Road Trip '06

JFK Airport

Well it's 6:15am here at JFK and I'm waiting for the first flight I'll be taking today. There's no Wi-Fi here so this probably won't get posted until Dallas or the hotel in LA tonight.

This journey so far has been very easy, I just stayed on UK time so that getting up this morning was a lay in rather than another early start. Yesterday I arrived at the hotel on 6th Avenue by 3pm so just went and had a walk right down to the Empire State building and then back up Broadway. Even though I'd done nothing all day I was tired so got some dinner, watched a little TV and took an early night (well 8pm US / 1am UK time).

Unfortunately this morning the shower in the hotel was cold, I waited for ages but it refused to warm up, not nice having a freezing cold blast of water first thing in the morning, but I suppose it woke me up anyway. When I told the front desk so they could get an engineer to look at it they halved my bill, not what I had asked for but it made up for it rather well.

Oh yes, I need to comment on Max Jet. As suspected it's not a true business class as BA or Virgin have theirs today. Rather I would compare it to the old business seats which didn't convert into beds. The plane was half empty, and even if it was full I have never seen so much space between seats, that's really the most impressive thing about the plane. Everything else is rather tired, the plane is from the mid-80s apparently. Because they've only been running a few months I think they're still getting used to the service. Not that it mattered but lunch took almost 2 hours to serve with a huge wait between plates. If the plane was full who knows how long it would have taken. The entertainment is provided by portable media players for each seat, they get handed out after take off and have about 10 movies, some TV and music videos and some plain music as well. It's OK when the seat next to you is empty as you can use the tray table to hold the player but again, if full, you're going to have to have your table out the whole time. The other annoyance was that there are no power points for laptops in the seats (a result of the seat being 10 years old I guess) which means you'll need a couple of batteries to make it through the whole journey if you want to work.

All in all, for £400 return this is truly unbeatable, the equivalent service from BA or Virgin will cost at least twice as much, but if you paid the normal price it works out at £800 return and for that I think I prefer one of the traditional carriers. Given that yesterday was a special offer and the plane was still half empty it wouldn't surprise me if they folded pretty quickly, but if you're looking for a new carrier and flying to/from Stansted suits you then well worth a look.