November 19, 2014

A note from Robin Hayes

Since JetBlue’s first flight, we’ve never sat still. Our airline has morphed over the years in response to dramatic changes in our industry and the shifting needs of our Customers.  We’ve added products like Even More , Mint, Fly-Fi, and grown our network internationally while providing a better experience at a great value.

Today we’re announcing a couple major initiatives for the future that will continue to evolve our product so we can maintain our competitive edge and deliver for our customers, our crewmembers, and our shareholders. One thing that’s not changing is our culture of service and our commitment to our customers.

  • Branded Fares – Beginning in the first half of 2015, customers will be able to choose between three fare bundle options that provide new choices and allow travelers to tailor each trip to their preferences. The first fare bundle will be designed for those customers who don’t traditionally check a bag; the latter two will offer one and two free checked bags, respectively, along with other attractive benefits, like additional TrueBlue points and increased flexibility. These new options will allow us to tailor our offerings to individual customers in a way that is simple and transparent. You will hear a lot more about the features of this plan over the next several months. We want to be sure customers understand how this approach works for them when we roll it out officially in mid-2015.
  • Cabin Refresh – Our customers love the look and feel of our new Airbus A321 jets. In fact, this aircraft is rated significantly higher than other aircraft in our satisfaction surveys. Beginning in mid-2016 we’ll retrofit our A320 aircraft – which are the workhorse of our fleet – with the same lighter and more comfortable seats found on our A321 along with the improved 100+ channels of DirecTV on beautiful 10” widescreen displays. These modern seats will enable us to increase the total number of seats on our planes – which helps us continue our low fare commitment – while still offering the most legroom in coach by a significant margin. The entire aircraft will be upgraded with power ports accessible at every seat along with new lighting, new lavatories, and more.

seatsThe JetBlue experience will keep getting better. In fact, we are very excited to announce today that customers can keep enjoying free access to Fly-Fi – the industry’s fastest connectivity product – thanks to new partnerships with Time Inc., Verizon, and the Wall Street Journal. All of our 140 Airbus A320/A321 jets are expected to have Fly-Fi by the first half of 2015, with EMBRAER 190 installations beginning thereafter. Another game-changing product, Mint — our refreshing new take on a premium experience –has been extremely well received on flights from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco. By the end of the first quarter all flights to both cities will feature Mint.

 

Robin Hayes
President, JetBlue Airways

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September 24, 2014

Thanks a million!

1million

Yesterday, we connected our 1 millionth personal electronic device with Fly-Fi®, our super-fast broadband Internet in the sky! Thanks a million for surfing, browsing, uploading, downloading, searching, streaming, playing, reading, watching, listening, writing, clicking, sending, receiving, buying, liking, posting, blogging, Instagramming & tweeting onboard.

To celebrate, and show how easy it is to stay productive when you’re flying with an “at home” broadband experience, we sent our Social Media Support team (those wonderful folks you talk with on Twitter and Facebook) out to meet our customers “IRL” while continuing to work from 35,000 feet monitoring and talking with JetBlue customers.

 

 

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November 13, 2013

Fly-Fi Routes

Looking to get online onboard? Our Airbus fleet will be fully installed by Spring of 2015, with our E190s following closely behind. Please search for your flight in our Fly-Fi widget the evening before your flight to find out if your plane is equipped with Fly-Fi®.

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October 21, 2013

T5 turns five

It seems like only yesterday we were turning out the lights at Terminal 6, our first home at JFK in preparation for our big move to Terminal 5. Moving one door down the street doesn’t seem like such a big deal until you remember we were operating flights at our busiest focus city throughout the entire process. We actually documented the delicate dance of details of our T5 transition in our very first blog posts.

As New York’s Hometown Airline, T5 was designed to make sure we put our best foot forward, and show off the pride we have for our home. We carried many elements of our city into T5. You may not know that the latticed cable work holding the digital ring high atop the Marketplace is a nod to the same elements on the Brooklyn Bridge, and that the grandstands in the Marketplace are meant to evoke the people-watching steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York Public Library.

The reviews of our new terminal were stellar, but we’ve never rested on our laurels, and have constantly looked for ways to improve the experience for our hometown customers and crewmembers. So today, in celebration of 5 great years, we present:

The Top Five at T5

Five of the coolest things we brought to JFK Terminal 5, and how we’re taking them into the next five years.

