My first experience with JetBlue, and why I’ll just stick with oneworld Alliance

So I’m back from my eventful trip to the NVIDIA headquarters San José, CA, and I’ve had a few days to settle back in at home. After hearing a lot of positive things about JetBlue (especially from Casey Neistat after he switched his primary domestic airline from American Airlines to JetBlue after American Airlines didn’t reinvite him to Concierge Key), I finally tried them out for the first time. I decided I would share my thoughts and experiences regarding my first flight ever with JetBlue versus my regular airline of American Airlines, part of oneworld Alliance.

I have notoriously bad flight experiences. A few years ago, I traveled a decent amount for my job in esports, with my primary trip being from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport. There have been nearly non-existent instances where I managed to fly without problems. Very often, my gate was moved around, sometimes multiple times per flight, before they finally decided on one through which we would board. I’ve had some absurd instances where my flights were delayed because of things like a broken toilet, and once even because they somehow ran out of planes and had to send one from Mexico to come pick us up in Los Angeles.

On flights where everything else seemed to work out, there have still been little nuisances, such as online check-in not working, having to check in at the kiosk, and ending up in the final boarding group so I was forced to check my carry-on luggage; all the way to having pre-purchased a wifi pass and having the wifi break on my flight. Even on a flight where I flew first class, everything seemed to be going perfectly until I got to my final destination… first class is supposed to have priority baggage where your luggage is supposed to be the first to come out at baggage claim, but my luggage somehow ended up being the last.

The one time I clearly recall that I flew with zero problems is a minuscule less-than-one-hour first class flight from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, which I imagine was problem-free only because I literally got off the plane and out of the airport before anything could even happen. But interestingly enough, we nearly had a car collision on my way from the airport back home because my driver wasn’t paying attention to the road and nearly rear-ended someone.

However, through all of that, there had not been a single time that my flight was canceled. The longest my flight has ever been delayed was just a few hours, and eventually, American Airlines always found a way to get me to my final destination before the day was over.

And then JetBlue proceeded to cancel my second ever flight with them (first, if you calculate it by round-trip bookings).

Although I might have a slight bias because JetBlue introduced me to my very first canceled flight experience, I still think I’m taking a relatively neutral approach to analyzing my JetBlue vs. American Airlines breakdown – at least when it comes to my individual perspective in my personal situation.

  • JetBlue’s unlimited snacks is no different than what is already served with economy fares anyway.

    When JetBlue really marketed their unlimited snacks, I thought it would be similar to my first class experience with American Airlines from LAS to LAX. Because the flight was so short, there was no meal served, but the flight attendant literally came around 4 times with a tray of snacks with such great variety that every single bag of chips, crackers, and cookies was different. I literally ate four different items that day.

    JetBlue goes around with complimentary non-alcoholic drinks and a limited choice between cookies and Cheez-Its (the rest of the supposed available snacks were not available). Nowadays, free non-alcoholic beverages and a choice from two basic snacks is standard (as long as you’re not flying with an ultra budget airline like Spirit), so I’m not exactly sure why JetBlue is borderline bragging about their snacks.

  • The leg room is nice, but irrelevant for me.

    On my JetBlue flight from LGB to SJC, I upgraded to an Even More Space seat, while on the way back from SJC to LGB, I sat in a normal seat. Although the extra leg room on the outbound flight was nice, to me personally, it was next to pointless.

    Even though I’m somewhat tall at 5’10” (178 cm), I’m extremely lean at approximately 142 lbs (65 kg). I’m also pretty flexible, so I end up getting settled in pretty comfortably in small spaces. A lot of people use the space in front of them to stretch out their legs, but I generally am able to nimbly use vertical space to swing my legs around into different positions (and even sometimes cross my legs into the other) to keep the blood flowing. I’m also pretty intense and am able to sit still in the same position for hours at a time without fatiguing.

