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.


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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May 28, 2014

Inspiring Humanity in the air and on the ground

JetBlue crewmembers volunteered more than 50,000 hours last year. And last month, more than 260 crewmembers were honored for providing over 100 hours of community service and volunteerism at our Third Annual Community Connection Awards & Recognition dinner in Salt Lake City. This once again proves that or crewmembers bringing our ‘Inspiring Humanity’ message to life!  The reception celebrated the Crewmembers who continuously inspire humanity throughout their local communities, and work together to give back.



  • Seven individual winners from our workgroups and support centers received $1,000 grants for the charities of their choice.
  • $10,000 was awarded to Seattle,  Long Beach, JFK and Salt Lake City crewmembers for the charities of their choice.
  • In total, JetBlue donated $48,000 to continue to support nonprofits important to our crewmembers.

A sampling of volunteer initiatives:

  • Seattle crewmembers have done a tremendous amount of volunteerism both as a station and as individual Crewmembers. They have “greened” their neighborhoods, participated in reading events and organized walks in their terminal. The SEA team also does a terrific job of supporting their USO in terminal. Their enthusiasm for bettering their community never ceases and they inspire humanity every day!
  • Our Long Beach, CA inspired our onboard recycling program. This BlueCity worked tirelessly to support youth in the Long Beach area as they volunteered for the local Special Olympics, partnered with a foster care agency to give children in need of some TLC with a great holiday party and walked to raise awareness for Lupus.
  • JFK crewmembers executed our inaugural Blue Horizons for Autism event with Autism Speaks in September, worked with numerous aviation schools to provide a behind the scenes look at JetBlue operations and has one of our strongest teams for Walks for a Cure.
  • Salt Lake City crewmembers logged more than half of all hours logged in 2013.  This Support Center put together a quarter of all JetBlue Sweet Cases donated in 2013, logged more than half of all hours and has 125 Presidential Volunteer Service Award Winners

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June 4, 2013

Helping Those in Need in Oklahoma

Following the tornado in the Midwest, eighteen members of our Ready Team have been deployed to Moore, Oklahoma to assist the American Red Cross in their relief efforts. This specially trained team of volunteers at JetBlue will assist on a 14-day deployment to the impacted area.

Taken by our crewmember and Ready Team member Donnie in Oklahoma this week

We’ve also opened up a payroll deduction link internally for crewmembers to donate to American Red Cross Disaster Relief and have shipped supplies out to the area most impacted.

Our thoughts are with those in Oklahoma during this most difficult time.

Learn more about the work of our Ready Team.

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May 24, 2013

Celebrating Tech Ops on Aviation Maintenance Technicians Day

Every May 24 we celebrate National Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) Day, honoring technicians’ vital role in aviation. Thank you to our Maintenance Technicians (and to all of our Tech Ops Crewmembers) for ensuring the well-being of our fleet!

This day is significant for being the birthday of Charles E. Taylor, who is known as the father of aviation maintenance. His title is well deserved — Charles E. Taylor hand built and maintained the engine that powered the Wright brothers’ first flight. You can read the complete U.S. House of Representatives Resolution establishing May 24 as AMT Day by clicking here.

There is an amazing amount of experience across our Tech Ops department. Take a look at the numbers below to get an idea. These are the combined number of years of service at JetBlue for our Maintenance Technicians, Lead Maintenance Technicians, Quality Inspectors and Lead Quality Inspectors at our two largest maintenance stations and across our network.

The last several months have been especially eventful for Tech Ops crewmembers. The Boston Tech Ops team moved into a new hangar in December, and in February, JFK Crewmembers performed the world’s first production retrofit of Sharklets on an A320.

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February 4, 2013

February is Black History Month

February is Black History Month, a time to celebrate the rich history of the African American community and honor the inspiring individuals who have left their footprint on our country.

This year’s theme celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. During February, the country will commemorate these two events that forever changed the U.S. As a brief history lesson, the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 during the Cival War. In his decree, Lincoln ordered all slaves in Confederate terrority to be freed.

Hundreds of years later, at the March on Washington in 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. paid tribute to Lincoln in his “I Have a Dream” speech:

“Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity…In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check.”

The March on Washington brought together 250,000 people for a peaceful demonstration to advocate for civil rights — 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. Participants walked the streets of Washington D.C. and then gathered at the Lincoln Memorial for MLK’s speech. The March on Washington is considered the high point of the Civil Rights Movement, leading to the passing of civil rights legistation and new ways of thinking about racial equality.

How CSR is honoring Black History Month

Our Corporate Social Responsibility team is teaming up with First Book, a non-profit organization that collects and supplies children’s books to fight literacy. In honor of Black History Month, we are giving a $10,000 grant to First Book to donate diversity-themed books in a few of our BlueCities.