5. Partner Airlines and T5i

Sharing is caring, and whether you’re headed for Hawaii 5-0 or the Emerald Isle, connecting from JetBlue flights on to our partners at Hawaiian Airlines and Aer Lingus has never been easier. Welcoming our partner carriers to T5 been a great addition to the neighborhood!

It’s also getting even better! When our new expansion at T5 (we call it T5i) is complete in 2015, JetBlue customers will arrive and clear customs in our home terminal instead of Terminal 4. Connections on to other JetBlue flights will happen without needing to move between terminals, and we’ll be able to serve more international customers from partner carriers through T5 as well!

4. Tunes at T5

Even before we officially opened the doors at T5, live music was heard in the vaulted ceiling of our central marketplace with a launch party performance by Estelle. In 2009 we launched our Live From T5 concert series which features emerging artists like Icona Pop or Emeli Sandé and diverse power players like Taylor Swift, Goodie Mob, Phillip Phillips, and Robyn. These concerts are for our customers and aren’t open to the general public, so you may want to show up for your flight a little early, you never know who might be setting up on the grandstand!

Music has always been an important part of the T5 experience, and we always hear from customers how they love the set-list heard throughout the day. Now our customers will be able to get in on the act directly. We’ve partnered with Rockbot, an amazing service that will allow anyone traveling through T5 to view the current playlist – and vote on what they want to hear next! Look for the Rockbot kiosk at T5 to learn more, or grab the Rockbot app for iOS or Android before you get to the airport.

 

3. Sustainability

T5 opened with a focus on minimizing our impact. With natural lighting and airflow management to save energy (and costs) on power consumption, to using reclaimed cement for the gravel “ramp” areas. We’re continuing to look for  ways we can make a difference. This summer launched a program for composting food waste collected at T5 for use at a farm in the Hudson Valley, and next week we’ll host our first-ever greenmarket, creating a unique way for New York farmers to connect with those passing through the terminal. We’re even creating a new and improved pet-relief area with real grass and a fire hydrant (hey, everyone’s important!)


2. Airspace Lounge
Looking for free WiFi, plenty of outlets for charging, and a relaxing place to sit? We’ve got that throughout the entire terminal! – but for those customers looking for a little something more, like a business center with printer or scanner, or some plush chairs in a quiet environment, or maybe just a shower after a long shut-eye flight from the West Coast, the Airspace Lounge that recently opened near Gate 24 is a perfect haven.

Operated by Swissport, there’s no need for a secret handshake to enter this lounge, it’s open to any customer for use with entry fees starting at just $25. Sit back, relax and enjoy the oasis within the oasis of T5.

 

1. Concessions

We opened up T5 with an impressive (and award winning) selection of restaurants and concessions, and have spent the last few years listening to our customers and finding even more partners to make our customers’ experience on the ground as satisfying as their JetBlue experience in the air. With additions like Ben and Jerry’s, Baked by Melissa, WhereTraveler Books + More, or the numerous innovative shopping kiosks around the terminal, our customers are sure to be able to find just about anything they might want to grab before their flight.

Want more? We’re not done by any means! There are still a few regular store requests from our T5 customers and we hear you. We’re working on finalizing some plans for some other popular brands to join out T5 team delivering that great experience.

 

We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished in the last five years at T5. We’ve grown from serving 46 destinations from JFK in 2008 to 62 destination so far this year. We’ve helped more than 50 million customers pass through our doors at T5, but we like we’ve always said, we’re only as good as our last flight, and at T5 it’s no different. Just watch what’s in store for the next 5, 10 years and beyond!

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July 11, 2013

Fly-Fi Update

As Summer hits its stride, we wanted to take a moment to give an update on a topic of great interest to our online audience: WiFi onboard!

Earlier this spring we announced some details on our upcoming service we’re calling Fly-Fi and we’re well on our way to bringing this innovative solution to our customers. Bringing faster internet connections than the other guys isn’t without it’s challenges though. If we want to have a better connection, we can’t just use the same technology, so we turned our eyes to the sky… about 22,000 miles up!

As the first U.S. airline to use Ka Band satellite technology to deliver high speed internet to our aircraft, it also falls to us to prove that the technology and equipment used to deliver it is safe, and have the FAA certify that the equipment is ready to be installed in additional aircraft. With safety as our number one value, we don’t take this responsibility lightly.

