JetBlue A320 economy class Fort Lauderdale to San Diego

What the hell? Am I slowly losing my mind? How is it possible to go from a JetBlue JFK-SAN trip report directly to this JetBlue FLL-SAN segment without one of my usual trip report introductions to explain how I magically appeared in Fort Lauderdale with a need to get back to San Diego? Well, I’m glad you asked because I have a very good explanation for that!

I wish I could tell you something exciting, such as being drugged and kidnapped in Tijuana, then fighting my way free and walking barefoot all the way across Mexico before stowing away on an oil tanker headed for South Florida, but it wasn’t quite like that. The reality was that I went to Florida to visit family over the holidays, and I decided to give myself a break and not do any trip reporting at all. There were no drugs or kidnapping involved. Sorry.

Oddly enough, it’s impossible for me to step on an airplane these days and not document the entire experience by taking a million pictures. I truly had no intention to write anything about these flights to Florida and back over the Christmas break (you can see the full itinerary in my flight log), but just knowing that I had all the pics required to create a decent trip report of a product that I have not reviewed yet (JetBlue A320 economy) was eating away at me, so here we go…I guess.

B6529
Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) – San Diego, CA (SAN)
Sunday, December 31, 2017
Aircraft: A320-232
Registration: N509JB
Duration: 5 hours 18 minutes
Seat: 15C (main cabin)

JetBlue A320 (N509JB) side view

JetBlue A320 (N509JB) side view illustration by norebbo.com.

JetBlue A320 seat map

Seat map of this JetBlue A320 (courtesy of seatguru.com) showing my seat (15C) for this flight to SAN.

FLL to SAN flight map

Our route from FLL to SAN this evening: THNDR4 THNDR SRQ Q100 LEV J86 JCT EWM J4 SSO J50 GBN J2 HOGGZ LUCKI1

This trip report begins with me arriving at the airport ridiculously early. Five hours early to be exact, which probably sounds ludicrous to any sane person – and I totally get it. In my defense, I was actually looking forward to that time so that I could catch up on some of the trip report writing that I was falling woefully behind on at the time. The plan was to grab some lunch, and then to go find a quiet corner to sit with my iPad for four hours and hack away. It was gonna be perfect.

Fort Lauderdale airport departures level

Curbside, terminal 3, FLL. I know that I’m five hours early, but it’s all part of the plan. This is gonna be great!

Using the word “perfect” and “airport” together in the same train of thought is usually a recipe for disaster, and I learned that lesson the hard way today. Keep in mind that it’s been many many years since I’ve last flown through FLL, so I didn’t really know what to expect once I got inside. I’ll just sum it up briefly in one word for you: pandemonium. Observant readers of my blog will know that I have yet to use that word in a trip report, but I’m totally unleashing it for this one.

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Um. Where do I…uh…how….really? If you’re checking bags, getting to one of those kiosks to print a bag tag is required. Good luck and godspeed.

JetBlue bag tag kiosk Fort Lauderdale airport

I eventually made it to a kiosk, only slightly bruised and bloodied. I can’t remember the last time I had to check a bag, but all I do know is that I don’t like it and I’m going to do everything within my power to prevent it from happening again anytime soon.

The JetBlue terminal here at the Fort Lauderdale airport is just ridiculous. It’s one of those kinds of terminals that has way too many flights going in and out of it than there should be, and it’s just wall-to-wall people everywhere you turn. It’s loud, cramped, and I’m pretty sure it’s on the edge of being in violation of the fire safety code at certain times of the day. So yeah – finding that quiet little corner spot to get some writing done was a lot more difficult than I anticipated it was going to be.

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Nope. No quiet spots here.

SANspotter selfie FLL

I couldn’t even find a spot for a SANspotter-style predeparture selfie without someone else’s stuff in the pic. Those bags were totally abandoned by the way – there didn’t seem to be anybody in the immediate area who seemed to care about them, even when random people walked by and kicked them to the side.

The only quiet spot in the Fort Lauderdale airport

But what have we here? Despite looking like the interior of the local county jail (not that I would know what that looks like), this terminal connector was actually a decently quiet spot to set up camp for a while.

SANspotter selfie Fort Lauderdale Airport

It was cold and uncomfortable sitting there on the floor against the wall (much like being in jail I presume), but at least it was quiet and I was able to zone out for a bit.

The final nail in the coffin of my clever plan to get some writing done was the fact that for some reason or another my iPhone and iPad simply wouldn’t tether via bluetooth. Not many of you know this, but the only way I’m able to write so much is to use voice dictation software – otherwise my fingers would just crumble from overuse. Unfortunately, voice dictation software requires an Internet connection, and I often tether the network signal of my iPhone directly to my WiFi-only iPad to do all my writing. The IT  gods were frowning upon me today though, and it just wasn’t working. Of course I could’ve used my phone directly to capture some of my thoughts, but that’s difficult because I much prefer using the large screen of the iPad to see a more complete picture of what I’m writing.

Once I realized that I wouldn’t be able to catch up on my trip reports, I was still faced with four hours of nothing to do in an obnoxiously overcrowded airport.

