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Saint Lucia's Skies Got A Little Jetbluer, And We Were On Board

October 27, 2009 at 9:39 AM | by | Comment (1)

Yesterday morning while the majority of New York still slumbered soundly in their beds, we were already swilling coffee at Jetblue's Terminal 5 at JFK, prepping for the LCC's inaugural flight to the Southern Caribbean island paradise of Saint Lucia.

As we already said (in a story published from the airport at 6:30am), the beginning of Jetblue flights is a huge deal for both the airline and the island. In the past, airlines like American and Delta owned these routes and as a result, could charge through the nose for them. Those planes might also still land at Saint Lucia's Hewanorra Airport (UVF), but their passengers are paying more for the flights and not getting the seatback TVs, unlimited free snacks, and je ne sais quoi that Jetblue brings to the party. Oh, and did we mention that the Jetblue flight arrives before the others? Yea, so we felt a little superior going through passport control yesterday.

Full photo gallery after the jump!

Speaking of a party, the inaugural flight meant that there was a big fete at every stage of the journey: first at the departure gate at JFK with a cake, cookies, and balloons. Thank god for the presence of the Saint Lucia dignitaries, or else if could have easily become a birthday party. Following our entrance into the skies above New York, the party in the air began with rum— Chairman's Reserve rum, made in Saint Lucia, and made to get us tipsy well before 10am.

In typical fun-loving Jetblue fashion, the in-flight crew began a game to win prizes like tours of the island and of course—pairs of free Jetblue tickets. Passengers madly dinged their flight attendant call button with answers to questions like "What's the capital of Saint Lucia?" and "What movie made the S/V Unicorn famous?" Answer: Pirates of the Caribbean; it's the Black Pearl.

Almost five hours and a couple rums later, we circled the green patch in shimmering blue water that is Saint Lucia. It was like Google Earth translated to real life. Emerging into 88-degree heat and sun, we knew we had arrived. The plane got the traditional water cannon salute, and we were greeted on the tarmac by the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia and other folk sporting sashes and spiffy outfits. Due to the muggy air, the party moved into the terminal where Jetblue presented the artwork for the route, a print reminiscent of old-school travel posters. Then we chomped down some saltfish fritters with the pilots, got a big purple passport stamp, and headed back out into the heat.

The new Jetblue route to Saint Lucia only has flights on Sunday, Monday and Thursday, but the SL Tourism Board is anxious to tickle them into daily service. Do we sense an upcoming vacation indecision period for those who usually head to St. Barts in winter? If you book before October 30, you can score one-ways here for $129 per person, versus the minimum $199 of American and the like.

And yes, we totally wrote this story from St. Lucia; now for a second helping of saltfish fritters...

Disclosure: Jaunted is traveling to St. Lucia as a guest of Jetblue and the St. Lucia Tourism Board

Related Stories:
· Live From Jetblue's Inaugural Flight To Saint Lucia [Jaunted]
· Jetblue coverage [Jaunted]

[Photos: Jaunted]

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Saint Lucia via JetBlue

The views of the island upon final approach are awesome. I feel sorry for the JetBlue pilots who must now fly back to JFK.

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