May 6th, 2004
OK, this one goes out to all the non-IL readers out there:
What the hell's the deal with JetBlue? I've read more than a few accounts online of how lovely it is, but they're a rumor around here--looking at their flight map, they don't exist between the Rockies and Buffalo (except for New Orleans, which doesn't really help). I mean, gee, third-largest metro area in the country, busiest airport, you think that would earn us some kind of recognition, but no, we are, quite literally, flyover to them. What the fuck?
I'm gonna fly to San Diego or Sacramento or Seattle on United, then JetBlue my way to New York, then United again back home, just to see what all the fuss is about. (Well, no, not really. But it would be cool.)
I believe that there are several categories under "busiest," including "most flights per day," "most passengers per day," "most passengers per year," etc. I know that in the passengers per day vs. year categories, O'Hare still wins one and Atlanta (Hartfield, is it?) wins the other, but I don't remember offhand which gets which.
Similar to the different categories in the "tallest building" debate. Thankfully, the erection* of Taipei 101 in Taipei (interesting, that) settled some of the questions from the whole Sears Tower v. Petronas Towers fracas. Taipei 101 is now clearly the tallest building in the world in three of the four categories, although for "height with antennae," Sears still reigns supreme by a significant amount. And no, the CN Tower in Toronto, while really damn tall, is not considered a "building."
Where was I? Oh, JetBlue. From what I gather, it's the service and the efficiency, both of which are often lacking with major carriers. One thing that the "Ask the Pilot" weekly column from Salon often mentions is that the airline industry is in the midst of a revolution from being a luxurious experience to becoming a commuter one. So airlines like JetBlue, ATA, Southwest, etc., that don't promise more than they can deliver are getting great reviews. The Pilot points out that flight is becoming more like taking a bus - the novelty has worn off, you just want to get somewhere, and "cheap & efficient" is becoming more important than "luxury." This works great for so-called commuter airlines, but for overseas trips, luxury is still important, since you're in it for the long haul.
* heh heh