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Roughly a year ago some poor soul got lost jet skiing in Jamaica Bay, and ended up shivering wet outside the fence at JFK. He proceeded to scale the airport's 8-foot fence, make his way across 2 runways, and enter Terminal 3. Good for him - how else was he expected to get warm - but bad for the Port Authority. The organization is ostensibly responsible for security at the airport, which presumably includes not letting a random guy in a neon yellow life jacket wander around runways and terminals undetected for hours at a time.
This year, there have been no life jacket-wearing New Yorkers embarrassing the Port Authority by effortlessly defeating one of their airport's security system. Instead it's a cross-dressing Jersey City resident. Airport security you guys; gosh we just don't know.
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Six hours is an incredibly long time to be sitting on a domestic flight. To a frequent flyer, that stretch from New York to LA or SF means lost hours of work and sleep. To an infrequent traveler, it's an interminable wait only made bearable by the promise of eventually getting off the thing.
Why does transcontinental travel suck so hard? The problem: old airplanes, with old seats and old technology. The solution: new airplanes, with new seats and new technology. Please welcome American Airlines' fresh and fighting Airbus A321s to the skies.
For travelers who've experienced American's current transcontinental service onboard the achy-breaky old 767-200s, the new A321s will be a revelation. No doubt; we fully expect passengers to board these aircraft and think "hallelujah, this is going to be a great flight," no matter the class.
In-Flight WiFi / Fly-Fi / Travel Tech / JetBlue / JFK / A320 / Travel News / Airlines / LCCs / A321 / WiFi / ViaSat / Airline News / → All Tags
[Update: To view what routes will have Fly-Fi each day, check the frequently updated list on JetBlue's blog]
December, 2007: JetBlue christens an Airbus A320 "BetaBlue" and becomes the first airline to offer in-flight WiFi, even if it is extremely limited and quickly outdated.
December, 2013: JetBlue again launches an Airbus A320 with in-flight WiFi, but this time the focus is on freedom and a tech-positive future. The system is called Fly-Fi and it promises to do everything other in-flight networks cannot, and still go beyond. It is the Survivor of in-flight WiFi networks, designed to "Outwit Outplay Outlast."
It was only this morning that Fly-Fi saw its first official flight, and we were onboard. Naturally we tried our very best to break the network or at least throttle it, but to no avail; Fly-Fi is a beast of technology, an in-flight WiFi network passengers can finally rely on, and likely even come to love.
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The chips are certainly falling in JetBlue's favor lately. First, their new "Mint" premium seats sell out minutes after going on sale, and now the FAA approves gate-to-gate gadget use just as the airline revs up for the debut of their own satellite-supported in-flight WiFi network, "Fly-Fi."
In fact, the switch has already been flipped and JetBlue is the midst of a trial period, allowing users to log on and surf the web for free (it will remain free) and push the system to its limits. The specific aircraft to watch for is tail number N534JB (and possibly also N804JB). From Zach Honig at Engadget, we know it's flown on the JFK-Austin route and, from Seth at The Wandering Aramean, it's also made a run or two down to Orlando.
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Word to the wise: automated immigration kiosks are the new hotness. These machines process the passports of US & Canadian citizens in a matter of seconds (minutes, if there's a line), and we foresee it one day pushing the Global Entry program to the curb. Oh, and it's free.
How to use the kiosks:
Simply roll up to one, scan your passport page, confirm that the screen has your ID and arriving flight info correct, tap to answer "no" to the usual "are you bringing anything weird into our country?" questions, and a camera snaps your photo and prints a receipt of the transaction. Show that receipt to a man in a booth (no waiting!), he'll stamp your passport, and you're free to enter baggage claim. You'll finally yield that receipt to the customs inspection officers after baggage claim, with minimal bother and no queuing.
Who's got them:
As far as we know, there are four US airports with immigration kiosks up and running for holders of US passports. They are:
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Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! Big news today, as the sold out JetBlue Mint premium seats are once again up for grabs.
