Flight Number: B6 1393
Aircraft: Airbus A320
A much-needed vacation starts out like any vacation, at 4:30 in the morning. An early morning rise was a sacrifice I was willing to make in order be on time for our flight’s 7:00am departure time to the Bahamas. After a quick stop at the ATM to pick up some cash for our weekend in paradise, we made the 30-minute drive to Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). However, some unexpected construction meant that we were rushing by the time we had reached the economy parking lot at FLL. Fortunately a bus to the airport was just pulling up to the bus station in the lot at the same time we were.
Once on the bus we were quickly whisked away to Terminal 3 at FLL. Arriving at 5:45am, we only had 15 minutes to get our bags checked-in for our flight. Fortunately there were plenty of check-in kiosks, and I was able to quickly check-in and grab my boarding pass. After reprinting my traveling companion’s boarding pass, we joined a line of about nine people in the bag drop line. Although the line was moving at a steady pace, agents began calling for people on the Nassau flight as we were waiting.
As we approached the bag drop counter for our turn, the agent was friendly as he greeted us with the great JetBlue attitude. Soon our bags were on the way to the hold of the A320 and we were headed for security. Despite the early hour, security was busy as JetBlue has a bank of early morning departures from FLL. However, the TSA was well prepared for the queue, as several lanes were open for passengers. Overall the security screening process took less than 10 minutes and we were soon airside at Terminal 3.
With it being early in the morning, very few places were open air side, with the exception being a newsstand and a Food Network Kitchen. With few options, we instead chose to simply sit and wait for the flight to board. Around 6:30am the gate agent announced boarding would begin. After announcing the immediate boarding of Mosaic members (elite members of JetBlue), boarding began from the rear moving forward. Being in row 10 we would be one of the last to board, but thankfully this would be no problem as the flight was less than half full.
With such a light load boarding was quickly completed. Onboard the flight attendants were all very friendly despite the early hour. One flight attendant even stopped to chat with passengers during the boarding. Once boarding was completed, doors were shut and we pushed back a few minutes early from our scheduled 7:00am departure time. We quickly taxied out to runway 10R, the new runway at FLL, and with such a light load we rocketed out into the Florida morning.
Once in the air, the flight attendants announced that an express service featuring bottled water and a choice of cookies or pretzels would be offered. JetBlue’s DirectTV service was still offered despite the short duration of the flight. The flight attendants came through the cabin quickly distributing water and snacks for those who were interested. Although the flight was short, the flight attendants still provided excellent service without seeming rushed.
The flight was smooth and we were quickly up to our cruising altitude of 15,000 feet. We were only up there for a short period as a few minutes later we started our descent into Nassau. The sky was as clear as could be, and throughout the flight the blue Florida Straits were visible as well. Arriving into Nassau we were directed to the north and given a landing on runway 14, parallel to the terminal at Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport. After a smooth touchdown on the runway, we began our taxi to the U.S. Terminal.
Once we reached our gate, we were guided to Bahamian customs. We arrived in a hall built for hundreds, but the early hour of our flight meant the 30 or so passengers from our flight were the only ones being processed. After the quick and easy process at immigration, we proceeded to the baggage claim area. After about 15 minutes our two suitcases popped out and we brought them to be inspected by Bahamian customs. Again the process was quick and easy, and we were soon heading out to ground transportation for the shuttle to our resort.
In my opinion, the service provided by JetBlue on such a short flight was as good as their service on much longer flights. Despite the short block time of only 35 to 40 minutes, the crew was friendly and efficient, and still was able to make the flight fun. On the ground in the Bahamas, the customs and immigration staff were friendly and got us through and to our hotel as fast as possible. The overall vacation was much needed and was a great experience, and I wouldn’t hesitate to take the early morning flight on JetBlue once again.