In June, we took one of our planes out of service and gave it an experimental designation so we could install the necessary equipment. Aside from the electrical work to be done throughout the cabin, there’s the small matter of outfitting the external equipment as well. It’s no small feat to install rotating, pivoting blades that constantly track the orbiting ViaSat-1!

After several ‘proving flights’ to test the air-worthiness of the added equipment and new radome (the bubble on top of our planes containing antennae), we were able take another flight to test the Fly-Fi system and any impact the signals may have on other aircraft systems or equipment. The tests were VERY thorough, we even tested the lavatory lights!

The most exciting tests were of the system itself though, and the team reporting back was thrilled with the results and download speeds they  were seeing. Needless to say, our excitement is high and we itching to start rolling it out, but there are a couple final steps to go.

One of a flurry of photos sent from the experimental aircraft using Fly-Fi

One of a flurry of photos sent from the experimental aircraft using Fly-Fi

With testing done, the experimental aircraft must now sit and wait for the FAA to review the documentation and data collected to issue a Supplemental Type Certificate that will allow us to return the plane to service, and begin the process of installing Fly-Fi on our fleet. We expect that process to take a bit of time, but once complete, we get to take to the air once again for final preparations. Once the plane is completely vetted, it’ll return to service, and we’ll be able to begin rolling out Fly-Fi to the rest of the fleet.

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December 18, 2012

Meet Diane, the Woman Behind “A Tale of Blue Cities”

After nine years with the airline, Diane Mahoney is currently a curriculum developer at JetBlue University in Orlando, Fla. where she creates the training materials to help welcome new crewmembers onboard.

You may have seen this face before!  Diane’s been on three network game shows in the past.  And who knows, maybe you’ll catch her on your TV screen again in the future!

Diane gets customers excited to fly, and it’s her job to spread her passion for flying with new JetBlue crewmembers. After holding various travel industry positions in the air and on the ground, Diane knows the ins and outs of the day-to-day airline business.

Read the first edition of A Tale of Blue Cities and stay tuned for the next up in January!

 

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September 18, 2012

Ka-Band: This Won’t Be Your Grandfather’s Wi-Fi

Robin Hayes, our Chief Commercial Officer, announced yesterday at the Low Cost Carrier conference in London that our intention is to launch our first Wi-Fi enabled aircraft in early 2013 and that we will have a free basic Wi-Fi service to start.

We know there already are many carriers out there with connectivity, but we also know something else: If our customers are impatient with our speed to market with a solution, they’re likely also frustrated with the level of service they’re getting on the other guys. If you have tried one of those other products, you know what we’re talking about. You’d never pay those kind of prices for that level of service on the ground, why would you take it in the air?

Rather than jump on the bandwagon of a product that can barely handle the usage needs of today’s travelers, we decided to look to where the demands are headed. With more people traveling with more gadgets (hello tablet users!), demanding faster speed connections, we’re willing to take the short term pain for long term gains. As an airline that take innovation to new heights, we believe that our inflight Wi-Fi should be heads and shoulders above the rest. We think it will be worth the wait.

As such, we partnered with Live TV and ViaSat to build something from the stratosphere down that, like all of our products and services, will provide the best possible customer experience. The Ka-band satellite we launched last October is the latest generation, with capacity equal to 100 last-generation Ku-band satellites. It’s smarter, newer, cheaper and better than anything on the market today for commercial aviation. We plan to make JetBlue the very first commercial airline to offer this product on board, at altitude!

Learn more about our agreement with ViaSat.

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March 23, 2012

Burlington Rocks Airport Award

Looks like JFK T5 isn’t the only terminal in our system to be recognized. Burlington International Airport has won an award for “airport with the most unique services” by Airport Revenue News (ARN). Each year, this monthly magazine runs an online contest that rates North America’s airports and airport retail operations. And while our customers enjoy the airport’s amenities, so do our crewmembers!

From the beautiful mountain views, to the wooden rocking chairs—for a cozy, homey feel—there is much to love about Burlington International. Just like T5, BTV aims to deliver standout services that exceed travelers’ expectations of traditional airport offerings. Massage chairs, free WiFi, and uniquely Vermont merchandise including Green Mountain Coffee, maple syrup, and clothing, are a few examples of what you can find.