    The only reason I would imagine the extra space would be helpful is if I needed to pull out my laptop and work on the plane, but I generally cannot do that due to my air sickness. Although I would love to take advantage of that extra time, all I’m able to do without getting sick is occasionally look at my phone and just sleep. Although, sometimes working on my laptop isn’t even entirely possible because of the wifi, which brings us to the next point:

  • The wifi is nowhere near as advertised, and didn’t even work on my return flight.

    On my outbound flight, the free wifi on JetBlue, which is supposedly supposed to be somewhere around 12 Mbps, is nowhere near as advertised. It’s pretty much as slow as any other plane’s wifi, and it took a good few minutes to post photos on Twitter. On my inbound flight, the wifi just didn’t work at all.

    This personally isn’t really much of an issue for me because I’m a T-Mobile One Plus customer, and they provide unlimited free Gogo Inflight wifi to all their clients, so I can stay connected on American Airlines flights for free anyway. Although this is obviously not applicable to everyone, it ends up being a non-factor for me personally (mainly because my only potential benefit over Gogo – the supposed 12 Mbps of JetBlue wifi – seems to not be true).

  • Mosiac, JetBlue’s elite status program, is underwhelming.

    Again, this assessment heavily relies on my own personal situation, and may not apply to others, but I personally don’t care at all about rewards travel. The only reason I work towards an airline loyalty program, such as oneworld Alliance, is for the chance to get free cabin upgrades.

    I hate travel and try to avoid leisurely flights at all costs; the only time I fly is if my employer or a different company pays for the flight, which in that case, my points for award flights don’t matter. Either way, the value of literally one bump in cabin on a decently long domestic flight is generally far higher than any award flight that you struggle to book with your miles in basic economy.

    Mosiac does not offer cabin upgrades at all (I don’t really consider complimentary Even More Space seats to count because just having more leg room in the same exact seat doesn’t matter to me), and if I’m not mistaken, you cannot even redeem your airline points for cabin upgrades. Thus, I feel like I’m collecting all these points with JetBlue to possibly redeem them for a single free flight maybe once a year that has a microscopic retail price of like $60.

  • The aircraft feels a bit on the dated side.

    I’m not sure if I just got unlucky, but the plane I rode looked nothing like the JetBlue photos. The cabin looked old, the seats were a faded gray color and felt a bit tattered, and even the screens are just small TVs that don’t provide interactive show or movie selection. There’s a map “channel” that shows your GPS location, but that also isn’t interactive and cycles through so many advertisements that you only get to see the actual map for about 10 seconds out of every minute.

So, what’s my verdict after all of this?

I plan on sticking with American Airlines unless its prices are 20%+ more expensive than JetBlue, or in cases where American Airlines does not offer any non-stop flights but JetBlue does. At this point, I would literally prefer to pay up to 20% more because of AAdvantage and oneworld Alliance’s loyalty program for elite and Million Miler status.

In the case that JetBlue does provide significantly cheaper and more convenient options for a particular flight, I’m not entirely against using them. I think I probably just got unlucky with the canceled flight, and they are still a decent secondary alternative.




JetBlue canceled my flight

Apparently, a plane that was supposed to come get us from San Francisco International Airport ended up having a part malfunction and they couldn’t get it repaired in time to fly us down from SJC to LGB. So, a few hours before I was going to leave for the airport to catch my trip back home, I got an email from JetBlue letting me know that my flight was canceled and I was confirmed for the next available flight of the same route – Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at 6:30 AM.

I obviously wasn’t going to make the same mistake again that I made the first night I was in Santa Clara with our PUBG team at the NVIDIA GeForce esports boot camp. This time, I actually went back to the hotel and slept on the couch with a warm blanket (instead of freezing to death in the boot camp room for a second night in a row). I also took a refreshing shower, which was nice because I hadn’t showered yet since the previous day’s morning due to having slept in an office building.

During the wee hours of 5 AM, a time I didn’t even realize had humans already walking the face of the earth, I woke up, quickly washed up and brushed my teeth, and headed out to the front entrance of the hotel to get picked up by my Uber to the airport. Of course, just because my flight is delayed for another day doesn’t mean a jacket magically appears on me, so I proceeded to nearly freeze to death once again in the biting cold of pre-twilight.

