If there was a buzzword yesterday, it was pride. Sure, JetBlue and Gensler architects were happy with themselves, but the fuel for the party came from the pride of the airline's crew and of the airline's most loyal, well, jetters.
Add to this the TWA element, and we had one hell of a heartfelt hoedown out at T5. Throughout the day, former TWA stewardesses would parade around in their vintage uniforms, telling racy 1960s stories while pouring out their devotion to Eero Saarinen's old TWA terminal--currently being de-asbestos-ed by JetBlue for future use.
When we ventured down onto the tarmac for a peek inside TWA's oldest plane, the Lockheed Electra 12A, which took five days to reach NYC, we witnessed a reunion of two TWA stewardess friends who hadn't seen each other in 30 years. After their shrieks of happiness died down, they said that this day was really the closure they needed with good ol' Trans World Airlines.
If we weren't in the middle of such sentimental scenes, then we were caught in a deluge of free stuff. Aer Lingus had crispy chocolate treats and Irish line dancing, Cape Air was handing out hardback novels and beach balls, all of the terminal's dining options employed legions of hors d'oeuvres servers and Ron Jon Surf Shop was running a prize wheel.
Before enjoying an orange cream T5-tini, we checked out an Embraer 190 and an A320 JetBlue had pulled up at the gates; nothing we aren't intimately acquainted with, but then there's always Andrew, the Hottie McHotcakes pilot of the Embraer.
Sometime later, after a drink and some cheesecake, we hovered around some random modular furniture while checking in with Jetblue's social butterfly, the @jetblue Twitter presence Morgan Johnston and his team (shout out to John, Sebastian and Jordan at "Passport Control"). Morgan successfully got us psyched up for the surprise performer, who turned out to be UK singer Estelle.
Finally around the dinner hour, Estelle belted out her #1-in-England hit "American Boy." At this point we may have been the only press left in attendance, as Estelle praised the JetBlue crew and even had some flight staff join her onstage to show what they can do on the ground. It was a good time.
Since this was a big fancy party, you can bet there were gift bags. Descending to baggage claim for the totes ended the evening, sending everyone away with a MUJI wallet, Godiva chocolate, Cape Air chapstick, a Lufthansa airplane wine charm and much more. It was worth spending half the day at the airport just for the $5 Dunkin' Donuts gift card!
But how is the building is looking? All is in place with the exception of a few concessions. The first flights are scheduled to land at T5 on October 1.
· T5 at JFK coverage [Jaunted]