Read more about Burlington’s award here.

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January 5, 2012

Unpacked: Business Partners

Welcome back to our fourth edition of Unpacked, where we demystify hot topics in the airline industry. This time around we’re going to peel back the layers of our workforce to explain how we work with business partners to keep our airline flying.

In addition to our 14,000 crewmembers that work on our reservations lines (most of whom work from home!), in-flight, at our airports and at our headquarters, we rely on business partners for a number of different services to ensure that our day-to-day operations run smoothly and that we provide the best possible customer experience.

All of the people you meet at New York’s JFK airport, our home base of operations, who greet you as you enter the building, check you in, collect your boarding pass at the gate, transport your checked bag (first bag always flies free!) to and from the plane, and maintain our aircraft (our airport, ground and technical operations crewmembers, respectively) are employed directly by JetBlue. At JFK, we work with business partners for our concessions (AKA, all of the great shops and restaurants you can take advantage of before or after your flight), fueling and deicing our aircraft, curbside baggage check-in, and a security company to help with everything from managing the ebb and flow of customer traffic to escorting celebrities (when we have our Live From T5 Concert Series). Of course, we also work closely with the TSA for security checkpoint staffing, the airports that we operate out of, and the local Port Authorities.

Our airport operations crewmembers in San José, Costa Rica

At other stations, particularly smaller ones like Bogotá, Colombia or San José, Costa Rica, where we have a limited number of daily flights, we also work with business partners to handle much of the customer experience, including staffing the ticketing counters, baggage handling. With these and all partners, we always make sure that anyone we’re joining forces with are a cultural fit for JetBlue and that we all share the same ethos; providing the best and safest experience, whether product or service, for our customers.

Airline interline agreements are another piece of the partnership puzzle. We’ve partnered with a growing list of some pretty fabulous airlines including Aer Lingus, American Airlines, Cape Air, El Al, Emirates, Icelandair, Jet Airways, LAN,  Lufthansa, Qatar, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, TAM, and Virgin Atlantic. These strategic alliances allow our customers to seamlessly connect from points across the JetBlue network to cities in every corner of the globe. We don’t fly to Tokyo, but a number of our partner airlines do, and entering into interline agreements allows us to help our customers get from point A to point Beirut.

A big part of success is not just in knowing what you do well, but in being able to identify what others do better. That’s why we’ve partnered with companies like American Express, Verizon, DIRECTV®,SiriusXM Radio®, ViaSat, and plenty of others to strengthen our infrastructure and to bring customers the very best in product and service offerings. We’re just not going to make a better cookie than Linden; that’s why we do the flying and leave the baking to them (same goes for all of our other tasty onboard snack options)!

Check out our earlier editions of Unpacked to learn all about Lightning Strikes, Diversions, and Turbulence, and stay tuned for the first Thursday of next month when we serve the next up!

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November 22, 2011

Preparing for a Busy Holiday Travel Weekend

Turkeys are defrosting, yams are baking, and folks are packing to make the journey to spend Thanksgiving with friends and family. Is JetBlue a part of your Thanksgiving plans? If so – thank you!

Here’s how the weekend is shaping up. Delays are possible, but as our Chief Operating Officer Rob says in this video to our crewmembers, our job is to get you to you where you need to go for the holidays and back.

Interesting factoids about our holiday operations:

  • We’ll be operating more than 3,500 flights between now and Sunday
  • We’re flying more than half a million people to their turkey destinations of choice
  • To ease congestion in the air, we’re taking advantage of the FAA’s Holiday Airspace Release Program (HARP) Tuesday through Sunday
  • We have spare aircraft dedicated to supporting the operation over the holidays
  • We’ve added flights for the holiday week to reduce potential travel delays and meet customer demand
  • Our Terminal 5 at JFK has a spacious check-in lobby and the largest single security checkpoint in America to ease your holiday travel experiences
  • You can bring your turkey and your pumpkin pie on JetBlue (so long as you can fit in under your seat or in the overhead), but mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce might not make it through TSA security. Visit TSA’s site for information about what holiday food you can travel with

Tips for navigating the holiday travel weekend :

And remember, your first checked bag flies free on JetBlue!

Leave your own holiday travel tips in the comments section below.

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