I got to the airport and stepped into the TSA PreCheck line because of my Global Entry status, probably one of the best investments possible for frequent travelers. Since getting it, I never actually had to use it, because I was fortunate enough to either fly at a time with low travel volume, or fly out of Long Beach Airport… but this morning, it actually mattered. I casually strolled past some 100 or so people in the regular line, because apparently, 5 AM is the new hot time to fly.

When I whipped out my boarding pass, I slightly panicked as I saw that I only had 13% of my phone battery left. I was 99.9% sure that I had charged my phone overnight, but what happened? Did the power outlet randomly stop working? Is my battery on the verge of dying? Will this even last long enough for me to be able to call an Uber back home from Long Beach Airport once I land?

Then I realized that I had taken a screenshot of my mobile boarding pass last night. I closed the screenshot and my battery jumped to 98%. I also discovered that I don’t quite fully function optimally when the time shows both a “5” in the hour slot and an “AM” at the same time.

No problem, though. I looked up at the screen of flights and saw that I was boarding through Gate 2. No need to rush, because my gate is nearby – I have a chance to go to the bathroom and take it easy for a while.

Just kidding, Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport numbers their gates backwards and Gate 2 is over by the edge of the planet.

Miraculously, I actually made it on the plane, and doubly miraculously, I managed to eat enough dinner and get enough sleep last night that I wasn’t feeling at all sick.

That’s a good thing, because apparently, the airport only had one runway open, so we ended up taxiing for somewhere around 18 minutes to take off, proceeded to take off facing north, then spun around 180° so we could face south and start traveling in the proper direction. That would’ve been a disaster if I was actually still feeling unwell, because rotating the direction of a plane 180° is probably one of the best ways to make a sick person vomit everywhere.

Also, the wifi never ended up working.

The rest of the trip went uneventfully (or at least, relatively uneventfully). As you may have guessed, I’m back in Southern California now in Tempo Storm’s team house where I’m staying temporarily until the construction on my new apartment is done. I took a nap shortly after returning to make up for the extra strain on my body from all the traveling, and woke up not too long ago.

I also found out that I am missing a pair of dirty socks that I may or may not have accidentally left behind in the boot camp room.





It’s getting a little chilly in here

Like I mentioned yesterday, I went into this PUBG NVIDIA trip with insufficient sleep and ended up feeling unwell because of it. A side effect of me getting sick and energy-drained after a flight was that I was pretty tired … tired enough that I very easily fell asleep on a recliner in the esports boot camp room.

This trip was relatively unexpected and unplanned on my end – I basically decided to attend and booked my airline ticket with only a few days’ notice. Because of that, NVIDIA wasn’t exactly expecting me, so they didn’t have a hotel room prepared. That was perfectly fine with me, though – our players were booked suites, and I was ok with sleeping on one of the couches out in the common area. I tend to fall asleep pretty much anywhere and stay asleep pretty well, so a couch was more than enough.

The problem here was that I never actually made it to that phase. I ended up knocking out in the comfort of this recliner somewhere around 9-10 PM, back when the players were still busily practicing. The players didn’t finish up until almost 1 AM, and by that time, I was very deep asleep.

Before they left, our PUBG team’s captain poked me on the shoulder and woke me up, letting me know that it was time to head over to the hotel. In my sleepy state, I assessed the recliner to be comfortable enough to continue sleeping on throughout the remainder of the night, so I told him that I would just spend the night at the studio. The team asked if I was sure, laughed a bit, then headed off.

My assessment of the comfort of the recliner was actually correct. My assessment of the comfort of the air surrounding the recliner was incorrect. After the team left, I quickly fell back asleep without a problem. But, a few hours later, I woke up and thought to myself,

Hmm… it’s getting a little chilly in here.

I went over to the climate control, but realized that it was broken. The temperature was set to 50°F, but it clearly wasn’t actually 50°, and there was no air flowing out anywhere (nor were there even any vents visible in the room). I attempted to raise it to 74°F, but the needle seemed like it wasn’t really doing anything, and the thermostat didn’t seem like it was actually reacting, apart from the needle shifting positions.

