Welcome to Unpacked, where we demystify hot topics in the airline industry! This edition’s topic peels back the layers of our company physiology to reveal our Support Centers.
When most people think of airline employees, pilots and flight attendants first come to mind. Maybe they think about the guys and gals who transport checked baggage or the folks who check tickets during the boarding process. Less obvious, though no less important, are all of the people behind the scenes who work to support our frontline crewmembers with the shared goal of helping the airline fly. We call these locations our Support Centers, working each day to support our local crewmembers at the 71 airports that we offer service, six of which we consider our Focus Cities, or cities that where we focus our efforts and growth, and we view the thousands of people who work in them as the arteries of our operation.
JetBlue has Support Centers in Long Island City, New York; Orlando, Florida; and Salt Lake City, Utah, each with unique and distinctive functionality. All of our Support Centers are vital to ensuring that our customer-facing crewmembers are well equipped to do their jobs in getting customers where they need to go and putting smiles on their faces.
Our Salt Lake City support center is the heart of our customer support, or reservations group, where hundreds of crewmembers work in-house to support our 2,000 work from home agents. They’re the folks making sure your questions are answered and needs addressed when customers call 1-800-JETBLUE and that customers are rebooked or fees waived when there’s a special offer, a weather event, or an operational challenge. They’re also the closest group to our Sabre reservations system and ensure that special requests on the phone gets properly recorded in the system, which then gets communicated to our airport operations crewmembers to deliver the best service to our flying customers.
Our Orlando support center is the soul of our company’s learning and growing. JetBlue University is housed here, our state-of-the-art training facility where every new crewmember (regardless of where they’ll be working) goes for orientation, and where our frontline crewmembers, like pilots and flight attendants, go through training before they step into uniforms and out into the airport environment. The facility can fit up to 300 new hires for training at a given time and contains some very cool equipment, like our flight simulators for piloting practice. JetBlue University has teachers and lots of tools, including online learning videos for various workgroups to touch up on skills or to deepen their knowledge base about current practices and company protocol. Blue learning never stops!
As New York’s Hometown Airline, our Long Island City support center is located in Queens, New York and boasts a brand-spanking new facility with an open workspace model and a bright, clean look and feel. Close to 1,000 crewmembers work in our Long Island City support center across many departments including people (human resources), commercial (marketing, revenue management, network planning, product development, brand and advertising, partnerships, corporate social responsibility), engineering, IT, supply chain, communications, legal, security, safety, finance and accounting, as well as our executive leadership team. Our system operations team also resides here, the folks who plan the flights on the ground, including crew scheduling, aircraft routing, system operations controllers, dispatch, and our in-house meteorologist (who’s weather reports tend to be more accurate than the local news!).
Also at the Long Island City support center are our airports, inflight and flight groups, all of whom work on the back-end to support our frontline airport, ground, and tech operations crewmembers, as well as our pilots and flight attendants. They manage the scheduling, communications, uniform design and compliance, among other things.
All of the groups at our support centers are in constant collaboration and communication with one another, with our frontline crewmembers, and with our many business partners to ensure that we’re always open to new and creative ways of thinking and innovating, and that we’re delivering the best in product and service.