August 31, 2015

JetBlue Partners with Hot Bread Kitchen – A Social Enterprise Bakery That Empowers Women To Build Economic Security

We are delighted to announce Hot Bread Kitchen as the winner of first BlueBud (buddies + budding new companies) program. To kick off the new partnership, Hot Bread Kitchen recently participated in a “Summer Friday” tasting event on our T5 Rooftop at JFK Airport. This innovative bakery provided samples of their renowned multi-ethnic breads whose traditions originate in Armenia, Iran and Morocco, among others, and reflect the incredible diversity of our hometown. Sales of these breads and baked goods help offset the costs of their bakery training program, which supports the empowerment of women with barriers to entering the workforce.

Hot Bread Kitchen is a New York City-based organization working to increase economic security for immigrant and low-income women by providing culinary training and English language skills. Through our BlueBud program, we will offer Hot Bread Kitchen exclusive access to our leadership team, business mentorship and other resources to help the bakery strengthen their organizational execution. hbk

Linda Katz, sales director at Hot Bread Kitchen, was onsite providing samples and shared, “Our mission is to support women who have barriers to employment. We encourage and train women how to bake, place them into professional baking jobs with employers throughout New York City, and are helping to build up the number of women in the culinary field, which at this point is predominately male-dominated. Our primary focus is to sell more bread to help more women,” said Katz.

Hot Bread Kitchen founder Jessamyn Rodriguez started the company in 2008 and was inspired to work directly with immigrants and produce a tangible impact.  The product at the heart of Hot Bread Kitchen, as the name might suggest, is its 100 varieties of bread. With a long list of dedicated clients, including Whole Foods and Chop’t, Hot Bread Kitchen has a large collection of multi-ethnic breads that reflect its employee’s diverse cultures.

Stay tuned for more on what’s baking between JetBlue and Hot Bread Kitchen.

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August 17, 2015

Vote For Your Favorite Blue City to Win 100,000 Books!

There’s still time to vote in our #BookBattle. Vote now to select which city will receive a donation of 100,000 books.  In honor of the fifth anniversary of our Soar with Reading campaign, we’ve selected five cities with recognized books droughts to compete in this #BookBattle: Detroit, Houston, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles and New York City. Voting is open until August 31, 2015. The winning city will be announced in September.

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The #BookBattle is one of the elements of this year’s Soar with Reading campaign. In partnership with Random House Children’s Books and Mary Pope Osborne, author of the Magic Treehouse series, we hosted reading events in select cities.

We also launched a pilot program placing three book vending machines in the Anacostia area of Washington D.C., one of the nation’s largest book deserts. These vending machines disperse brand-new, free books to eager children, helping their imaginations take flight.

Soar with Reading, created in 2011, is a program designed to encourage children’s imaginations to take flight through reading. To date, we’ve donated more than $1,250,000 worth of books to communities in need.

Check how your city is doing in the #BookBattle and at www.soarwithreading.com or the mobile app.

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August 14, 2015

Unpacked: Summer Thunderstorms

We’re right in the thick of summer and for many that means travel and sun, but it can also mean humidity and rising warm air, which can lead to the perfect summer thunderstorm. For those of us interested in air travel, though, it can be perfectly inconvenient.

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While the recipe for a storm is clear, disruptive summer weather can be unpredictable striking at any time with little to no warning. In aviation, bad weather can get in the way of travel plans.

It takes a lot of moving parts to keep our operations tuned and these teams at JetBlue need to be extra nimble when bad weather strikes:

  • System Operations In the System Operations Center (SOC) crewmembers do everything from track weather to schedule crews. When bad weather strikes, SOC crewmembers monitor weather and air traffic addressing ATC programs that might slow or stop flights at airports, or along the flight paths between cities. They work to minimize impact to the operation by managing aircraft and crew scheduling, and where necessary, canceling select flights to reduce overall delays that could lead to in airport cancellations.
  • Customer Support When you call JetBlue you’re talking to our Customer Support team, but there are many more behind the scenes. In the event of a cancellation, most customers can be accommodated automatically, and the Customer Support team works hard to help those that need extra asistance. For those delayed, teams within Customer Support also work with airports to ensure customers are properly attended to.
  • Information Technology Automatic or self-service technology is a major part of our operation and it can help customers when bad weather or delays strike. If we have your contact information, we can keep in touch. When bad weather is anticipated or pops up unexpectedly, notification tools will keep you up-to-date on any delays or service disruptions you might encounter. Using the JetBlue app, you can stay current on all of your flight info. including gate information, delays, and even use it as your boarding pass for an upcoming flight.
  • Airports From the moment you check in until the aircraft door closes, airport operations (AO) crewmembers are there to help. They have the details of every departure and arrival and work hard to keep customers informed. If it looks like there might be a significant delay, sometimes our AO crewmembers will roll out snacks and drinks to make your extended stay a little more enjoyable. Once it’s time to board, AO crews will be quick to start the boarding process and get our customer airborne ASAP.

24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, an entire team of crewmembers helps to make your experience seamless, but if you want to chip in too, here are some useful tips to make the most of your JetBlue experience, even in bad weather:

  • Book with JetBlue When you book directly with JetBlue you can be sure we have your most up-to-date contact information (something we may not have access to if you’ve booked via another site or travel agent). We don’t want to keep secrets, and can use this information to let you know of changes to your flight.
  • Sign up for notifications You can do this when you book your flight with JetBlue or at any time using our mobile app or by logging in on jetblue.com.
  • Check your flight status Last minute changes to a flight may not allow us to communicate them via notifications. Sometimes things can change quickly and for better or worse, so staying informed can help avoid headaches.
  • Travel Early Those afternoon thunderstorms get their name for a reason. If your plans allow for it, an early departure means you might have better luck beating the storms, and the delays that can often ripple across the system.
  • Get to the airport on time Our goal is always to keep flights running on time. Even if your flight is listed as delayed, you may want to be at the airport early. If a delay is caused by a ‘ground stop’ at the airport, but an opportunity arises to get our customers off the ground sooner, we will take it. Our operational team may also find a way to recover a downline delay caused by out of position aircraft or crews by mobilizing a reserve crew or aircraft.

Summer weather is unpredictable in its appearance, but with some understanding of how it can impact air travel, we can work together to make sure disruptions and the anxiety they cause are manageable. Remember, there are thousands of crewmembers working hard to make your JetBlue experience as enjoyable as possible, and patience, understanding, and a smile from everyone involved can help ease any travel woes.

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August 13, 2015

JetBlue builds new play space at Simms Park in Bellflower, Califorina

In July, more than 200 of our customers and crewmembers joined Bellflower, CA residents to restore a decaying playground. The renovated Simms Park is now a secure, safe location for recreation and activity and provides an ADA-compliant play space to more than 1,215 local children and families in the Bellflower community.

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Simms Park marks our 22nd playground built in partnership with KaBOOM! and the fourth in California. Since 2005, we have worked together with KaBOOM! to fight the deficit of play for children in underserved neighborhoods and areas by creating safe play spaces throughout our airline’s network. This partnership has successfully engaged more than 5,000 volunteers to move over 30 tractor trailers containing 48,000 cubic yards of mulch (a weight equivalent to nine elephants!) for 22 playground builds. To date, we have restored play for more 50,000 children and as always – helping to inspire humanity.

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“This project, especially Build Day, was an amazing and rewarding time for the Bellflower community. Thanks to our proud partnership with JetBlue and KaBOOM!, and the tireless efforts of all of the volunteers and contributors from the planning stages to Build Day, children in Bellflower will have another fun play space to enjoy for many years to come.  Partnering with JetBlue and KaBOOM! on this incredible project ensures that children in our community have the opportunity to experience the lifelong benefits of play. Our residents have embraced this new playground as their own since it opened; it has been bustling with activity every day and that is very exciting to see,” said P.J. Mellana, director of parks and recreation at the City of Bellflower.

