Jet Blue

Souvenir Sunday – from Fort Lauderdale

I joined JetBlue and Greater Fort Lauderdale as a guest for the inaugural Mint flight from Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale last week and a day and a half on the ground.

Here are some snaps – and souvenirs – from the adventure:

Inaugural Mint passengers received a tote bag filled with JetBlue-themed items – including sunglasses.

In addition to the lie-flat seats, Mint service features a multi-course menu that includes a choice of three mini-entrees. I found three veggie choices – yay!

While staying at the beach is always a treat, I lucked out with a stay right downtown at the historic Riverside Hotel on Los Olas Blvd., which provided easy access to the water taxi route, the beach and the Norton Museum of Art.

I got scolded for trying to take this photo of this woman who seemed like she could be part of an installation to match the painting.

Flamingo Gardens is a popular, ‘old-style’ attraction with a tram ride, museum, extensive botanical garden and wildlife ranging from flamingos (of course), an alligator lagoon and other wildlife.

And a gift shop for only-in-Florida souvenirs:

 

 

JetBlue boosting Boston service. Now: Atlanta

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JetBlue, already the largest airline at Boston Logan International Airport, is ramping up service there a bit more with the announcement of new service to Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport beginning on March 30, 2017.

This will be JetBlue’s 63rd nonstop destination from Boston –(the most destinations of any airline at Boston Logan, the carrier notes) – and with it comes an introductory one-way fare of $47 – starting today.

In addition to Boston-Atlanta flights, JetBlue will be adding service between Atlanta and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, New York JFK, and Orlando.

Wait – there’s more:

In addition to the flights between Boston and Atlanta, JetBlue also today announced some added flights out of Boston, including a fourth daily roundtrip Mint flight between Boston and San Francisco International Airport (SFO), starting July 15, 2017, and year-round service between Boston and Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport (MBJ), which currently operates as seasonal service.

JetBlue is also expanding its seasonal service between Boston and St. Thomas’ Cyril E. King Airport (STT) to year-round service.

JetBlue’s Rube Goldberg winning machine

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JetBlue flies from cold, snowy New York to hip and sunny Palm Springs, California and to remind New Yorkers of that the carrier has a set up a fun, storefront-sized contest promotion involving a golf ball and a chance to win prizes.

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Today and tomorrow – passersby in New York’s Lower East Side (at 168 Bowery and Kenmare) can putt a golf ball, watch its make its way through an intricate path set up in a 25-foot window and maybe win a trip to warmer climes – or other prizes.

Hours: Canceled Friday Feb 5 – due to snow – but let’s hope it’s up and running on schedule Saturday Feb 6, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Good, bad and just plain wacky air travel fees and amenities

Heading to the airport this holiday weekend? Check to make sure you’re up on the latest changes.

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Shoes out of the bin, buddy!

Like what? Well, the TSA has decided that you still need to take off your shoes and send them through the X-ray machine, but now those shoes need to ride on the belt on their own, outside of the plastic bin.  Got that?

There are other changes to make note of. Some are good, some are bad and, as I outlined in my Well Mannered Traveler column this week on MSNBC.com, some are just plain wacky.  Here’s what I mean:

No Kiss ‘n Drop tax; for now

In April, London’s Luton Airport announced that it would soon be charging a fee for the privilege of dropping passengers off outside the terminal. That “Kiss ‘n Fly” tax is now on hold.

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(O’Hare Airport has a Kiss n’ Fly drop-off spot with a free shuttle)

Ryanair’s “let just say everyone’s fat” tax

Ryanair was going to institute a large-passenger charge, but instead decided to just go ahead and charge everyone a new fee.  Print out your boarding pass before you go to the airport and you’ll pay a fee of about $5.  Forget to print out your boarding pass before you get to the airport and pay a much fatter fee of close to $60.  Ouch.

Loads of reasons to lighten your load

You’ll soon pay an extra fee on United and US Airways if you don’t go on-line and pre-pay the charge to check your luggage.  And Air Jamaica will soon begin taking your money for checking a second bag, but in return only promise to deliver it within seven days.

Pillows, snacks, fee-waivers, refunds, and perhaps a marriage proposal

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There’s  some good news. Experts predict that on-line travel booking agencies will continue to waive booking fees. Air Canada may bring free pillows back.  And JetBlue is extending the “Lose your job, get your money back” program through the end of the year.

There’s more.  To find out about matchmaking flights and on-board weddings, see my Well Mannered Traveler column this week on MSNBC.com.