25 Days on JetBlue
Saturday evening’s flight from St. Maarten (SXM) to JFK marked my 20th (and final) flight as part of JetBlue’s All You Can Jet promotion. During the month of September, I flew an estimated 35,000 miles on 20 JetBlue flights at an estimated total cost of about $1,000, including all taxes and fees. I’m currently in Hong Kong, and exact figures are on my computer 8,500 miles away in New York (including miles and hours flown), but if booked separately, the flights would have cost about $3,700, compared to the $699 I paid for an unrestricted AYCJ pass plus taxes and fees for my four international flights. Would I do it again? Absolutely! I was able to get plenty of work done during my flights and at my destinations, and had a great time traveling with friends, meeting up with old friends, and making dozens of new friends along the way.
It’s just about 1:30 a.m. in Hong Kong, so I’m going to bed soon, but before I do, I’m going to rank my 10 trips, based on the destination itself, not the friends I traveled with or visited (please friends, this is not to be taken personally).
Click the “read more” link to see how I rank my 10 JetBlue destinations!
1. Bermuda — My favorite destination also happened to be my first solo trip. There’s just so much to see and do in Bermuda, and with incredibly cheap 90-minute flights from JFK, there’s no reason not to go.
2. St. Maarten — I’m definitely an aviation geek, and Maho Beach, just a few feet from SXM airport, is by far the best place to watch planes land and take off in the world. Beyond that, the people of St. Maarten are incredibly friendly, the island is clean and safe, and the beaches are pristine.
3. San Francisco, CA — I’ve been to SF many times, but I love the weather, the food, and the people that live there. If I didn’t love living in NYC so much, I wouldn’t mind calling San Francisco home.
4. Denver, CO — With the Great American Beer Festival, great friends, a home-cooked brunch, and bike rides, my trip to Denver was a ton of fun, but the city definitely ranks up there as a great destination in itself. There’s plenty to do both in summer and especially in the winter, with some of the country’s best skiing just an hour or two from the airport.
5. San Jose, Costa Rica — The city of San Jose itself isn’t much to speak of, but there’s plenty to see nearby, and Costa Rica is an all-around incredible destination.
6. Las Vegas, NV — If you’ve never been to Vegas, it’s definitely worth a visit. I’ve spent several weeks in sin city for work over the years, and your wallet can thin out very quickly when you’re not traveling with an expense account. I won’t get into detail, but Vegas totally killed my admittedly unrealistic $2,000 AYCJ travel budget, even though we stayed with friends.
7. Seattle, WA — Despite the constant rain, Seattle is a great destination for hiking, skiing and seafood. My trip was incredibly short, but I’d return if I had a friend or two to show me around.
8. Phoenix, AZ — Phoenix is a great place to live and retire, but unless you like hiking in 110+ degree weather, there isn’t a whole lot for tourists to do.
9. Syracuse, NY — Unfortunately Syracuse didn’t seem to be a popular destination among All You Can Jet travelers. When I was waiting in the departure lounge during the first week, the gate agent announced that I was their first AYCJ traveler of the year. Syracuse University is not far from the airport, but unless you have someone to visit, there isn’t much to do.
10. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic — I admittedly was not at all impressed with Punta Cana. It’s a new destination for JetBlue, but the top-rated all-inclusive hotel I stayed at was not very nice, it rained the entire time I was there, and the road from the airport was barely paved. Apparently it’s also not very safe. I’d highly recommend visiting Bermuda, or Riviera Maya in Mexico instead.
I can’t wait for September 2011 (assuming JetBlue offers All You Can Jet yet again)! I’ll be traveling around Asia for the next three weeks, so stay tuned for posts from Hong Kong, Macau, Bangkok, Seoul, Beijing, and more!