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January 23, 2013

Profile: 10 Pilot Fun Facts

We asked our First Officer Randy, who has been with our airline for eight years, to share a few fun facts with us. Here’s what he told us:

1. I volunteered as head coach of a little league baseball team for two years. Even though the team was for deaf children, and I didn’t know any sign language, I learned so much from these kids. The communication barrier didn’t keep them from doing the best they could.

2. Three days after high school, I went to basic training in the U.S. Army, where I was an Attack Helicopter Crew Chief and served for eight years.

3. Aviation is in my blood. My father worked at Eastern Airline for 23 years before they went out of business. He’s been at US Airways for 25 years and serves as the Manager of Aircraft Routing. When I was a kid and we were pass riding, he always made sure I could visit the cockpit. I do the same with my young sons: Trevin, Teagin, Tanner, and Tyger. Even though my mother has always been terrified to fly, she always encouraged me to follow my dreams.

4. If I started an airline it would be called TLR Adventure Air because my family loves adventure! My sons’ names all start with “T” and my wife’s name is Lori.

5. My favorite plane is a DC-3, which was popular in the 1930s and 1940s, and used in World War II. I was lucky enough to fly one when I worked for a company called Rhoades Aviation. I also flew a DC-3 that was fitted with turbine engines –- it was challenging but I loved it!

6. My pre-flight routine involves getting as much information before I leave the hotel. Things like a picture of the weather radar, turbulence forecast, and wind conditions. I receive a flight dispatch release 90 minutes before the flight with data on how much fuel we need to take and what the fuel burn should be. The Captain can make any final adjustments and doing it early helps us leave on time.

7. The day before I’m scheduled to fly a long trip or a few trips, I help my wife as much as I can around the house. We all play board games or go to the park, and I help the boys with their homework.

8. My sons don’t like when I have to leave which is difficult, but as they say “guess you have to go so we can pay the bills!” They’ve also told me that my job is “cool,” and they love flying radio controlled airplanes.

9. My favorite way to unwind after a long trip is to wrestle with my boys. When we’re not doing that, we’re out with their grandparents on their boat, or riding motorcycles!

10. My wife Lori is a private pilot. We’ve flown together in aerobatic gliders, hot air balloons, paragliding, and even sky diving.

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November 2, 2012

Taking Flight in the Air and Action on the Ground After Sandy

It’s hard to believe that it’s only been four days since Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast. For all of us, whether you were in the impact zone or far away, it’s been a very long week. Despite the circumstances we faced since Monday, or maybe because of them, we all rose to the challenge and came to each other’s aid. Much like our hometown of New York, we are resilient, capable and stand by each other through thick and thin.

Unloading supplies – water, juice and Eat Up snack boxes to aid those impacted by Sandy

While the storm has passed, the challenges continue. Many areas are expected to remain without basic services for days. We all have family, friends and colleagues in these areas; their suffering is our suffering.

Here’s what we’re doing to best assist them:

For our crewmembers:

The JetBlue Crewmember Crisis Fund (JCCF), an independent 501(c)3 already released $125,000 to crewmembers who have reported significant losses. The company is matching dollar-for-dollar all one-time donations to JCCF, to help our colleagues in dire circumstances. We also activated our CARE Team for these crewmembers to help them rebuild their lives and get them (and their families) back on their feet. We provided crewmembers reporting total losses with hotel rooms, immediate supplies such as food and clothes along with transportation – most importantly, we’ll provide them time to get their lives back in order.

For our customers:

Customers who find themselves booked for travel through November 04 can rebook without change fee or fare difference through November 14. Those who booked travel before October 28 for anytime between now and the end of the year, and find themselves unable to travel, may convert the value of their ticket to a credit, valid for one year. Of course, other individual needs will be handled on a one-on-one basis.

We partnered with our friends at Wafels & Dinges yesterday to offer hot meals to those without power. 14 additional trucks throughout areas impacted will provide free, hot snacks and meals today.

For our communities

Now, it’s our job now to help the community get back on its feet, to bring humanity back to New York and the Northeast. We will do this in big ways – not only by operating a full schedule, but by providing financial support to the JCCF (where we are matching crewmember donations dollar for dollar) and the Red Cross (where we are matching the first $50,000 UPDATE we’ve now matched the first $100,000) – and also in small ways, such as personalizing the “welcome aboard” to our customers and offering those in need a bottle of water, a bag of blue chips and even a waffle or two. We will sponsor 14 food trucks today in lower Manhattan and the Rockaways in Queens, delivering hot meals to those who have gone without for a week. Follow @NYCFoodtruck for more information and for a list of locations.

