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.
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)!