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I Was on JetBlue’s First Flight to Tulum’s New Airport — Right here’s What It Was Like

JetBlue’s first-ever flight to Tulum in Mexico took off on Thursday, with passengers leaning into the aisle, waiving Mexican and American flags within the air, and cheering because the aircraft ready to drag out from the gate. The thrill was palpable, simply as you’ll count on for not only a new route, however a brand-new airport.

The flags had been positioned at every seat together with a vintage-looking postcard (with a JetBlue aircraft within the background, after all) for the early morning flight. However the fanfare first began on the gate, which was adorned with balloon pillars. Passengers have been provided celebratory breakfast burritos and fruit towers.

Tulum’s Felipe Carrillo Puerto Tulum Worldwide Airport (TQO) first opened to worldwide flights this spring, and main carriers instantly began calling it house, together with American Airways and Delta Air Strains. Earlier than it opened, vacationers needed to fly into Cancun after which trek two hours to Tulum.

Attending to Tulum (and even touring past Tulum) with the brand new airport has been an actual sport changer, Andrés Martínez Reynoso, the director of the Quintana Roo Tourism Board, advised Journey + Leisure on the gate following a vigorous ribbon-cutting ceremony. 

“We’re already seeing a distinct dynamic that we by no means had [because] individuals deliberate their trip [around] touchdown in Cancun,” Martínez Reynoso stated, including, “It is altering the best way we take a look at our personal vacation spot … Now with Tulum, it brings particularly the locations that we’ve within the south … nearer to the north of the state. In a approach, individuals are going to have extra choices after they trip there.”

With its new flight, JetBlue has turn out to be the one airline to fly direct to Tulum from New York’s John F. Kennedy Worldwide Airport (JFK).

That is what it was like on board JetBlue’s inaugural flight to Tulum, and what it’s like whenever you arrive.

The Flight

From the second we crossed the jetway and boarded, you could possibly inform this flight was particular. Alternating flags from america and Mexico welcomed passengers to their seats together with a canvas pouch to maintain as a memento. Even the pilots have been excited, popping out of the cockpit to temporary passengers on the flight path.

The celebrations continued with a spherical of in-flight Bingo for passengers on board throughout which the flight crew chosen a letter and scrolled by way of seat numbers to choose a random winner. Just like the Value is Proper, winners have been advised to “come on down,” dancing their approach down the aisles to cheers and high-fives. 

The prizes have been definitely price getting excited for: two $500 certificates for a JetBlue Holidays journey bundle and a pair of roundtrip tickets for 2 to wherever the airline flies.

The flight itself was not terribly lengthy at nearly three and a half hours, and earlier than we knew it, we have been crossing the Gulf of Mexico and beginning our descent into Tulum.

JetBlue will fly as soon as every day to Tulum from New York, marking the airline’s third vacation spot in Mexico along with close by Cancun and Los Cabos. The flight will function on an Airbus A320 plane and, whereas it doesn’t provide JetBlue’s Mint enterprise class suites, it options each financial system and Even Extra Area seats for further legroom.

The flight takes off at 8 a.m. every morning and arrives in Tulum at 11:15 a.m. earlier than departing at 12:45 p.m. and arriving again in New York at 5:49 p.m. There’s a one hour time distinction between Tulum and New York.

To have fun the brand new flight, JetBlue is providing $99 one-way fares for vacationers who e-book by June 14 and journey from Aug. 3 to Oct. 30. The promotion doesn’t embody journey on Thursdays or Fridays.

Courtesy of Alison Fox

The Airport

Tulum’s worldwide airport first opened to home flights in December 2023 earlier than welcoming worldwide vacationers on March 28. And it nonetheless has that new airport really feel from the colourful overhead screens main vacationers down a tunnel to baggage declare to vivid floor-to-ceiling home windows and skylights, the flowery and colourful jungle-themed kids’s playground, and extra.

There are many locations to seize a chew or store together with typical duty-free objects, mezcal spots, and chains like Starbucks and Carl’s Jr. However not all the pieces is open. An indication for Le Ache Quotidien, for instance, advised vacationers the cafe was “próximamente,” or coming “quickly.”

The airport is a couple of 30 minute drive from Downtown Tulum, but it surely’s about to get simpler to journey across the space because of the brand new and increasing El Tren Maya. The practice first launched in January between Cancún — adjoining to the Cancun Worldwide Airport (CUN) — and Playa del Carmen, however Martínez Reynoso advised T+L it can prolong to cowl between each Cancun and Tulum’s airports in August. Ultimately, the practice will embody greater than 34 stations throughout southeast Mexico, together with at in style websites like Chichén Itzá.

Courtesy of Alison Fox 

The Keep

We walked out of the airport and into the warmth, and began making our approach towards the seaside. Driving previous Downtown Tulum, I made a psychological listing of all of the locations I wished to return to to buy stylish wicker clutches and lovable child garments, earlier than lastly pulling as much as the Hilton Tulum Riviera Maya All-Inclusive Resort

The massive resort — there are 735 rooms and suites — simply opened in 2022 and stretches throughout a powdery sand seaside, that includes 13 bars and eating places, a spa I used to be excited to take a look at, and small swimming pools dotted alongside the water’s edge. From my room, I watched palm bushes swaying within the wind and sea glass-colored waves crashing towards the seaside and couldn’t wait to discover.

I’ve visited locations all throughout Mexico from coast to coast, together with close by Cancun, however I’d by no means been to Tulum earlier than. And from its beautiful white sand seashores to distinctive cenotes (or glittering underground caves), and buzzy downtown, there was a lot to get excited for.

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