JetBlue is one of my favourite airlines. They have been since the first time I flew them. TVs in every seat, tons of leg room, and super friendly and funny staff. This is why I am so excited that JetBlue now flies to my new home country – Colombia!
Until recently, to come into Colombia on an affordable-ish flight, you had to arrive through Bogota. But starting Nov, 2nd, 2012 – JetBlue started their new route from JFK Airport in New York direct to Cartagena, Colombia.
No more layovers in cold, rainy Bogota! No more dealing with airlines that have ridiculous hidden fees. Now I can fly back and forth from my home in Medellin, Colombia to native country, the USA, through sunny, Caribbean, Cartagena. Coming here I flew Las Vegas to JFK to Cartagena and LOVED it!
Upon arriving to the airport, I was well aware that I can’t board the plane with a one way ticket to Colombia. Even though I have flown in and out of Colombia 4 times already, all on one way tickets, and knew that Colombia does not require you to have a way out of the country to come in (especially when you tell them you are engaged to a Colombian)…but this would be the first flight on a North American airline…so I knew they are probably not aware of how lax Colombian customs actually is, and have to go by the official requirements. (It’s a liability thing. I understand and am fine with it.)
As expected, I needed a return flight. The employees at the check counter were extremely nice, even calling their manager to see if there was any way around me having to buy a return ticket I won’t use. There wasn’t I was ready for this though, and, over the phone, bought a flight, I’m not using, that returned to the USA in 90 days. Luckily the woman helping me was married to a Dominican, understood my situation, and helped me find the cheapest possible ticket between Colombia and the USA, since I needed one only for show.
After buying the ‘for show’ return flight, the check-in counter hosts again were super friendly in allowing me to move some stuff between checked baggage so I could avoid the overweight baggage fees (as much as possible). Since I was moving to Colombia, I had 3 checked bags – but on JetBlue, the first checked bag is free!
One of my checked bags contained knives, big decorative and scary looking knives that I have collected over the years. It was unsure if the TSA would end up confiscating these or letting them on the plane. I was aware I may lose these, but what does one of the JetBlue counter hosts do?
He offers to take the contact information for a friend of mine in Las Vegas, that way, if any of my items are not allowed on the plane, this employee said he will personally call my friend to pick up my items so I don’t lose them. Luckily, all my items made it to Colombia, but the fact that this employee was willing to go beyond his required duties, offering to help me not lose my items, I found amazing and just a sweet thing to do.
Once I was through security and at the boarding gate, I introduced myself to the girl behind the JetBlue counter. I told her what I do, and that I would like to know if its possible to board the plane, even 3 minutes early, so I can get some photos of the plane, for this post, before it fills with passengers. She asked me to wait until the plane un-boarded its previous flight, and the crew had their pre-flight meeting, and she would ask if this is possible.
As soon as the crew completed their tasks, she talked with the pilot. The pilot came up to me, introduced himself, and told me “OF COURSE”. A couple of minutes later, a crew member walked me on to the plane before everyone else.
Not only did the JetBlue crew let me take some photos of the plane, they ‘modeled’ for me, then offered to turn the camera on me and asked me “Want a photo in the overhead compartments?
“Really? YES!” and I took off my shoes, and shimmied up to get this awesome photo.
After, a flight attendant asked me, “Want a photo in the cockpit?”
Having never flown before 9/11, I thought entering the cockpit was completely off-limits. But the captain of this plane told me not only am I allowed to do it, I can even post the photos on my blog and Facebook! So look at me…I’m “flying” the plane!
After these awesome and silly photos it was flight time. JetBlue planes are awesome in that every seat has a TV. The TVs hook up to standard headphones (which I accidentally checked mine). You can buy headphones too, but you can also bring your own – for free. They also serve a wide variety of snacks and drinks. And if you ask for cookies, they give you two. There is no skimping on snacks here. After service, if you want anything else, you can just go in the back and ask, or just take them. They commonly leave a bowl of snacks out for you.
The leg room on JetBlue is the most of any plane I’ve sat in before. I sat in a regular seat, and in these, even with my camera bag under my seat, I can swing-kick my legs back and forth like a 2-year-old (the appropriate test of a plane’s legroom).
I love flying JetBlue and try to fly them when possible. They have some great sales and deals, are above and beyond with the customer service, and their planes are just unbelievably comfortable and modern. They also don’t charge hidden fees, and carry-ons and your first checked bag is free.
FIRST CHECKED BAG IS FREE!
Their website is also extremely user-friendly and it is very easy to find out extra baggage/overweight fees, and baggage requirements.
One of the best parts about this flight, is the flight between JFK and Cartagena, was pretty empty so I got to stretch out in a whole row to myself! I slept for most of the flight, and it was awesome. This is a new route that I have a feeling will become more popular as people realize that JetBlue is the only low-cost carrier that actually IS low-cost (not full of hidden fees).
I received a discount with JetBlue as part of a collaboration with them (see disclaimer below), but the original cost of my ticket when I booked it was only $408 from Las Vegas to Cartagena (one way). Prices fluctuate, (as always) but you can find deals even better than that during their sales. JetBlue is great, and so is Colombia. I totally recommend taking a week or two in sunny, tropical Cartagena, and flying super comfy JetBlue down there to do it.
On another note,
Starting June 2013,
JetBlue begins their direct flight between
Fort Lauderdale, Florida and
So, if anyone wants to come visit me in Medellin, I highly recommend flying JetBlue. I can’t wait to fly this route myself.
I received a media rate for this trip with JetBlue, but as always all opinions are honest and my own. Plus, I loved flying with JetBlue before working with them, hence why I approached them. Click on the JetBlue logo to visit their website, and click here to see a map of all the awesome destinations they fly.
About Dani Blanchette
I am a freelance travel and music photographer and creator of GoingNomadic.com.
I love music, food, and exploring cities without guidebooks. I’ve flown a helicopter, hitchhiked down the east coast USA, and once snuck into the back of a zoo (in Serbia) and pet a lion.
I am always up for an adventure, and sometimes I videotape them.