I was planning a Spring Break trip to visit Seattle and Portland, and the cheapest flight out Friday morning after I completed my finals week was on jetBlue from Long Beach to Portland. I had never flown out of Long Beach before, and was actually quite excited to try it out.
WAIT? There’s an airport in Long Beach, CA?
There sure is! It is mainly a general aviation airport with minimal commercial service due to strict noise ordinances in place. Commercial airlines only have 41 slots total, and jetBlue controls 31 of them. Long Beach Airport is 20 miles southeast of LAX, and also 20 miles northwest of John Wayne/Orange Country Airport (SNA).
At the Airport:
The airport has been newly renovated and is split into 2 terminals post security: North and South. The north is served entirely by jetBlue. There are a decent amount of food choices considering how small the airport is, and I tried the Taco Beach Cantina and the breakfast burritos were pretty good! There is also a burger bar, greek fast food, 2 bakeries and a bit nicer restaurant called Boathouse on the Bay.
The airport is quite tiny, so it did get a bit crowded after passengers would disembark. Other than that, there was ample seating despite the cramped feeling in the terminal. The bathroom was quite large and clean to my surprise.
I actually quite like Long Beach Airport as it is small, quick and accessible. But I think I still prefer John Wayne (SNA) as it also has the smaller feel compared to LAX with a bit more space than Long Beach.
jetBlue Airways Flight 1522
Long Beach (LGB) to Portland (PDX)
Seat: 17A- Window- Economy
Aircraft: Airbus A320- Bippty Boppity Blue
Scheduled Departure: 10:44 AM
Actual Departure: Delayed to 11:21 AM
Scheduled Arrival: 1:04 PM
Arrival to Gate: Late 1:30 PM
BOARDING + FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Boarding was swift, and we actually boarded the middle of the cabin first (YAY for me stuck in row 17). I boarded from the rear of the plane and boy was I excited to board from the tarmac!
My first impression of the cabin was that it was kind of old and dated. jetBlue plans to update their entire A320 fleet by 2019 and install new TV’s (10 inches). The current ones are quite small! (5ish inches). But, I can’t complain too much; at least there still was TV!
I do have to say that the legroom was on point. jetBlue is known for having the most legroom in coach for US airlines, and it definitely feels that way. It almost feels like Econ Plus on some United planes…
We were a bit delayed due to a fuel gauge problem, but the ground crew quickly fixed it in around a half an hour.
IN FLIGHT- ENTERTAINMENT
Two words: FREE WIFI. Yes I’m not lying! jetBlue currently has free wifi courtesy of Amazon at the moment! That was a nice surprise! And of course, they have DIRECTV at every seat as well. In addition, you can even stream to your device. I found that there were tv episodes I could watch on my phone.
On flights more than 2 hours they even have free movies, but I couldnt get them on my TV. Maybe because my flight was right at a 2 hour window they decided not to give me free movies (oh well).
The flight attendants were friendly, and I love the snacks they serve! I chose the Terra Blue Chips of course and I got a nice healthy pack of Craisins. I do remember in 2008 (last time I flew jetBlue) the Terra chips were better…or was that just the child in me liking any sort of chips…?
And, you get the whole can of soda 😀
(pictured below is my favorite drink— cranberry juice with ginger ale. Works best with the Minute Maid Cranberry Apple juice and Seagrams (not Canada Dry), but ocean spray gets the job done too).
Apart from snacking and sipping my own version of a mixed alcoholic beverage (that has no alcohol), it was a pleasant 2 hour or so flight surfing the web and texting away on my phone.
Overall, I would definitely fly jetBlue again if the price and time is right for me. I really like extra legroom and the in flight services they offer (entertainment and snacks). Excited to see the entire A320 fleet get a revamp of interiors!