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Mayor Scott A. Larsen, City of Bellflower City Council Members Ray Dunton and Sonny Santa Ines and Mayor Pro Tem Dan Koops were presented with a certificate of special recognition for the grand opening of Simms Park on behalf of Bellflower from the Congress of the United States House of Representatives.

“KaBOOM! is proud to partner with JetBlue, a corporation that values the importance of play in kids’ lives,” said Teresa Crippen, senior project manager at KaBOOM!. “Through this partnership, we will increase and improve play opportunities across the country so that more kids can get the childhoods they deserve filled with balanced and active play.”

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August 12, 2015

Change The World With A Little Help From JetBlue

If you were given the mission to change the world, what would you do? That’s what the remarkable students at Democracy Prep Charter High School in Harlem, New York are tasked with once they reach their senior year.

Here at JetBlue, one of our goals is to Inspire Humanity, and when we noticed that these students in our hometown were doing just that, we decided to help by giving a few students the opportunity to travel to the Dominican Republic to make their mission a reality.

The year-long student-driven research assignment gives each young adult the opportunity to tackle and important local or global issue. By the end of the project the students have written a 15-page paper, given a ten-minute presentation, and most importantly completed 100 hours of work experience in support of their issue.

Tyisha and Ashlynn are two of those students, and they shared their experiences with us:

Ashlynn-

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In my desire to propel my learning outside of the classroom, I visited the Dominican Republic for one week during my school break sponsored by JetBlue. I was able to conduct interviews to analyze the impact of limited resources in public schools on opportunities for higher education. I then compared those findings to higher education opportunities from private schools in the Dominican Republic. During my research, I confirmed the notion that a lack of educational resources is present in some schools.

The rural public school classroom lacked projectors, had one broken computer, and was lined with rundown bookshelves. All of the teachers I interviewed confirmed their need for science laboratories and more academic books.

On the other hand, the private school I briefly visited had abundant resources such as projectors, iPads, SMART Boards, and printers available to students.

I presented these findings to organizations such as JetBlue and Plan International, increasing awareness and mobilizing 

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influential organizations around this issue. I was able to conclude that my research must be continued and improved for better and long-lasting results.

It would be great to continue this project in my undergraduate years. So many more countries are in need of educational resources. It is vital that governments and organizations see research similar to my own and become convinced to increase funding for public education as education may be the only way for some children to escape poverty and reach their goals.

Tyisha-

I first began thinking about my Change the World Project during the summer of my Junior year. At first, I had no idea what I wanted to, moreover, I didn’t know how I was going to get the funds to dream big. I had to start from scratch . After attending a United Nations conference featuring Malala Yousafzai and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, I was inspired to focus my project on raising awareness for women’s education in the Muslim World. All fears of rejection decimated as I thought about how Malala, just a teenage girl my age, fearlessly fought for education rights in Pakistan. If  she could do it, why couldn’t I?

ash and tyThe original focus of my project was centered on Muslim countries. However, I realized that Muslim countries are receiving a lot of awareness for women’s equality and education rights. It became apparent to me that the Latin Americas have some of the highest rates of domestic violence and human trafficking. I sympathized with the women having come from a long line of women who have experienced their fair share of challenges.

Growing up in Jamaica, the women in my family were bound within a patriarchal culture struck by poverty. My mom and her womanhood was viewed as inferior and her sole purpose of existence was to be the caretaker. My abusive grandfather pressured my mother, as the only female left in the house, to care for him and her younger brother. Her laborious household obligations forced her to drop out of school. 

 Although, I live in the United States where freedom and equality are generally accessible, I cannot help but notice the subtle prejudice that women still receive. 

As I continued to age, I realized that inequality for women was not just happening in Jamaica or the United States, it happens all over the world.  It was appalling to me to know that behind the facade of sandy white beaches and beautiful hotels, in the Dominican Republic, gender-based violence is the fourth leading cause of death among women. Additionally, it was even more shocking to know that the Dominican government was planning to ease punishments for laws against women. 

