JetBlue's Inaugural Flight to Curaçao

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Ever taken an inaugural flight? Back in the late nineties, I accidentally took one while I was traveling through Southeast Asia, however never had I taken one leaving the states.

JetBlue has been adding more flights to the Caribbean, a natural go-to destination for them from New York City’s JFK.  They can boast being home to Terminal 5, a more organized and easier-to-manage terminal, which is a godsend for frequent travelers who have to regularly deal with the less than stellar experience at Terminal 4, where I fly in and out of frequently between the Big Apple and the west coast.

Recently, I took JetBlue’s Inaugural flight to Curaçao, an island I knew relatively little about until a month ago. It was a bitter cold day when I headed to the airport, so it couldn’t have been a more welcome treat to arrive at the gate and find a band playing Caribbean music, a buffet table of pastries, muffins and fresh fruit, tea and coffee, and a crew of inviting smiles.

Everyone seemed to show up for the ribbon cutting of this inaugural flight – from the head of the Curaçao Tourism Board and airport staff to Curaçao tour operators and hotel managers and some of JetBlue’s execs including Anders, their very hip PR guy.

And, who doesn’t love cupcakes? I rarely eat them despite the fact I love baking and decorating them. In this case, I thought, bring it on and so….I did indulge.

There were healthy options as well of course.

It was the band that really put me in the mood for Curaçao, despite the ungodly time of day. The new inaugural direct flight from JFK to Curaçao is at 8 am and we all know what time that means getting up for an international flight. After a little caffeine and some toe tapping however, I was ready to meet Curaçao’s glorious sun.

JetBlue employees always seem to have a good time. Cheerier than most airlines, they seem to take pride in “fun.” As part of the inaugural flight, they played Bingo and had multiple (and I mean multiple) drawings for prizes.

They ranged from spa treatments and hotel giveaways to Jet Blue points, jeep drives and parasailing. I won a parasailing experience for two however wasn’t able to use it in the end due to lack of time, not because it’s not something I would do. After all, if you’re an avid adventure traveler, how could you resist the experience of soaring high in the sky looking at the ever so beautiful island of Curaçao below? On the list for next time.

Another perk was the JetBlue logo-ed towel they left on everyone’s seat. Nice touch!

Truth be told, I rarely fly Jet Blue, so it was a nice re-introduction to the airline that loves to have fun. While they do have more leg room premium seats on flights, the only way to get a bump up in service is to fly JetBlue Mint, an experience I’ve yet to have. On their new A321 aircrafts, they boast fully flat seats and first class amenities, but without the four digit fares you often find from other airlines.

When we landed at the airport, we were greeted with more smiles and JetBlue had a press conference in a massive tent next to the main terminal. Fun, fun, fun! What a great way to fly. I think I need to do inaugural flights more often.

Note: I was hosted by the Curacao Tourism Board and JetBlue is one of their partners, but I was not asked to write this post nor expected to. All opinions expressed are my own and quite frankly, I wrote about it because it was a fun experience and if you haven’t flown an inugural flight before, I think it’s an experience for your must try list, regardless of the airline and where it happens to be flying…

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