B6 Up and Down

B6 is JetBlue’s flightname, and I spent this past Wednesday taking a flight up to Norcal and a same day flight back down with JetBlue. I was taking advantage of JetBlue’s Point Match promotion, where they would match your points from your Virgin America account after taking one round trip flight. So, seeing as I’m still unemployed, I submitted my info for the promotion, waited to be approved for points match, and then booked my tickets.

I flew out of LGB, and in my two plus decades of living in Socal, I’ve never bothered with this airport. But it was a pretty awesome experience, as I got from parking lot to gate in <10 minutes (with the majority of the time spent in TSA lines). These tiny little airports are so much quicker to get through than larger, multi-terminal, international airports. Boarding the aircraft meant walking through the doors onto the tarmac and walking up the stairs, but I kinda like that feeling versus the tunnels for boarding used in larger airports. I took B6 flight 1636, departing at 11:49AM to SFO, for which the captain of the flight said it’d be 50 minutes from wheels up to wheels down. Seat width and leg room were pretty comfortable onboard the Airbus A320. We were served a drink and snack in-flight, and I had a bag of Cheez-its and a Coke. Didn’t bother with IFE as I chose to read instead. Solid & unremarkable service (in a good way). The only negative was that we arrived slightly ahead of schedule at SFO, and the plane at our gate was slightly behind schedule, so we were stuck on the tarmac for close to 30 minutes (almost as long as our flight time -.-). The captain eventually turned off the seat belt sign so we could use the facilities (I was waiting so, damn, long), and I was in line talking to a flight attendant who said the plane occupying our gate had a ground stop for its destination, and as such needed more fuel in anticipation of being in a holding pattern due to weather. Makes sense, and I always enjoy this random trivia stuff.

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JetBlue’s Airbus A320, boarding from the back.

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Flying out of LGB & overlooking RPV.

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Landing at SFO, over water before touching down.

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Parked next to AF A380, same gate I had last year.

So we eventually got off the blasted aircraft, and I’m still not used to having arrivals and departures in the same area airside. LAX has the departures at the upper level, and arrivals upon walking through the gate are funneled towards the lower level to exit. But that’s cool. One dislike I have with SFO is that the int’l terminal is split in two, so going from one end to the other means exiting and entering security again (shoes off, pockets emptied, full-body x-ray BS). The Centurion Lounge (by Amex) is by the other side of the int’l gates, and actually located on the United side of gates. Lots of extra walking, but whatever.

This time, I had an Amex Platinum to get me free (complimentary with annual fee) access to the lounge, with buffet style food, open bar/unlimited drinks from a small draft beer selection, cocktails, and wines galore. Drink-wise, I had myself a Trumer Pilsner, an Irish Mule, and a Lagunitas IPA for my duration there. The simplest food items were pretty amazing here; the mashed potatoes were buttery goodness, and the tomato soup was quite comforting. Had the same thing for lunch and dinner, with no regrets. Gave myself an hour to get from the Lounge back to the gate on the other side (so annoying).

6:20PM B6 1635 to LGB, with another solid and unremarkable flight. Snack service was once again a step above the regular boring peanuts. And these short flights barely have enough time to get to cruising altitude of 30k+ ft and 500+ mph before making its descent to prepare for landing. I’m used to LAX landing procedure of turning inland and then turning back west kinda tracking the 105 fwy to land (and I guess this is my first time landing back home in an airport other than LAX), so the descent route was different for me. We kept over the water, turned right by Catalina island, and crossed back to land over Seal Beach (ish), coming in for landing from the SE direction. And note to self (and/or travelers), try not to sit on the right side of the aircraft when traveling south. That’s the sunny side, which makes it difficult to  look out the window as you’re staring straight into the sun. But yeah, after we touched down, walked off the plane, onto tarmac, into terminal, out of airport and to my car in <10 minutes.

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In-flight munchies.

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Crossing back over Seal Beach(?) to land

Points should post 4-6 weeks after taking the RT flight, and 75,000 TrueBlue miles can be valued at ~ $1,000. Not bad at all. And I got to experience LGB before heading back in 2 weeks time. (Holy crap #DL2EUR16 is happening so soon.)

[Edit] So the flights were on 7/13, and today is nighttime of 7/17, and my bonus points already posted. Sweet!

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