Fort Lauderdale airport departures

Oh dear God. What am I going to do for the next four hours?

I wish I could tell you how I survived those four hours and managed to stay sane, but it was all a blur to me and it wouldn’t be totally shocking to me if I actually blacked out a time or two during the wait for my flight. Come to think of it, sitting at FLL for four hours seems just as scary as being drugged and kidnapped in Mexico, so perhaps this isn’t as dull of a story as I thought it was going to be. Isn’t this exciting?!

Fort Lauderdale airport terminal

The Fort Lauderdale airport isn’t the most thrilling place to do some plane spotting, so that was out of the question.

Sunwing airlines Fort Lauderdale airport

There are some interesting airlines that serve this airport however, and Sunwing is one that I’ve been itching to try. Just not in the middle of winter. I felt truly sorry for all those poor souls waiting to board that flight up to the great white Arctic north this afternoon.

SANspotter Christmas selfie

Give me a couple hours of free time with a fresh battery in my GoPro, and I can’t help but to take pictures of anything that catches my eye. I’m fairly confident that the TSA was watching me on the security cameras all afternoon, wondering why the hell I was taking so many pictures of completely random shit.

Fort Lauderdale airport terminal three interior

Still 3 1/2 hours to go. Oh come ooonnnnnn!

many hours later...

Gate F6 Fort Lauderdale airport

For some reason or another my iPhone wasn’t jiving with the refresh rate at that monitor, but you can partially see that gate F6 was ours today.

Je blue A320 Fort Lauderdale airport

I hate to admit this out loud, but I was secretly hoping that they would have swapped in a Mint-equipped A321, and gifted me with a surprise upgrade to seat 4F. I know, I know…I need to learn to set my expectations a bit lower if I have any chance of reaching old age with any amount of sanity left.

Waiting at the airport

Still one more hour to go. Kill me now.

JetBlue mobile boarding pass Fort Lauderdale airport

I’m so lucky that this blog doesn’t happen in real time, because I’m sure I would’ve lost most of you by now if you had to wait the full five hours with me that day. If you would have said “screw this Scott, I’m going to go see where Ben is flying off to today” I wouldn’t blame you. However, boarding is about to begin any minute now, so stick with me because we’re finally getting to the good stuff!

Boarding jetblue flight to Fort Lauderdale airport

I’ve never been more happy to board a flight in my life.

It probably goes without saying how excited I was when they finally started the boarding process for this flight to San Diego. Just hearing that electronic beep of the boarding pass scanner accept my ticket was music to my ears, and I walked down that jet bridge with a skip in my step and a strong desire never to visit this airport again. Well, it wouldn’t have been so bad if I was only here for an hour or two, but anything over two hours is just downright cruel.

I had an aisle seat for today’s flight, which was perfectly fine by me since I wasn’t planning on doing any trip reporting anyway. The first thing that I noticed upon sitting down was how much leg room there is in JetBlue economy class. Seriously, it’s just as good as what you would find in premium economy on United or American domestic flights. For some reason or another it seemed to be the same amount of generous legroom as I recall from my Even More Space JetBlue flight from Boston to San Diego over two years ago. So far so good!

JetBlue economy class leg room

My apologies for the lack of decent pics of the boarding process. Keep in mind that I wasn’t even planning on doing a trip report anyway, so that should explain any unfortunate gaps in this report. I’m doing my best to tell the complete story though! Here we have a pic of me crossing my legs comfortably in a standard economy class seat. How often does that happen?

JetBlue A320 economy class interior

JetBlue A320 economy class cabin. Not too bad, though it is starting to look a little bit dated with those tiny video screens.

JetBlue A320 safety card front cover

Fun fact: the design on the front of the safety card matches what’s on the tail of this aircraft. Neat, huh? Just a nice little nugget of info you can use to impress people at your next big social event.

JetBlue A320 safety card interior

JetBlue A320 safety card interior. I’m pretty thorough for not even planning to do a trip report in the first place, am I? I think taking pictures of the safety card is so burned into my brain at this point that I’ll be doing it until I drop dead. I just can’t help it.

My mood took a bit of a turn south once I realized that my video screen wasn’t working. At all. As a matter fact, our entire row wasn’t working. I wasn’t totally bummed out by this, since I’m not much of a TV watcher on airplanes anyway, but still…you know how I am about watching the in-flight map.

Broken video screen JetBlue economy class

No, this isn’t the “JetBlue Noir” channel. It’s a completely in operable video screen, devoiding me of my beloved in-flight map for the five hour journey across the country today.

Departure pics are going to be a bit thin for this trip report, as it’s not easy to capture the action without others seated around me getting suspicious as to why I’m taking pictures of things in their general direction. I haven’t been labeled as a terrorist yet, but it’s probably going to happen at some point and I’ll need to think of a clever retort (other than “I’m a travel blogger yo”) before I end up in Mexican jail for good.

Taking off in a JetBlue A320

We are well on our way now, blasting out of FLL and chasing the sunset on our way out west.