As my sister Caribbean country native, I cannot help but feel sympathy, frustration, and anguish for the women and girls suffering in the Dominican Republic. It distresses me to know that girls my age have to live in these kinds of conditions. It is even more distressing to know that their own government is inactive and even helping the problem. The women in the Dominican Republic have stopped voicing out their cries against violence. Even though I am not originally from the Dominican Republic, as fellow human beings, and more importantly as women, it is my duty to help those  who have lost the will to voice their calls of freedom.

 

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August 3, 2015

High School Aviation Students Soar With Help From the JetBlue Foundation and Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals

5yfUnPGzirdKNaLtA_ZigCzQhEcVRk6OvZFLu0qsAh4Aviation is not always a top career choice for students from underserved communities. The JetBlue Foundation and the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) are trying to change that. According to current statistics, less than five percent of pilots in the commercial aviation industry are women and/or people of color.

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For the second year in a row, the JetBlue Foundation has partnered with OBAP to host the Aviation Career Education (ACE) Academy initiative in select JetBlue cities. This summer, through a grant from JetBlue Foundation, OBAP was able to extend this partnership beyond New York and Orlando to include new initiatives in Los Angeles/Long Beach, Jacksonville, Fla., the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico.  These week-long series provide high school students with a behind-the-scenes look at the aviation industry as students hear directly from the variety of different departments and people who keep an airline running. Students attending the ACE Academy have career aspirations to become pilot, dispatchers, technicians and air traffic controllers, to name a few.

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“Growing up in Queens, I lived minutes away from JFK Airport, yet it was a world away. I remember telling people that I wanted to become a pilot when I grew up. Some folks in my neighborhood didn’t think this was feasible or even within the realm of possibility for me. After fulfilling my dream and becoming a captain, I decided to help mentor the next generation of pilots including those from communities like the one I grew up in to help their dreams become a reality,” said JetBlue Captain Jovan O’Bryant and Director of the OBAP New York ACE Academy.

As part of the ACE Academy, students get hands-on experience to encourage their interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). They receive experience flying, a tour an airport control tower and demonstrations from fire and rescue teams. This year, students in the New York program flew a Cirrus SR20/SR22, and split a three-legged cross-country flight between Connecticut’s Igor Sikorsky Memorial Airport (KBDR), Waterbury-Oxford Airport (KOXC) and back to Danbury Municipal Airport (KDXR).  Students from the Los Angeles/Long Beach program were able to shadow an Air Traffic Controller in action and learn about careers as pilots and dispatchers. While students in the Orlando program were able to simulate flying at JetBlue’s state-of-the-art training facility – JetBlue University.

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First Officer Raghib Taquir and Director of the OBAP Los Angeles/Long Beach ACE Academy said, “Last year, OBAP received a grant from the JetBlue Foundation which allowed OBAP to offer this intensive summer program to even more students. After hearing about the OBAP and JetBlue Foundation programs in Orlando and New York, I volunteered to coordinate the first-ever ACE Academy in my hometown – Long Beach. While becoming a pilot or pursing other careers in aviation are the main focus of this program, our overall mission is to expose these students to opportunities and encourage them to continue and attend college.”

The ACE Academy initiative is in line with the mission of the JetBlue Foundation – to increase awareness of aviation-related careers among students of color and students from underserved areas. The ACE Academies in partnership with the JetBlue Foundation are managed by JetBlue pilots and other industry professionals who volunteer their time. The thoughtful curriculum is developed to encourage students to continue STEM studies.

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Admission is offered to high school students, ages 14 to 18 years old that have an interest in learning about aviation. Applicants are competitively ranked based on cumulative GPA and an essay. To apply for an ACE Academy visit http://www.obap.org/project-aerospace/aviation-career-education-ace-academy/.

For more information on the JetBlue Foundation visit https://www.jetblue.com/corporate-social-responsibility/.

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July 29, 2015

Top Five: What you didn’t know about being a Flight Attendant… Oh, and we’re hiring!

Taking your career to new heights can be exciting, especially when it’s climbing above 35,000 feet. Joining the inflight team with JetBlue will have you trading in your desk for a set of wings and a jumpseat—not to mention, you’ll be joining a team of crewmembers who inject blue into everything they do.

