Plane sitting

When I was a kid, airports were the coolest place in the world. I’ve always loved the idea of carrying your life with you, and the excitement of going somewhere new. I loved the architecture, the systems of moving people and machines. When did all that change?

It started snowing last night and didn’t stop. I should be in a taxi right now headed for my hotel in New York, but instead, I am sitting waiting for the plane to arrive. I should be thrilled to have wireless, happy that Jet Blue has an amazingly pleasant staff, and pleased that Buffalo-Niagara International is relatively comfortable, compared to some airports. But all I can think is how much I’d rather be at home right now. Or on the beach–that would be OK too.

There are a score of professors at UB who make the commute from NYC. It doesn’t sound that bad in the abstract. The flight in only a bit more than an hour, when everything goes just right. But how bad would this be if you faced it throughout the winter?

Update(12/16): It’s not that Jet Blue does anything all that earth shattering–serving drinks at the gate, individual TV screens at the seats, professional staff who are polite because they seem like they want to be and smile like they actually like their jobs, a woman pilot (it seems funny that this is here, but I can’t remember the last time I heard a female voice from the cockpit), a few extra inches of knee room, a sense that design is a part of good service, frequent flights to useful places, and a reasonable and clear pricing scheme. The first question is how they have managed to stay in business, but the real question is how anyone else does.

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3 Comments

  1. Jenny
    Posted 12/17/2003 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Yeah I feel the same way about this little engine that could. I recently blogged about this when I read that they are now offering free wireless access at their LA and NYC terminals. It’s just amazing how they can keep improving the customer’s experience and still manage to make money. Now if only they went to Chicago too…

  2. Posted 12/17/2003 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Hah! The wireless hotspots were what sent me on that update in the first place–I can’t believe I forgot to mention them. The update part was written at JFK, on the way back, where I didn’t have to pay $7 for access. I wonder if they will eventually do that in Buffalo as well, or if the airport won’t let them…

  3. Posted 1/18/2004 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Nice!

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