September 22, 2005

JetBlue Goes Meta

Last night I made a mad dash from the excellent Jaron Lanier lecture/performance at Berkeley on "Can Soulful Music Survive Digital Epistemology?" to get to the Oakland airport to catch my flight. I was in a bit of a rush and not paying any attention to anything on the radio, which may have just been KFOG.

When I got to the airport it was pretty much straight through security onto my JetBlue flight back home. As soon as we were headed down the runway many of the DirectTV screen were showing a plane landing with its front wheel on fire. As I switch my attention to my screen and switch to the news I see a JetBlue plane make an emergency landing. I looked out the window of our plane heading down the runway and thought it was not going fast enough to get airborne. Just then the wheels lifted off.

This was an odd experience for me, but not as odd as the meta experience of the JetBlue passengers on the plane with the locked front landing gear. These passengers were watching their own plane live on television, thanks to DirectTV, up until the last 10 minutes.

In all of this as I was watching and taking off, I could not help but be amazed at the quality of the pilot that landed the JetBlue plane with the locked landing gear. The skill that was needed to do a perfect landing and keep the plane from tipping over or crashing was just amazing. At that moment I felt I was on the best airline ever (I have felt this on many other occasions for other wonderful reasons, but not like last night).

I am quite thankful for the people who brought me out to the Bay Area that they could put me on JetBlue to begin with (I love their direct flights and the extra room after row 11).



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