflight service
After takeoff the 2 flight attendants got here by way of the cabin with a beverage service. I made a decision to order a cup of water plus a Really Wild Berry Onerous Seltzer ($8). We have been supplied extra snacks, however had sufficient of these pre-departure throughout the delay.
Towards the tip of the flight I headed to the rear toilet. The again half of the aircraft was nearly fully empty (since luggage are loaded within the again, for weight and steadiness that they had most individuals sit within the entrance).
It was so empty that somebody simply had their leg protruding into the aisle, and he appeared confused when somebody handed him. I suppose it was that quiet again there.
The bathroom was in good situation, however a bit small.
We have been handled to a phenomenal sundown enroute to Turks & Caicos.
Earlier than we knew it, we have been on our descent.
At this level the crew distributed sanitizing hand wipes, suggesting that these might be used after touchdown and passing by way of immigration. That’s a pleasant contact.
I’ve nothing however good issues to say concerning the two flight attendants on this flight — they have been each very pleasant individuals who genuinely appeared to take pleasure in their jobs, they usually have been additionally hilarious.
We ended up touching down in Turks & Caicos at 6:25PM, and had a really tough touchdown with a fast cease. Humorous sufficient, individuals clapped as we landed. I’m undecided if that was due to the touchdown or the joy of attending to paradise after the delay.
Two minutes after touchdown we have been at our arrival stand, the place we then deplaned through a ramp, because the airport doesn’t have any jet bridges. Within the subsequent installment I’ll share our arrival expertise, and the general entry necessities for Turks & Caicos.
JetBlue’s passenger expertise is so significantly better than what you’ll discover on most different airways. The Embraer E190s specifically supply snug seats, good legroom, no center seats, private televisions, free Wi-Fi, and a pleasant cabin. As an American AAdvantage elite member, it’s additionally nice to obtain precedence check-in and boarding.
Particular to this flight, we had a really pleasant crew, although sadly we additionally had a roughly hour-long delay attributable to late inbound pilots. After all delays occur, particularly throughout the pandemic, given all of the staffing shortages. Nonetheless, there’s no denying that JetBlue struggles a bit extra with punctuality than different airways.
When you’ve flown JetBlue’s Embraer E190, what was your expertise like?