JetBlue A320 aisle seat

Dang it, I wish I could see what was going on out there.

Service on today’s flight was generally good, and the flight attendants came by first checking on anyone who would like to order things from the menu. I actually had my eye on the yogurt, but the look of confusion on the flight attendant’s face when I asked for it told me immediately that chances were not good that they had any in stock. “Let me check in the back for you…” she said with a look of concern on her face, and walked to the rear of the aircraft and disappeared for a good 10 minutes. Other flight attendants came by shortly thereafter taking drink orders, and eventually I was told that no, there is no yogurt in stock on today’s flight. Bummer. Pretzels it is then.

JetBlue menu

The menu back here in the main cabin is actually quite good. Other than the fact that they didn’t have my number one choice…

JetBlue snack

New Year’s Eve dinner, 2017.

JetBlue menu rear cover

What possessed me to take a picture of the entertainment menu when I wasn’t even planning on doing a trip report anyway, I’ll never know.

JetBlue route map 2017

The reason for taking a picture of this route map is not surprising though. I had no idea that JetBlue’s route network was so extensive!

One of the things that surprised me about the snack service was the fact that the flight attendants did not use carts to doll out the goods. All service was done from hand-carried trays, except for the snacks which came in a basket. That’s kind of neat, don’t you think? I’ve only seen that kind of service on smaller regional jets and not on anything as large as an A320. I should also point out that snacks were available for the entire flight in both the front and rear galleys.

Since my video screen was completely inoperable, I spent majority of the flight sleeping or just meditating with my eyes closed. The guy and the girl sitting next to me in the window and center seats seemed to be hitting it off quite well, and it was quite entertaining to listen to them get to know each other. There was definitely a spark there, as they both seemed to have a lot in common with each other and there was a lot of flirting going on. That’s basically all the entertainment I had all the way out to San Diego this evening.

JetBlue A320 lavatory

The excessive wear marks on the top of this toilet seat reveal the fact that many people actually sit here. I guess it’s not surprising considering how often I feel the need to escape to the lav just to get away from my smelly seatmate.

JetBlue A320 main cabin at night

I sure hope nobody’s feet are hanging out into the aisle, because it’s so dark in here that I’ll never see them and I’ll be falling face first into my seat for sure.

45 minutes before landing, the flight attendants came by with the final snack service which simply consisted of bottled water. And that was perfectly appropriate considering that snacks were available for free in both the front and rear galleys for the entire flight. So it’s not like we were all starving and on the edge of death or anything.

I’d love to post some amazing landing pics of a brightly lit San Diego skyline for you, but unfortunately it’s just not gonna happen. Remember, I wasn’t even planning on doing a trip report for this flight so I didn’t even try to get somewhat decent pics of the landing process. I promise that you aren’t missing much anyway, because I’m sure it looked exactly like any other nighttime flight in economy that you’ve ever had. They’re all basically the same anyway.

JetBlue main cabin seat back

We’re landing now. I know it doesn’t really look like it, but you gotta trust me on this one.

Once we docked at the gate, curiosity started to get the best of me and I was starting to wonder if that guy was ever going to ask that girl out. Now, I’m totally shy in these kind of situations myself, but I could just tell by her tone of voice and the way that she acted towards him that she totally would have said yes if he simply asked. “ Do it man!” was what I was chanting to myself inside my head as I was walking up the aisle and off the aircraft, and I was half tempted to turn around and do the asking for him. Unfortunately, I got so far ahead of them that I wasn’t able to hear their final goodbyes and I really have no idea if they ever got together or not. I sure hope they did, as they sounded like they would be a perfect match for each other…

JetBlue A320 interior

Welcome to San Diego! Here’s a better pic of the entire cabin, which should make up for the lack of main cabin pics at the beginning of this trip report.

JetBlue A320 bulkhead row

There is no first or business class on these JetBlue A320s, but there is a thing called Even More Space seating which consists of the first few rows. Here’s my half-ass attempt to get a pic of that.

San Diego airport jetblue jet bridge

I was still totally convinced at this point that I wasn’t going to do a trip report of this flight, but that didn’t stop me from taking pics of the interior of the jet bridge. I’m telling you, it’s just instinct for me at this point!

San Diego international airport terminal two interior

Still taking pictures on my way to baggage claim…

San Diego airport terminal to baggage claim

For having decided to take a temporary holiday break from doing trip reports, I’m doing an awfully good job of getting content for this one! This is the baggage claim area.

San Diego airport baggage claim

Why is my bag always the last one off the plane?

Waiting for bags San Diego international airport

Finally! I was starting to think that she was sent off to Jamaica without me or something.

Leaving San Diego international airport

Ahhh! It felt so good to finally take a flight and not have to worry about getting content for a trip report. lol

So there you have it. 2000 words about JetBlue A320 economy class that came darn close to not even happening at all. I apologize again for squeezing this one in out of the blue like that (haha, pun totally intended), but the next trip report is a big one and I promise that it will be in the normal SANspotter style – nerdy introduction and all. Get ready, because that one starts in just a few days…

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