Maria Raknes, Airport Operations Crew
On November 12, 2001 I became part of the JetBlue family, and it has been a nice ride. I started in Fort Lauderdale as a Crewmember when we had only five flights a day and there was a good outlook towards future growth. At the time, Mr. John Driscoll, our station manager, was talking about the increase of flights to FLL and the possible need of somebody to coordinate these flights. I volunteered right away to be part of that team. John was a bit skeptical about the whole thing, so he said, “OK Maria if you can put it together at no extra cost to us go for it.”
Kelly Johnson and I started the first Operations at JetBlue. We had a room about 12×12 with a phone, a computer, a board, and one radio so that we could communicate with the pilots in range.
After working seven days a week from 4AM – 11PM, we grew from five flights a day to seventeen flights a day. Our room got bigger and we began to get more equipment and more Crewmembers to work the operation. Kelly left to Palm Beach to be a supervisor; Dave Eaton, Hubert Fryman, “Skip” joined the operations, and many more passed through the FLL Operations. Many left and went on to bigger and better dreams; many got promoted, Dave went on to be the Cargo and Mail Supervisor, Hubert as Training Supervisor, and so on. I’m still a Crewmember in Orlando, as an Airports liaison. Take care of your job- IT’S WORTH IT!