Traveling Blues

image When I was in College at Columbia University I used to fly Jet Blue exclusively. My parents had a gazillion miles on US Airways, and always tried to coax me into flying with them, but I was young and in love. Jet Blue’s new leather seats and (at the time) state of the art Direct TV experience, plus direct flights and friendly service made them worth a few extra bucks (although they were usually the cheapest). Today I flew Jet Blue again, and I’m sorry to report that Jet Blue is no longer worth flying. The great flying experiences I had between 2001 and 2005 are a figment of the past.

My trip today was from San Francisco International to Rochester, NY – via JFK. Because of some booking confusion I managed to have the two legs of my trip on separate reservations, and although I tried my best in the weeks before the flight to put them on the same ticket, Jet Blue insisted that I would have to claim my bags at JFK, and recheck them – all in a 65 minute layover.

I’m a superhero, so I was able to claim my bags and check in for my next flight with 50 minutes to spare, but then it took 15 more minutes to get to the front of the “bag drop” line (needless to say you do more than just “drop” your bag off) and it only went that fast because I cut about 20 people (yeah, I’m that guy). Just to reiterate the falsity of the “bag drop” statement the ticket agent spent 15 minutes checking me in. She couldn’t seem to figure out how to check in a bike without a bike fee (because I had already paid it in San Francisco). It took her 15 minutes, then image she handed my bags to a guy and told him to hurry the bags to the gate. I took off and got stuck in a line for security. It wasn’t that long a line, and I made it to my gate 10 minutes before the flight was scheduled to leave, but they closed the door in my face and told me I was too late. The next flight was five and a half hours later (well, there was one three hours later, but they canceled that one), which would put me into Rochester at 12:20am. YIPEE!

Right now I’m still in New York City. After writing an email to Jet Blue they credited me back the $50 bike fee, which I spent on a hotel in Rochester since there’s no way I was going to ask my host family to pick me up at 12:30 in the morning. I don’t even want to be there at 12:30am.

I complained to Jet Blue and they credited me $50 for my bike fee. That doesn’t quite make up for me not being in Geneva tonight, but at least they offer free wifi in their JFK terminal so I can write my war story for free. That’s kind of cool.

Hopefully when I get to Rochester my bike and bags and everything will be there and the cab ride to the Motel 6 will be quick and inexpensive and my bed will be not too hard and not too soft, but just right. Ahhhh.. I can’t wait to sleep tonight. Tomorrow is going to be an awesome day.

Published by Ben

Ben Collins Professional Triathlete

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  1. That’s not true! Virgin air was awesome. Well, except that a wheel was missing from my bag when I got to Seattle, but they’re reimbursing me for the repair.

    As an update, my flight into Rochester was delayed on the ground, so that comic I posted above is now far more relevant, although we only sat on the tarmac for an hour (apparently JFK is quite busy at 11:30pm). By 1:45 I was showered and in my air conditioned room at the Motel 6. It wasn’t the nicest hotel, but the staff were really friendly (almost overly so), and my six hour seven hour stay was quite nice.

    Now I’m in Geneva, NY. I met my host family a few minutes ago, and saw that they are featured in the Musselman information packet that’s being handed out. I’ll write more about Geneva once i get settled and have something worth writing. For now I’m going to find breakfast.

  2. Don’t you love plane trips???

    I swear, I’m going to try really hard to have all my races next year within driving distance (7 hrs or less), and then make my family come visit me for the holidays instead of vice versa. A year with no flying at all. From my perspective, that would be lovely.

  3. Hey man. I am going into my sophomore year at columbia college and came across your site in an email sent to the triathlon club. I just wanted to give a shout-out to a fellow columbia/NW (I hail from NW Oregon) and wish you good luck in your pursuit of the olympics.

  4. I don’t know what you’re complaining about. You made it to your destination in one piece, right…? 😉 sounds like another Roten-chester horror story.

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