Puerta Plata, Dominican Republic Sat. 19 Sep. 2009. As I had time, I took some time to walk around the airport a bit ask some questions, take pictures. All this before flying from Puerta Plata to Rochester, NY via JFK.
I went up to the waving gallery to see what planes were at the gates. There was only one, a Continental Airlines (CO) Boeing 737-900ER. This was the plane I saw flying by on my way into the airport. I took a picture and waited a bit looking around at the runway. There were a few other people up there as well.
Eventually, I went back downstairs and checked in for my flight. I had to ensure that my bag was scanned for agriculture first though. By now it had started raining so I could not take a better photo of the terminal.
I did see the Metro bus so I went over and spoke to the driver to get some details. This is the bus that costs about 4 USD (130 DOP). The driver did mention that I can just walk up to the street and take a local car into Puerta Plata or Sosua for 50 DOP or so. Good information to know for the next time since the taxi fare to Puerta Plata is 35 USD and 25 USD to Sosua.
The interesting thing is that the price for the taxis are listed in USD in Puerta Plata airport but in local currency in Santiago. These two airports/areas are like night and day. Puerta Plata is clearly for the tourists as it has the beaches. Even the cab fare from Puerta Plata to Santiago is inflated at 100 USD compared to 70 USD for the reverse trip! It is a shame that the prices are so inflated just for the tourists. This is not uncommon in the Caribbean though.
I was hungry, so I had a beer and a local pastry which was both good. I then entered the secured area after filling out immigration and customs documents once more. Then cleared security and Immigration.
As soon as I got in this area, I was rushed by people sellign duty free stuf, geez. I left that area and made my way to the gate. I was really trying to find a currency exchange, but saw none. I did see a cool sign on my way to the gates though, you can see it here.
Once I got to where the gates were, I saw the currency exchange booth, crafty to place it here. Although they are expanding the airport so I think the part where I entered is the new part.
While I waited at the gate, a Corsair Boeing 747-400 showed up. This was a crowd pleaser. Lots of cameras came out of nowhere. It was awesome to watch. Then the Continental Boeing 737-900ER left for Newark, a Jetstream 31 from the charter company SAP Group arrived as did a Thomas Cook Airbus A330 and finally a Boeing 767-300 from First Choice. Lot of activity in a few minutes here.
The gate agent made an announcement that if there are any All You Can Jetters in the boarding to come to the podium, so I did. She then asked me if I preferred the seat I had. I told her unless she wants to give me a better one and she did. Thanks! We then started the boarding process.
I did notice that headsets are free here in Puerta Plata. I think they are trying to get rid of the old ones though as they looked different. Customers were impressed and annoyed though oh well, can’t please all.
It was time to board N708JB, “All that and a bag of Blue Chips” an Airbus A320 saying hello to the flight attendants as I head to my seat. We pushed back eight minutes late and headed out to the runway taking off eight minutes later. Soon, we were airborne which provided an excellent view of the airport and the town below.
Once we levelled off on this 3:20 flight, we got served drinks as well as the standard cookies, chips and cashew nuts. There was DIRECTV, but it does not work when offshore so it was not until we were very close to Florida that it kicked in. You figure tht it is sattellite it should work anywhere, but you have be within ‘x’ miles of the U.S.
We soon started our descent in JFK and landed safely at 5;43p taxiing to the terminal arriving at 6:04p twenty-six minutes early. We actually went to Terminal 4 as Terminal 5 does not have immigration facilities. I could not remember that being announced earlier, but I may have missed it.
JFK International airport
I exited the aircraft and headed for the Immigration counters. I was looking for the Global Entry kiosks and found two of them. I chatted with the officers as I completed the less than a minute process. The Immigration area was not full at all, but it could have been.
I exited Customs, then headed upstairs to the AirTrain. I stopped for a bit on the departure level to check out the operations. Lots of people were leaving for international destinations as Terminal 4 has most of the international airlines serving JFK. I was so in my element here.
I did notice that the old Northwest WorldClub was no longer in this terminal. It was replaced by one called Oasis. I also noticed that Delta had taken the place of Northwest’s operations. Wonder why they don’t use their operations in the Delta Worldport?
I made my way to Terminal 5 via the AirTrain passing a LAN Boeing 767-300 as well as a TAM Airbus A330, actually the one that was signed by all the employees. It looked really nice. in the setting sun.
At Terminal 5, I printed a new boarding pass for my flight to Rochester, NY (ROC) later that night. I then entered the terminal. I needed to find a room for the night and figure out what I’d do for the Newburgh to JFK trip tomorrow. After much searching I used Priceline and settled on the Radisson. Sadly when I called I was told that the shuttle stopped at 11:00p ( I arrive at 12:02a) so that would mean a taxi :-(.
Eventually, boarding time arrived for the flight to Rochester NY (ROC), an Embraer ERJ-190, N307JB, “Mi Corazon Azul.” I settled in after saying hello to the flight attendants.
The Captain came out of the cockpit (which is customary with jetBlue) and advised that the local temperature in Rochester is 45 degrees, brr…good think I am wearing long sleeves.
We pushed back a three minutes early and headed out to the runway. We were number three behind an Air Europe Boeing 767-300 and a British Airways Boeing 777.
It was a short flight time of 0:45 so we just had some water, coke, diet coke and sprite plus chips and cookies. we also got a coupon for FREE Hash Browns at Dunkin’ Donuts with purchase of any item.
Soon, we were descending into the Rochester area and touched down at 11:44p arriving at the gate at 11:48p.
Boy I was tired. I then went outside and saw a Raddison shuttle van, but sadly it had come to pick up someone else for the downtown location.
I then went to the cab stand where I had to pay 18 USD to get to the hotel. Tomorrow is another fun filled day.
How was your Saturday?
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