Not your average layover – Sarah McLachlan at T5

Getting to see a major musical act in an airport is definitely a rare experience. Many airports offer music of some sort – I’ve seen performances in Austin and San Diego and probably others I don’t remember – but those shows have been local folks, not Grammy-award winning artists. So when JetBlue announced that Sarah McLachlan would be performing at their flagship JFK T5 terminal in New York City this week it caught my attention. Were I a huge Sarah fan I’d have just purchased a refundable ticket to get past security (and a few folks at the company assumed I would anyways) but I actually didn’t have to.

Thanks to an awesome friend I got an email on Wednesday morning letting me know that I had access to a legitimate ticket. Woo Hoo! Apparently part of my qualification for getting the invite as her +1 was my known willingness to go hang out at the airport for no particular reason. I’m happy that has finally paid off in some manner.

IMGP3994And so it was that I found myself at JFK T5 on Thursday evening, chatting with a whole bunch of folks who had come to the show from near and far, plus all the people who just happened to be connecting through the terminal on their regular flights. There was the family from Queens – father, son, girlfriend and her friend – of which the father was the most excited for the event. Giddy like a schoolgirl doesn’t begin to describe the excitement. Watching him get his copy of the latest CD autographed was awesome, both for how friendly McLachlan was about it and for how happy he was to receive it. There was also the couple from Seattle who won a trip to NYC and Boston to see the shows, including airfare, hotels and seats at the Lilith Fair concert in Boston. Not only were they getting to see one of their favorite artists, they got to do it while celebrating their 5th anniversary this weekend. Good stuff all around.

JetBlue put on a great show, too, with a happy hour set up for the invited guests that was quite nice. A few glasses of wine and some finger food, as well as being basically in the middle of the “back stage” setup during the sound check.


In addition to getting the back stage access we also were able to access the opposite raised platform during the show. It is my normal place in the terminal so I was a little annoyed to see that it had been cleared off for the show, but getting to stand up there during the show made up for that. We were a bit back from the stage but well above everyone and with pretty good views of the performance.

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And then, after the performance, Sarah hung out and took photos with fans and signed autographs and was generally just awesome.

Finally, for some reason JetBlue had their JD Power Award statue out in the terminal during the show, along with the bunch of summer interns that were helping work at and getting to attend the concert. Had I not been slowed by the wine earlier in the evening I think I would have had a chance to abscond with it when one of the interns handed it to me to look at. At least I have a photo of me with it and no police record. That cannot be all bad.


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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. I would have cracked up to see a post on FT about you taking that and holding it for ransom in exchange for FF miles 🙂 Looks like a great concert! 🙂

  2. Cool writeup, Seth. Good to hear how it went; was a little disappointed that I couldn’t make it. Were all the stores around the central terminal going about business as usual? Funny to picture some of those cooks in the food court yelling out “ORRRRDER UUUUUP!” as she’s belting out some tune. But it’d be nice to catch one of those tables near the stage at one of the sit down places.

    The JD Power award is out because JetBlue’s doing their annual tour when they win it. This is the sixth one, I think. It just kicked off a couple days ago in Buffalo (home of the first JetBlue flight, BUF-JFK, so maybe that’s why); I guess they figured as long as we’re taking it around to every city for people to take pictures with it, we may as well make Sarah pose with it too. And, by extension, you.

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