These are the top five less-known facts about being an inflight crewmember:

1. You’ll wear many hats. Safety is the number one priority, but you’ll fill various roles from helping customers get the most out of their JetBlue experience.

2.  Commute from anywhere. Some of our Crewmembers choose to commute from where they live today, but we have five fun Crew Bases across the country including Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, JFK, Boston, and Long Beach, California.

3. With seniority comes flexibility. At the start of your career you’ll have the excitement of serving the many routes in our network of Blue Cities, flying to new places as part of our Reserve crew. As you progress in your career, seniority gives crewmembers more flexibility to choose their routes and schedules.

4. You will train at JetBlue University and stay at our brand-new Orlando Lodge. Your career starts with one month of training at our state-of-the-art JetBlue University facility. When you’re not in class, relax and get to know your fellow crewmembers at The Lodge. With four stories, 196 guestrooms, and a whole lot of space to hang, The Lodge will be your home for the first month of your JetBlue experience.

5. You’ll love our culture. Take the energy of a startup and mix it with our five core values and that’s what makes JetBlue stand out in the industry.

Don’t just take our word for it.  Inflight applications are only open for a brief window from time to time, and we want to have you join our crew and experience what it means to be blue. Still think you have what it takes? Show us what you’ve got! Apply now on our career site.

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July 28, 2015

Inspiring Humanity one Coke at a time

New Yorkers are often known to catch a bad rap for being disgruntled and rude. As New York’s hometown airline though, we know that’s not true, so we partnered with our friends at Coke to put humanity to the test.

We took to Penn Station—one of the busiest hubs in New York—with a hidden camera, some Coca-Cola, and a special vending machine that dispensed two Cokes instead of one, then watched what happened.

While we couldn’t follow everyone to see what happened with their extra Cokes, we were inspired to see more than a quarter of visitors immediately share their extra beverage with someone nearby. For those we saw share a coke with a stranger, we showed our appreciation for their kindness by giving them the joy of travel in the form of a free round trip travel certificate with JetBlue.

Here’s what we found:

  • 70% of shares were between and individual and a stranger
  • The most common reason for sharing: “I got two and only needed one, why wouldn’t I?”

So next time your vending machine has a glitch and spits out an extra drink, what will you do? You never know who might be hiding around the corner to brighten your day.

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July 9, 2015

JetBlue adds MLB.TV Streaming Taking Live Baseball to The Skies

The No. 1 Live Streaming Sports Service Brings Free Baseball Broadcasts to Jetblue’s Fast-growing Catalog of Inflight Entertainment Options
NEW YORK, NY — 07/09/15 — JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU) today announced a new partnership with MLBAM, the interactive media and internet company of Major League Baseball, that will give JetBlue customers free in-flight access to MLB.TV – the #1 live streaming sports service – on their laptops and supported smartphones and tablets through the MLB.com At Bat mobile app. The agreement brings free, Internet streaming of live Regular Season baseball games 35,000 feet in the sky for the first time ever, and adds to JetBlue’s expanding catalog of onboard entertainment delivered over Fly-Fi, the industry’s fastest complimentary broadband Internet.

All JetBlue customers traveling in the contiguous United States on Fly-Fi equipped aircraft will have complimentary access to MLB.TV, which offers more than 2,500 live and archived games on demand per season. While MLB.TV typically requires a subscription, JetBlue customers will receive free access while in flight through “The Hub,” JetBlue’s Fly-Fi content portal. For the first time ever, customers using Fly-Fi Hub can catch any Regular Season game being played by any of MLB’s 30 teams at any time.

“Launching MLB.TV is a home run for our customers who are getting more free entertainment than ever included in their JetBlue flights,” said Jamie Perry, vice president brand and product development. “Whether it’s sports, movies, television, music, news or e-books, we’re offering endless entertainment options across multiple screens that goes far away from the drop-down televisions of yesterday that many airlines still serve to customers.”