Previously JetBlue flights were only available for booking through June, 2014. Today, however, the schedule opens up further for flights through September 2, 2014. This means more Mint seats to go around, on JetBlue's nonstop routes between New York-JFK and Los Angeles-LAX from $499 each way (or 29,100 TrueBlue points), and includes "Even More Speed" preferred security lane access.
As a refresher, check out our three-part series on what's new at JetBlue, including all the Mint details and even fresh perks coming to Economy:
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Pardon the slightly blurry photo, but we're beside ourselves with excitement.
Those new self-service passport processing kiosks slowly appearing at US airports to speed the re-entry process for US citizens are a godsend, and we can finally say so from experience. Already the machines are installed at Chicago-O'Hare and Dallas/Ft. Worth Airports, but encountering them ourselves at New York-JFK last week was an eye-opening surprise. It knocked our usual 40 minute wait time down to an impressive 40 seconds.
Located in Terminal 4, whose passport control area often erupts into airport hell after the arrival of foreign A380s, the 40 new kiosks were turned on October 15 to welcome travelers holding US passports...for free!
How do you use it? Well, simply roll up to one, scan your passport page, confirm that the screen has your ID and arriving flight info correct, tap to answer "no" to the usual "are you bringing anything weird into our country?" questions, and a camera snaps your photo and prints a receipt of the transaction. Show that receipt to a man in a booth (no waiting!), he'll stamp your passport, and you're free to enter baggage claim. You'll finally yield that receipt to the customs inspection officers after baggage claim, with minimal bother and no queuing.
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Well that didn’t take long—it’s only been a few months since Shake Shack made its debut at New York’s JFK Airport, and it’s already been voted like the best darn airport cheeseburger in the whole wide world. Well, sorta. Technically, The Moodie Report awarded the fast food joint the “Best Fast Food/Quick Service Restaurant" in the Airport Food and Beverage Industry during the Airport Food and Beverage Awards in Dubai.
If you haven’t visited Shake Shack in your travels—now’s the time to do so. There are locations across the United States, including plenty in New York City and a few in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Florida, and Washington, DC. As for the airport spots, the award winner is located within Terminal 4 near one of the Delta gates—B34—at New York’s JFK Airport. There’s even another one coming in the same terminal, and it’s expected to open later this fall.
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There are no other buildings that show the romance of travel like the TWA Flight Center at New York’s JFK Airport. The Saarinen-designed terminal was completed in 1962 and closed in 2001 following TWA’s financial deterioration. Countless starry-eyed travelers were lucky enough to pass through the doors and check-in to their flights under the vaulted ceiling while it was operational.
The rare opportunity to visit inside the structure this last weekend was thanks to the openhousenewyork festival. Plans are in the works to convert the terminal to a hotel and convention center, so this might have been your last chance to see it filled with people as it was meant to be.
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SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY!
The TWA Flight Center at New York's JFK Airport will again be open to the public for this one day: Sunday, October 13. And it may be the last time to view the building in as close to Saarinen's original plans as possible, since rumors of hotel development are approaching fact.
The reason? The 11th annual openhousenewyork festival (OHNY), a weekend event that flings open private doors to showcase typically hidden gems of the city. Last year was only the second instance of the TWA Flight Center welcoming hoards of the curious and, even better, access was (and still will be) free!
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These days airlines and airports are doing everything they can to bring the outside inside when it comes to things offered up in the terminals and concourses. JetBlue is often leading the way with stuff like this as they’re the ones who have been running their own concert series at their home at New York’s JFK, and now they’re starting something else pretty darn neat.
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What's arriving with JetBlue's A321s:1. The "Mint" premium seats
2. "Mint" eats & treats
3. Upgrades to everything else
JetBlue has, from their very beginning some thirteen years ago, touted their egalitarian approach to air travel. Everyone gets a leather seat; everyone enjoys free snacks and beverages; everyone can watch live, DirecTV channels on seatback screens; and everyone has a chance at low airfares. This isn't going away with the arrival of A321s into JetBlue's fleet, but being improved. Even better? The improvements are very noticeable; this is not a case of, "oh, we added some nice new accent piping to the headrest" (though there's that, too).