I wish I had a different reason to fly to Fort Lauderdale, but work has been more and more draining. Issues outside of our control keep piling up and forcing delays, changes, and breakdown of relations between parties. Besides having everyday feel like “Groundhogs Day”, I had the bright idea of taking another trip since the first one was a great experience. (Here’s the article if you want to read) To top it all off, I had the crazy thought of “Hey, if United could do it, then JetBlue will kick ass.” BUt Covid-19 had other plans for this trip. I have rarely been more wrong in my life, and I have made some major mistakes.
JetBlue Terminal A at LaGuardia Airport
I have to give it to LaGuardia Airport again, another solid experience. There were no major issues, some minor changes from United, and from flying on JetBlue pre-covid. There was barely any flight leaving the same time as mine; the terminal was empty. Security was a breeze, even with a Junior’s cheesecake I brought with me. TSA just made some quick jokes about the cake, and then I was on my way.
The most notable difference between United and JetBlue was a lack of people control. They kept calling groups up to the board, and there was no way of keeping social distance between the number of people standing around the board. It’s like COVID-19 didn’t exist. It was a quick experience, but they still were not following guidelines. JetBlue did get one major thing right; they gave out unlimited sanitizer pads. There was literally a sanitizing napkin station that you are free to take as many as you need. The flight itself was smooth, but getting out of the plane had the same social distance issues as the boarding. Overall, not bad, not good, but I have been through worse.
Florida man or Murphy’s law strikes again.
I don’t even know where to begin; pretty much anything that could have gone wrong went wrong. This was the literal definition of no social distancing. Zero. None. If you think that I am joking, look at the photograph below.
I understand thatFort Lauderdale is in Florida, and the rules are lax, but when I flew United from the same airport, they were enforced. The JetBlue crew maintained social distance, but none of the staff made any effort to ensure this. It was even encouraged when they requested bags to be checked in at the gate. The trigger point for me came long before boarding started. I came to the airport early to make sure that I could get some snacks and water. Sat down near the gate as more and more people gathered. While there was some spare time, I grabbed a bottle of water, so I left my book bag filled with gear on my seat. Returning to the area, some lady had moved my bag and didn’t understand why I asked her to move.
Her answer was, “NET English.”. She then proceeds not to understand/ignore me until I started saying COVID-19 louder and louder. Finally, she moves and pretends to be injured. I saw her walking just fine and talking to her uber driver in perfect English when we landed. I guess JetBlue cured her and taught her English over the duration of the flight. This is called “The Dying Swan” (“Умирающий лебедь”), where the person pretends to be injured or not able to speak English to guilt people into helping them.
Getting off was a complete nightmare. There were people without masks piled on top of each other at the exit.
Lack of Guidance and information about COVID travel forms.
The next major issue was that no one from JetBlue notified any of the passengers on the ground about the NYS COVID traveler Health form. Passengers got a generic speech from the pilot to follow local laws, and then once we got off, the National Guard was waiting for us, requesting filled out forms. 85% of the people on the plan had to fill out the form there on the spot, knowing they were supposed to do it prior.
When Can you Fill out the Covid-19 Traveler form?
You can fill the form out on the NYS COVID traveler Health form up to 24 hours before landing. It is a waste of resources to have military personnel wait for people to fill out forms. Also, here’s a pro travel tip: BRING AT FUCKING PEN WITH YOU! None of the people filling out these forms had their own, so people were sharing pens instead. Not the best thing to do during a pandemic.
No more JetBlue for a while
In conclusion, I will not be using JetBlue for the foreseeable future. I truly expected so much more from this airline. I loved it before the COVID-19 pandemic started, and they are even my preferred airline for my AMEX.
As always if you would know to know about covid-19 I highly recommend getting a certified for Covid-19 tracing