October 16, 2009

The Daniels jet to California

What follows is a story sent by JetBlue Vice President and Controller Don Daniels on Sept. 30, 2009. Don talks about his experience jetting with his family to California, and how the amazing service provided on the ground and in the air by his fellow Crewmembers reconfirmed his pride in working for the airline. The embedded video shows Don and his family onboard.

This morning the family and I started a long weekend, getting out of Dodge for a few days to venture off to sunny Southern California. I forget how hard it is to travel with a family — I guess I’m spoiled by the day trips where it’s just me and no luggage. This time, it’s not just me — there’s four others and we have lots of luggage, we’re moving slowly not to mention loudly and taking up lots of space. We’re quite a spectacle as we make our way to the check in counters. If it were me behind the counter and I saw us coming, I’d probably run and run fast. Dany didn’t though, as we approached and despite the airport being busy, he made eye contact, smiled and asked where we were headed. I really felt like he was helping me and not merely checking us in and sending us on our way.

Except for losing a few bags, we’re not any less of a spectacle as we proceed to the gate after checking in. The flight is full, surprising for a Wednesday morning in September. Despite there being a lot of people, the gate area was quite accommodating. It’s clean and the Airports Crewmembers look and act very professional as they field a few questions from our customers. As we board the aircraft, we let the Airports and Inflight Crewmembers know that one of our kids has a severe peanut allergy. This is a very real concern for us — being trapped in a flying tube six miles in the atmosphere we don’t want to have an “event.” Donna and Ruthie empathized with us and our plight as they made the Inflight announcement that there wouldn’t be any nut products being offered during the flight — the way they handled it was very informative and didn’t make me feel guilty for having this condition, which has happened more than once on other airlines that we’ve flown.

I’m seated in 5D, my #1 son gets the window seat and I’m enjoying life in the center seat. Just as well though because it afforded me the opportunity to get to know one of our very frequent Customers. She works for an investment banking firm that has offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Boston. She’s building a new practice within the firm and is spending quite a bit of time traveling between these locations. I tell her who I am and ask her if she took advantage of the All-You-Can-Jet pass. “Sadly,” she says, “I was too late by the time I tried to sign up.” I ask her how it was that she came to be a JetBlue customer — and probably like a lot of stories you too have heard, she said “I used to fly with a network carrier, but I finally came to a point when I had had enough with their poor customer service and their indifference to me as a customer.”

As I reflected on this Customer’s statement and the passion with which she delivered it and of my own terrific passenger service I experienced this same day, I feel just as proud to be a part of this company as that first day on the job nearly seven years ago. Thank all of you for letting me be a part of it!

Don Daniels
Vice President and Controller

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