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SP2472

Great Scenes..Three in a Row

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Great Scenes..Three in a Row
Do you see a theme here?
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Thanks for viewing, Darryl

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Very nice, seeing Jet Blue brings back memories.  I was working for the JFK Hilton in '99, helping them convert to a Best Western.  It was a crossroads of the world, so to speak, a busy hotel.  Ate dinner one night next to Alan Alda but as a contractor I thought it would be uncool to disturb him and his guests.  Then Pete Bryan, a man who owned a bicycle shop near my home and who taught me how to straighten bent bicycle rims, had dinner and recognized me--what a small world to see him 2500 miles from where I used to live.  I was in New York almost four weeks as my client dismissed my colleagues but asked me to stay due to my accounting and financial report programming expertise.  They wanted Best Western's system, Nova Plus, to have reports identical to the reports in the other hotels they owned, so I programmed those reports for their IT manager in Crystal Reports.  Felt bad for the guy, he made more than I did, but I lived in Phoenix with low cost housing and he could only afford a flat smaller than my current apartment at three times my cost, and that was in '99 dollars.

Meanwhile, Jet Blue was preparing to start up and their flight attendants and pilots were staying at the hotel I was working at.  I and my colleagues would go down and drink with them, they were a fun bunch and we knew their airline would succeed because of their employee attitude.  I knew that because I worked for a relative of Southwest's Herb Kellerher who also had such a culture in Southwest and that was expanded to Doubletree Hotels HQ, we had a relationship with Southwest and our HR director was related to Herb.  I became Doubletree's International systems specialist and purchasing rep, quite a humble honor, for a former business systems instructor.  I flew Southwest often to our Cincy accounting HQ and left Doubletree only when they bought out Hilton and moved their HQ to Memphis.

I have never had the fun of flying Jet Blue since many of their flights are overnighters, but their people who started up their airline were special.  Sadly 911 hurt the hotel I worked at in JFK badly, and it went dark for many years, finally reopening.  It had an ideal location adjacent to one of the runways, 13L, and aircraft would come into that runway on a curved final that I could see from my hotel room.  I'd see the aircraft roar by my window and one aircraft that really roared and was a joy to see was the Concorde, my last sight of it.  I had only seen it fly by once before when it was visiting the SF Bay Area on a world tour.

My client at JFK called their contacts at America West and had me upgraded to First Class for services rendered.  Because I was a good sport and stayed on with them almost to Christmas, my company earned an extra $4000 in revenue, what they charged for my staying on extra.  I wish I had received some of that revenue, it would have been nice, but my bosses were pleased and they always gave me carte blanche in my decision making since I was their lead instructor, one of a handful anyway.

John

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Very nice scenery and superb planes, Darryl

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