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JetBlue's Terminal Five: Overrated

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Airport terminals are usually associated with fatigue, boredom, and overpriced food. So it's remarkable that Terminal Five, JetBlue's new hub in JFK airport, actually generated excitement among New Yorkers. (We wrote about the terminal's takeout food stations a few months ago in Five Cures for the Layover Blues.) I finally got to see the terminal this past weekend, and while it's certainly an improvement over the tent-like system JetBlue was using last summer, it didn't exactly offer the air travel oasis I was expecting.

Thumbs up to the free WiFi.

Thumbs down to the Boar's Head deli. Four staffers were helping four customers ... so why did it take 15 minutes to make a sandwich?

Thumbs down to the food court. Why would anyone call it spacious? Sure, there's a lot of seating. But the place where you order your food—in other words, the place where you wait 15 minutes for a turkey sandwich—is cramped and crowded.

Thumbs down to the snacks without any prices on them. Okay, I should probably assume that a tiny box of chocolates sold at Cibo Express will cost $15. But it would save me some time if you'd just tell me that straight out.

But here's the biggest problem: JetBlue started a live music program last week, and the performances take place right outside the food court. As we waited for our sandwiches (did I mention it took 15 minutes?) we could hear recorded pop music playing over the loudspeakers, conflicting with the live music less than 50 feet away. It was excruciating.

As a side note, it would be nice if the flights left on time. But now I'm getting greedy.

Last updated: May 26, 2009




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