A JetBlue Flat Bed in Coach to Vegas (Trip Report)

JetBlue, Trip Reports

Last weekend was my annual trip to Vegas with a group of friends from grad school. While I usually drive, this year was a logistical mess that left me needing to fly out and drive back home with my wife. Flying generally seems like a hassle versus a 4 hour drive, but in this case it worked out well… except for TSA, but we should all get used to that refrain this summer.

It was a no-brainer for me to fly JetBlue to Vegas since that meant I could leave from Long Beach. I wasn’t parking a car and even an Uber up to LAX would have cost half my ticket. The one way from Long Beach was $152.10 for a Friday morning. That didn’t seem terrible since I booked on April 14, just a couple weeks before.

No TSA Line Long Beach

I hadn’t flown from Long Beach in awhile, and that’s a shame, because I love it. I left home an hour before the flight and thought it would be smooth-sailing through security since there appeared to be no lines. Bzzt. Wrong.

First, the line-minder, who was talking on her cell phone, told me to go to the regular line. I said, “is Pre Check closed?” She said, “you don’t have Pre Check.” After showing her the boarding pass again, she shrugged and said, “oh” and let me pass, not missing a beat in her phone conversation.

TSA Line Skip Card

You might think that Pre Check would have a separate line open on a busy Friday morning, but you’d be wrong. The line I went through just merged back into the regular screening area. They started handing out these laminated cards to give to the agent so we could go through the metal detector instead of the body scanner. Judging from the large number of cards visible, Pre Check should have been open. Way to go, TSA.

It took me about 10 to 15 minutes to get through and then I went to have a seat while I waited for boarding. When boarding began, the agent announced that there was one Mosaic member on the flight. She called him by name to pre-board. Nice touch.

Boarding JetBlue from Back Long Beach

I was in the back, so I had the good fortune of boarding the back stairs. Every airport in a good weather location should do this.

April 29, 2016
JetBlue 280 Lv Long Beach 921a Arr Las Vegas 1025a
Long Beach (LGB): Gate 5, Runway 30, Depart 5m Early
Las Vegas (LAS): Gate E12, Runway 1L, Arrive 9m Early
N612JB, Airbus A320-232, Blueberries Tail, 75% Full
Seat 23F, Coach
Flight Time 41m

Once onboard, someone was in my aisle seat, but when I sat down, he disappeared. I had the entire row to myself. I plugged my headphones in and realized the lower channels all had static, so I ended up watching some terrible Ashton Kutcher movie (aren’t most of them?) on VH-1.

The Captain came on to make his pre-flight announcement, and I could have sworn he said his name was Captain Oveur. (When I left, I found out it was Hoggard, pronounced HO-gerd. Rats.) He did compliment the flight attendants and tell us we’d be sad our flight was only 52 minutes because of the great service we’d receive.

JetBlue Over the Coast

We pushed back a few minutes early and made our way into the sky as the marine layer started burning off. The ride was a little choppy until we leveled off at only 21,000 feet. I connected my phone to the internet and did a little surfing/reading to pass the short flight.

It really was all too short. There’s nothing quite like a coach flat bed when it comes to value for the money paid.

JetBlue Coach Flat Bed

And to preempt the nasty comments (I got some already when I posted this on Twitter during the flight), yes I have my shoes on. I didn’t put the soles on the seat, and I think it’s far better to do that that stick my smelly socks into the aisle. Deal with it.

The flight attendants came through with water or coffee (maybe a couple other things). Then we began our descent and they came through again with chips and cookies. I had a bag of chips and kept reading.

Inexplicably, a few minutes before landing, a woman moved into the aisle in my row. I have no clue why she hadn’t done that earlier or why she bothered right at the end.

North Approach into Vegas

I was happy to see that we were landing to the north. That makes it a much quicker ride than coming around from the east as is often the case, plus I had a great view of that massive mining operation just south of town. In fact, our 41 minute flight time was 11 minutes less than the captain had expected.

After landing, we taxied back and I got into a conversation with the guy in front of me who had recently retired from Boeing in Long Beach. He told me a story about a Western Airlines flight he took back in college that was hijacked by a guy with a gun. His trip from Salt Lake to LA ended up going to Houston, Miami, and then Havana. After a few hours of negotiating landing fees, they started heading back home. What a great story. (And no, I should have but failed to ask him to write a guest post.)

By this time, our rows ways at the back were finally exiting, so I grabbed my stuff and headed out for a fun Vegas weekend.