This is when I realized that I failed to take into account the fact that the temperature of the air around the recliner was just as important as the comfort of the actual recliner itself. I also failed to take into account that the room was only an acceptable temperature this entire time because there were four other guys inside the room, running the CPUs and GPUs of four gaming computers at high load while playing PUBG. Once they were gone, the room started cooling rapidly.

But as I mentioned before, I’m pretty good at sleeping in pretty much any conditions. I sort of shrugged off the chilliness and went back to sleep. Unfortunately, the sleep was short-lived, because about an hour or so later, I woke up again, and thought to myself,

Hmm… it’s getting a little cold in here.

The temperature was still rapidly falling even further. I’m known to produce a lot of body heat when I sleep – enough that, if I close the door to my bedroom overnight, it will actually be a noticeable few degrees warmer in my bedroom than out in the common area. Unfortunately, the esports boot camp room was quite a bit larger than my bedroom, and my natural body heat couldn’t keep up with the fact that it was actually pretty cold outside at night in Northern California.

This is the point when I realized that it was a mistake to have not brought a jacket, even though it never actually crossed my mind that I would need a jacket for a 30-hour trip from California to California. I did, however, remember to bring an undershirt and a spare pair of socks. I put on my second pair of socks as a second layer over my first pair of socks, and wrapped the undershirt around my hands as gloves. It wasn’t much, but it made things marginally better, and I fell back asleep.

You guessed it. Another hour or so later, I woke up again, and thought to myself,

Hmm… it’s getting a little Antarctica in here.

By this point, it was getting uncomfortably freezing. The two layers of socks were doing their job, but the rest of my body was cold, and the undershirt was far too thin to have any effect on my hands.

In an effort to generate some natural body heat, I put on my boots, walked out of the esports boot camp room, and started jogging around the building towards the bathroom. Thinking to myself that the 24-hour security staff watching me through the camera system probably think I’m crazy, I made it to the bathroom, used the bathroom, then jogged my way back to the practice room. This quick burst of physical activity warmed me up enough that I was able to fall asleep again.

That is, only for another hour or so again.

I finally just gave up and stayed awake at that point.

In other news, we shot an interesting segment with Zanpah, the newest member of our PUBG roster; here’s a behind-the-scene look at one of the photos where he drops an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. Yes, he actually really did drop a piece of hardware worth around US$1,000.00 onto the ground, but no, it did not break.








Don’t travel with insufficient sleep and an empty stomach

I’m not sure if I need to exercise more, if I’m just getting older, or if this was just a random and unrelated incident that I shouldn’t really think much about, but I feel like I’m not quite as invincible as I used to be when I was younger.

Tempo Storm’s PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS team is currently in Santa Clara, CA at the NVIDIA campus for a GeForce esports boot camp in preparation for Intel Extreme Masters Katowice later this month. Because one of our players lives on the other side of the country (instead of the team house), and because a different one of our players is new, I decided to quickly fly over there from Southern California for a short visit and a photo/video session with the guys.

With just a few days notice, I booked a plane ticket from Long Beach Airport in Long Beach, CA to Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport in San José, CA via jetBlue Airways. I was planning on departing today (Monday, February 12, 2018) at 11:12 AM and arriving back home tomorrow (Tuesday, February 13, 2018) at 8:21 PM.

Because of something that kept me up working late into the night, I didn’t really get that much sleep. I woke up bright and early at 7:51 AM, 9 minutes before my alarm (which is sometime I tend to do often), hopped in the shower, finished packing everything up, drank a glass of water, called an Uber to LGB, then ran out the door.

When I’m not feeling well, I can usually just cope with it and hang in there until I’m able to reach a place where I can rest. However, for basically the first time in my life, I was feeling so randomly unwell that I actually had to ask my Uber driver to exit the freeway early and pull over at any location with a bathroom. He happened to pick Burger King, which was fine with me; I jogged into the bathroom while my driver sat in the parking lot waiting for me to finish being sick. Luckily, it only took a handful of minutes.