With speeds up to 20 mbps per device, Fly-Fi offers a true Internet streaming experience that no other U.S. carrier is capable of providing. MLB.TV becomes the first live sports property to join JetBlue’s robust list of leading brands offering content on JetBlue flights including Amazon Prime streaming entertainment (coming soon), The Wall Street Journal, PBS, NatGeo, Vice, Harper Collins and Time, Inc. among others.

“With free in-flight access to MLB.TV on their personal devices, JetBlue customers will now be able to watch live MLB games while traveling,” said Kenny Gersh, EVP, Business, MLBAM. “It’s this type of innovative partnership with an innovative airline in JetBlue that symbolizes our constant drive to expand distribution of games, giving our fans access to live baseball in new ways. This is perfect match partnership baseball fans will love.”

Unlike other carriers that charge sky high prices for Wi-fi, JetBlue is keeping Fly-Fi free for all customers. Fly-Fi Hub content complements JetBlue’s signature seatback entertainment featuring live DIRECTV® programming and 100+ channels of SiriusXM® radio on every aircraft. JetBlue airs more channels of free sports on-board than any other domestic airline. The line-up includes ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, ESPNU, NBC Sports, Fox Sports 1 and NFL Network.

Since launching free Fly-Fi broadband Internet in 2013, JetBlue has quickly positioned itself as the leader in inflight entertainment among U.S. airlines.

About JetBlue Airways

JetBlue is New York’s Hometown Airline™, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando, and San Juan. JetBlue carries more than 32 million customers a year to 90 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 875 daily flights.

About MLBAM

Established in June 2000 following a unanimous vote by the 30 Major League Baseball club owners to centralize all of Baseball’s Internet operations, MLB Advanced Media LP (MLBAM) is the interactive media and internet company of Major League Baseball. MLBAM manages the official league site, MLB.com, and each of the 30 individual Club sites to create the most comprehensive Major League Baseball resource on the Internet. MLBAM also develops, deploys and distributes the highest-grossing sports app, At Bat, as well as manages live video content for dozens of sports, news and entertainment clients. It captures, encodes and distributes tens of thousands of live video events annually, powering more live events on the Internet than any other property in the world.

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July 8, 2015

‘Reaching Blue Heights’ By Providing Opportunities to People with Disabilities

Caring and integrity are not only two of JetBlue’s values; they are the pillars on which the airline was built.  JetBlue’s mission of inspiring humanity both in the air and on the ground is applied to hiring and exceeding compliance requirements.  Under the umbrella of its ‘Reaching Blue Heights’ initiative, JetBlue has been working for the past three years with the Viscardi Center, a New York-based organization that helps educate, employ and empower children and adults with disabilities.

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Last month, the airline’s mission of inspiring humanity came to life as a team of JetBlue crewmembers worked together to support a very special flight for students from the Viscardi Center.

The day started with a special breakfast at JFK International Airport before the flight carrying 12 students and their caretakers as well as Viscardi staff and nearly 50 customers departed for Boston. Upon arrival, the group explored the terminal and had lunch in the Emirates Lounge before boarding a flight back to JFK.

“After working with and volunteering at the Viscardi Center, we learned that some Viscardi students have never been able to fly due to the fear associated with traveling with a disability. We wanted to provide the JetBlue experience to these students and their families. While we are passionate about providing excellent service to people with disabilities, we can always learn more, and were proud to offer this experience to the wonderful students of Viscardi,” said Bob Bilak, director crew relations and compliance at JetBlue. “

Following the flight, JetBlue will continue to work with Viscardi to discuss how to further enhance the customer experience for people with disabilities. In addition to this unique flight, JetBlue’s Crew Relations, Compliance teams and Talent Acquisition teams provide career coaching to Viscardi students and alumni in an effort to create a talent pipeline for hiring people of all abilities at JetBlue. JetBlue has participated for the past three years in Disability Mentoring Day, a national effort around mentorship opportunities for individuals with disabilities. In May, Viscardi also honored JetBlue with its first-ever Corporate Excellence in Disability Practices Award.

JetBlue is committed to helping people with disabilities in Reaching Blue Heights. The airline is proud to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and will be participating in the first Annual Disability Pride Parade, taking place on Sunday, July 12, 2015 in New York City.

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