We’ve been in constant contact with city, state and federal officials to help assess the need of those hardest hit by the storm. We’ve already made donations to AmeriCares and Feed America, both of whom are here on the ground making a difference. Plus, we’ve already had a request to assist with replacing the damaged trees near our Long Island City office. There is no need too big or too small; we’ll find a way to help our community get back on its feet.

Our Care and Ready teams are working closely with local agencies to be of service. While we appreciate people wanting to help, work with you local groups, as the proper infrastructure needs to be in place in order to deliver necessary items to those in need (resources below).

Next Steps

Now that our operation is back-up and running, and the immediate and urgent needs of our crewmembers and customers are being met, we’re transitioning into the next phase of this event – the return to steady-state operations. Our ability to fly 100% of our schedule is important to the region and to you.

Dave, our CEO, is visiting Newark (EWR), LaGuardia (LGA) and JFK today to check-in first hand with crewmembers and customers, and is tweeting from the road – feel free to follow along.

Please continue to take care of yourself, your family, your colleagues and your community. We’ll keep you updated on the ongoing impact of Hurricane Sandy on our company and how we’ll continue to move forward – at 35, 000 feet!

If you’re in need of help or want to volunteer:
We’ve also heard amazing requests from you on how much you want to help donate your time or resources to the effort. We’re humbled by the caring of our customers, but also understand from our partners that there’s more to an organized relief effort than donation of time and supplies. We’d encourage those that want to lend a hand to look into the below groups and work with existing organizations to have the greatest impact.
Time Out New York’s “How to Help Out After Sandy”
American Red Cross
NYC Service
New York Cares
New Jersey’s Volunteer Emergency Response
Boston Cares
Community Emergency Response Teams
Team Rubicon
The Humane Society
American Humane Association

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October 5, 2012

The New JetBlue Sky Theater Planetarium!

We’re excited to share a new way that our name is gracing the skies: we’re sponsoring the JetBlue Sky Theater Planetarium! This state-of-the-art digital projection system is the latest addition to the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Long Island, New York. Our partnership with the Cradle of Aviation Museum is an important one, allowing us to develop new ways to support education, and like our airline, the it is a big believer in advocating STEM subjects in schools. In fact, Mike Stromer (VP Customer Connections) is serving on a regional board for STEM, along with our friends at the Cradle of Aviation Museum.

Offering visitors a jaw-dropping view of the universe is something we’re excited to be a part of. The planetarium is Long Island’s largest screen and built with an all-star resolution projection and sound system. This high-definition system can deliver real-time visuals as well as pre-designed graphics that reflect solar system data from NASA and the European Space Agency. The view of more than two billion stars—thanks to data from the Museum of Natural History—is nothing short of amazing.

As New York’s Hometown Airline, we’re proud to support our local community support education. The Cradle of Aviation Museum just celebrated its 10th anniversary and is right in our backyard. Located at the historic Mitchel Field, a former Army air base which dates back to World War I, the museum is home to over 75 planes and spacecraft that contribute to more than 100 years of aerospace history. For example, Spirit of St. Louis, the first aircraft owned by Charles Lindbergh, and F14 TOMCAT, one of the most successful aircraft flown by the Navy.

The JetBlue Sky Theater Planetarium will officially open on Saturday, October 6 to coincide with World Astronomy Day!

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August 15, 2012

Boston Pilots Teach Students About Careers in Aviation

Each year, the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) partners with the FAA to conduct multiple weeklong Aviation Career Education programs across the nation, and a few of our Boston pilots got involved recently. They volunteered for a week to run a Youth Aviation Camp in St. Thomas. At the camp, they taught high school students about careers in aviation, ranging from air traffic control and flying a plane, to the Coast Guard and airport management.

The week began with lectures on the history of aviation, the Tuskegee Airmen, aerodynamics, and the OBAP. The TSA even gave a presentation to the students, who left the various seminars with a real feel for general aviation terminology, navigation and most importantly—preparations for the actual flights they would be performing that week!

For many, this was the first time they would be in a C-172, let alone fly one. They were briefed on JetBlue’s operations, and had the opportunity to step inside one of our E190 aircraft to speak with members of our Flight and Inflight crews.

First Officer Randall coordinated a surprise for the students—a flyby from the Coast Guard’s Air Station from Borinquen, Puerto Rico. The team took the students on a tour of a Dolphin Helicopter, while explaining what it takes to be in the Coast Guard.

Read more about the aviation camp here.

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August 4, 2012

Denver Crewmembers Fundraise for Fire Relief Efforts

The recent wildfires in Colorado have displaced so many people in the local community that our Denver crewmembers stepped in to help by organizing the Colorado Fire Relief Fundraising raffle. All proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross, which will assist local community members affected by the fire.

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