I’ve been using Uber for a really long time – since back when the concept of tipping wasn’t really a thing for Uber. Since then, the fares in general have risen, so I generally don’t tip my Uber drivers … but I figured this particular driver who let me successfully make it to a bathroom was deserving of a tip.

My entire life, I’ve always traveled via huge airports. Having originally been from the Chicagoland suburbs and traveling to Los Angeles a lot, my most traveled airports are O’Hare International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport – both huge hubs, ranking #3 and #2, respectively, in terms of the busiest airports in the United States.

You can probably imagine my surprise when I arrived at Long Beach Airport, the airport that looks more like a cruise ship museum than an airport. Because of the extra stop I had to take, I was a little bit later than I expected, so I didn’t even take a photograph and just rushed into the airport to get to my gate as quickly as possible. The fact that I have Global Entry coupled with the fact that the airport is tiny resulted in me making it to my gate about 3.5 minutes after I got out of my Uber.

This was the first time I ever boarded an airplane through an exposed ramp, rather than an enclosed boarding tube. I snapped a photo from inside the plane.

Long Beach Airport

The flight was relatively uneventful, except for the fact that I wasn’t actually completely done being sick. As we were about to land, we faced a noticeable amount of turbulence, which made my dizziness return.

I obviously didn’t want to vomit on the plane, so I started vigorously massaging the fleshy part between my thumb and index finger, slightly deeper in from the webbed part – pressure point LI-4 that I thought was associated with eliminating motion sickness and nausea. I later found out that I was massaging the wrong pressure point – LI-4 relieves headaches, while it’s P6 on the inner wrist that relieves motion sickness.

Regardless, I managed not to vomit, then proceeded to exit into SJC and sit in a common area, sipping some water out of a water bottle, waiting for my body to stop spinning the world.

I miraculously made it to the NVIDIA campus without further troubles. This is also where I discovered that a lot of this might have been the result of a lack of food, as I instantly felt about 90% better after I ate a burger that was too tall for its own good.


And now, here we are. I rested a bit on a pretty comfortable couch, and snapped some photos of the very green room.




Like usual, I’ll be live posting photos I take here onto my Flickr account; here’s a link to the album I have set up for the event:




The happiest ice cream

My aunt and uncle came to visit me today, and we went to an all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant. This is what they gave me for dessert.

The happiest green tea ice cream

And of course, this can’t be a post about sushi if I don’t actually show some sushi, so here’s a photo of salmon nigiri:

Salmon nigiri

I had a lot of that




I produced a cooking video for one of our HotS players

Remember a little while back when I went rock climbing with Tempo Storm’s Heroes of the Storm team? After we were done, I went back to one of the players’ apartment to film some more stuff while I was in the area.

One of the segments we filmed was of Jun, the support player, cooking some Korean-style beef sirloin.



I finished editing the clips together last night, and the video went live on the Tempo Storm Heroes of the Storm YouTube channel earlier today.





I can finally fly in Draenor

I’ve been playing World of Warcraft on-and-off since the Mists of Pandaria expansion. I liked the game enough that I continued with Warlords of Draenor before now playing Legion. However, one part of Draenor that I never got to that I’ve always wanted to finish up was the Draenor Pathfinder achievement.

If you’re not familiar, Draenor Pathfinder is the achievement that allows you to fly in Draenor. Flying now in Draenor is basically useless because I pretty much never go back there anymore anyway unless it’s to visit the auction house or bank when my other Hearthstones are down. However, seeing as this is something I really wanted to do while the expansion content was was still current, I still had the urge to finish what I started.

The reason I never finished Draenor Pathfinder is because I had a lot of trouble navigating around to find treasures and rares to get the Master Treasure Hunter and Tanaan Diplomat achieve­ments (the latter of which was linked to getting Exalted with the Order of the Awakened). I was stuck at 55/100 for Master Treasure Hunter and Revered for Order of the Awakened for the longest time, before I got sick of seeing the reminder to finish those achievements in my task list and finally did it.