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23 comments on “A JetBlue Flat Bed in Coach to Vegas (Trip Report)

  1. Despite the absolute ineptitude and unconstitutionality of the Federal TSA, be sure to scream wildly “the land of the free” every time you attend a sporting event and think the taxes being taken automatically from your paycheck and paid with your airline ticket are just the cost of civilized society.

  2. In my experience, the airports where I board via stairs are the same ones without ramp power, which means I get to listen to the APU scream while stuck on the stairs.

    If I have a choice between the pretty scenery and my hearing (by taking a jetbridge), I’ll take the jetbridge every time.

  3. I have never taken jet blue or southwest, always US Airways and 99% of the time no problem until a few yrs ago when they made the seats smaller and I had my Yorkie who had to be under the seat which was so small that I kept checking to see if she was still alive.I plan to get another small dog but now I found out most airlines now put pets in cargo, which a lot of dogs have died so there is no way I will ever fly anywhere as long as I have a pet!!!!Can anyone tell me which airline is the best to fly. I’m flying out in July and it’s been awhile since I have flown.Thank you!!!

  4. Checkpoint 10 at MSP has that funny laminated card for Pre-check. That entry is very well isolated and primarily used by frequent flyers so I don’t get too worked up about it but it does seem silly that if I’m holding a laminated card I can keep my shoes on. Security theater at its finest.

  5. Get your shoes off the seat. Idiot. Arrogant and obnoxious idiot, and you don’t even realize it.

  6. Jeans and brown slip ons, yep that’s Brett alright…..LOL :-)

    That TSA card, are you being watched or can someone hand that card to someone else (a.k.a. bad guy) to get past security easier or more likely ‘sell’ it to someone in a hurry who wants to get past security quicker?

    1. David SF – I don’t think anyone is watching. They give it to you when they check your ID and the you hand it back at the metal detector. What happens in between I don’t think they care about.

  7. Because TSA’s full budget didn’t get approved, this is going to be like 2012 all over again (or was it 2010?) when Congress slashed everyone’s budget by 2% — instead of changing the type of toilet paper or cleaner used they’d just lay off the janitor to make a point – TSA is doing this exact same thing.

    I’d much rather have Brett put his feet up on a seat than continue to deal with TSA FSD & bureaucrat arrogance…

  8. The TSA at Long Beach are horrifically bad. I’m not at all surprised to hear one was talking on her cell phone instead of her doing job. That’s par for the course for them. They are honestly the ONLY negative thing about using LGB, though!

    As Haolenate said, TSA is already beginning to coagulate badly at many major airports as passenger volumes rise for summer and agent staffing is cut or held steady. Airlines are already advising pax to get to the airport three hours beforehand in many markets.

  9. re: Hijacking. I read Brendan Koerner’s ’”The Skies Belong to Us” over the weekend, (on a Southwest flight to Mexico and back which may not have been a bright idea;) it was fascinating reading how opposed to increased security airlines were in the 60s, and considered these hijackings a nominal cost of doing business – passengers even enjoying a surprise overnight trip to Cuba (drinks, shows, and a hotel) before returning to Florida.

    The book follows the planning and execution of a couple who took multiple planes from California and ended up in Algiers, while telling small stories and anecdotes about the surprising amount and frequency of other hijackings – the astounding number I had no idea. Anyone who’s into aviation history would enjoy it.


  10. TSA. No way TSA, or Congress’ funding of TSA, is ever going to keep up to the operating whims of the airlines.

    Are we getting closer to the point where each airline says, OK, WE are going to do the security check and YOU, dear passenger, are going to pay us whatever we think it’s worth, before you get on the plane?

    Tell me again, why do we have security checks? For whom are we doing this?

  11. Are we getting closer to the point where each airline says, OK, WE are going to do the security check and YOU, dear passenger, are going to pay us whatever we think it’s worth, before you get on the plane?

    If the mafia ran airport security
    – then yeah I could see that.

  12. Best coach flat bed seat ever – the middle section of a Delta L1011 on a LAX to Atlanta redeye!

    1. Mine was the same plane but on Eastern. The middle five seats on an late night Eastern L1011 flight from Atlanta to MIA. Here is the fun part: There was a stopover in FLL. We took off from FLL to fly to MIA. The flight took longer than a taxi (late night with no traffic).

  13. I don’t understand why calling a Mosaic member out by name is a “Nice Touch”. Are you using that phrase in a sarcastic sense? I wouldn’t want my name and status called out to a bunch of strangers.
    Also…stinky socks? You don’t put on fresh socks every morning?

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