Not my favorite flying experience, that’s for sure. Shit list material, people.
I'm not sure if it was a blessing or a curse to walk into Oakland Airport on Valentine’s Day without much knowledge about the weather in NYC or many -- any, really -- concerns about getting to JFK without delay. I think my amazing luck getting to and from snowy Denver during my Christmas vacation made me believe I was impervious to major air travel-related issues. But boy, was I wrong.
Everything seemed great at Oakland and in the air -- until about an hour before our scheduled arrival in New York. When the captain's voice came over the PA system, I knew we were in for trouble. But I couldn't believe it when he announced that we were about to begin our initial decent into the ... Atlantic City area. Oy effing vey. Everyone groaned and/or laughed. Especially the vociferous and borderline retarded middle-aged couple sitting directly behind me. Jesus, were they annoying or what? I really wanted to ask them where in the Bay Area they lived so I could avoid the neighborhood at all costs.
We sat on the ground in Atlantic City for about 20 minutes before we received word that we would, in fact, deplane for an unknown period of time. We were warned that we shouldn't stray too far away from our gate for fear of missing precious information. So I sat nearby and plugged in my computer. I was stoked when the flight was called to reboard after only 20 minutes. Maybe I'd make my V Day dinner reservation after all. But then I realized JetBlue had called another flight. In fact, a total of four JetBlue flights from California had been forced to land in Atlantic City (where the only dining option was a mom-and-pop restaurant called THRASHERS). I grabbed some fried food and started watching a DVD until it was our turn to board. But then we just chilled on the runway.
At 8 we were told that JFK had cleared JetBlue to send the four AC planes toward New York every 10 minutes, beginning at 8. We were fourth up, so that meant a 40-minute wait. At about 8:30, the annoying captain came on again to tell us that we needed a visit from the de-icing truck, so that could delay us a few minutes. Then, as the truck was doing its thing, we were told that some mofo organization had ordered a no-landing window at JFK for at least half an hour. G to the O to the D damn it!
We finally took off around 9:10, so not too long after we were expected to take off, but at that point I was super bummed (fancy dinner with free bottle of champagne canceled). When we landed at JFK people clapped (so obvious) but a bit prematurely. We had to park and wait a good 30 minutes as JFK tried to shuffle the many fucked flights to and from gates.
You better believe I sent a detailed email as soon as I got to Alli and Lauren's apartment. I received an email response a few days later explaining what had happened (nothing I didn't already know) and basically telling me to suck it -- but nicely, of course. JetBlue is nothing if not chipper and polite. To my surprise, I received another email a couple of days letter saying I'd receive a full refund and a voucher worth the price of the fucked flight.
So JetBue is off my shit list. And all it took was some cash. Surprise, surprise.
(BTW, on my return flight I had to sit next to a woman and her toddler, both of whom were sharing a seat. I was in the aisle so I had to get up approx. 17,562 times. Later, at BART, a stranger came up to me and said I deserved a medal for dealing with it. Also, the CEO of JetBlue came on our flight to apologize for last week's insanity. I appreciated the gesture but he held us up a good three minutes. Time is money, bitches!)