I knew that the treasures were going to be tedious, but I put myself in a very patient mindset and started farming. Surprisingly, it went a lot less badly than I remembered it to be (which I later found out was because, a year ago, I had been trying to farm treasures in Spires of Arak, which was extremely difficult due to a majority of them requiring tricky tightrope navigation). During travel times, I planned out which treasures I wanted to grab, and looked them up ahead of time on WoWHead so I had an attack plan once I got there.


As for reputation grinding with Order of the Awakened, I discovered the existence of an item called Medallion of the Legion, which gives 1,000 reputation with the “denizens of Draenor” (Order of the Awakened included). I ended up getting quite a bit more than the base 1,000 due to the reputation boost I got from one of my Garrison structures, as well as the racial passive boost from the fact that I am a Human in-game. These medallions cost about 7,000 gold each, but gold is a lot less valuable now than it was back in Warlords of Draenor, so I was able to drop a nice chunk of cash on these and “cheat” my way to the achievement.


After taking a victory lap around my Garrison, I promptly Hearthstoned right on back to New Draenor … but I left with a sense of achievement that I finally finished this thing I started that had been subliminally nagging at me for a very long time.




I just moved for the fourth time in 14 months

I’m not a very materialistic person. In fact, I’m actually quite the opposite – I like to cut down on my possessions to only the essentials. I’m pretty lucky I’m like that, because I’ve moved four times in the past 14 months.

Back in November 2016, I got an opportunity to do what most other people only dream of – I got to start doing my hobby as a full-time job. With our involvement with League of Legends and Overwatch, Tempo Storm was getting two team houses, and I was offered a spot in one of the houses. I obviously seized the opportunity, which started my chain of moves, relocating from my hometown of the Chicagoland suburbs to one of the team houses.

After I finished setting up the first team house and players moved in, it ended up getting full of League of Legends players, so I moved again to our other team house in December 2016. I repeated the process, setting up the other team house for our Overwatch players.

During this entire process, I realized something – I am very incompatible with living with a bunch of other guys in their upper teens and low 20s. I didn’t realize how messy, dirty, and inconsiderate people could be, especially considering that I am an only child and I lived alone (without roommates) throughout all my years of university. Although I was being given free housing in the team house, I noticed it probably wasn’t worth taking it, because it was having an effect on my mental well-being, so I decided to move to my own apartment.

I executed my decision the following month, moving from the second team house to my own apartment in January 2017. I was feeling better already, as having quiet, alone time is pretty important to me, and I’m on the extreme end of cleanliness and organization. I signed a one-year lease and happily lived in my apartment until today, in January 2018.

Since November 2016, Tempo Storm hired a lot more people who are local to the Southern California area, and my duties shifted significantly from being an all-around administration and operations guy to focusing in specifically on editorial and digital media projects within the production division. This specific task didn’t require me to be present in person, and as a result, I was given the freedom to work from wherever I wanted. Because of the extremely high cost of living in Southern California, I decided to move away to somewhere nearby without such high prices for … pretty much everything.

Thus, I decided not to renew my lease, which ends tomorrow, and to instead move to Las Vegas. I was able to pick out a new apartment complex still under construction with an ultimate-tier luxurious lifestyle, most utilities included, free breakfast, a gym/pool, and a ton of other amenities for far lower than the cost of what I was paying for a 26-year-old building in Southern California. I’m pretty picky about stuff like this, so I ended up selecting the perfect place for me … which unfortunately doesn’t get released from construction until late February or early March.

I still needed to get out of my current apartment, though, because of an ending lease. Fortunately, the timing worked out so one of the team houses had a vacancy for me, so today, I moved over my stuff into a free bedroom in our team house, for the fourth move in 14 months.

So yes, logically, this means that I will be moving for a fifth time in under 1.5 years once my new apartment in Las Vegas is ready. But as a result of my tedious, detail-oriented focus on picking out my next place to live, I think I’ll be staying in this particular apartment building in Las Vegas long-term (or at least until I purchase my own property).

It’s been an interesting year and a half with a whole lot of moves, but I’m glad I did it – it’s not something I would otherwise do, and forcing myself into these new and different situations is always a great learning experience.