November 2, 2012

Taking Flight in the Air and Action on the Ground After Sandy

It’s hard to believe that it’s only been four days since Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast. For all of us, whether you were in the impact zone or far away, it’s been a very long week. Despite the circumstances we faced since Monday, or maybe because of them, we all rose to the challenge and came to each other’s aid. Much like our hometown of New York, we are resilient, capable and stand by each other through thick and thin.

Unloading supplies – water, juice and Eat Up snack boxes to aid those impacted by Sandy

While the storm has passed, the challenges continue. Many areas are expected to remain without basic services for days. We all have family, friends and colleagues in these areas; their suffering is our suffering.

Here’s what we’re doing to best assist them:

For our crewmembers:

The JetBlue Crewmember Crisis Fund (JCCF), an independent 501(c)3 already released $125,000 to crewmembers who have reported significant losses. The company is matching dollar-for-dollar all one-time donations to JCCF, to help our colleagues in dire circumstances. We also activated our CARE Team for these crewmembers to help them rebuild their lives and get them (and their families) back on their feet. We provided crewmembers reporting total losses with hotel rooms, immediate supplies such as food and clothes along with transportation – most importantly, we’ll provide them time to get their lives back in order.

For our customers:

Customers who find themselves booked for travel through November 04 can rebook without change fee or fare difference through November 14. Those who booked travel before October 28 for anytime between now and the end of the year, and find themselves unable to travel, may convert the value of their ticket to a credit, valid for one year. Of course, other individual needs will be handled on a one-on-one basis.

We partnered with our friends at Wafels & Dinges yesterday to offer hot meals to those without power. 14 additional trucks throughout areas impacted will provide free, hot snacks and meals today.

For our communities

Now, it’s our job now to help the community get back on its feet, to bring humanity back to New York and the Northeast. We will do this in big ways – not only by operating a full schedule, but by providing financial support to the JCCF (where we are matching crewmember donations dollar for dollar) and the Red Cross (where we are matching the first $50,000 UPDATE we’ve now matched the first $100,000) – and also in small ways, such as personalizing the “welcome aboard” to our customers and offering those in need a bottle of water, a bag of blue chips and even a waffle or two. We will sponsor 14 food trucks today in lower Manhattan and the Rockaways in Queens, delivering hot meals to those who have gone without for a week. Follow @NYCFoodtruck for more information and for a list of locations.

We’ve been in constant contact with city, state and federal officials to help assess the need of those hardest hit by the storm. We’ve already made donations to AmeriCares and Feed America, both of whom are here on the ground making a difference. Plus, we’ve already had a request to assist with replacing the damaged trees near our Long Island City office. There is no need too big or too small; we’ll find a way to help our community get back on its feet.

Our Care and Ready teams are working closely with local agencies to be of service. While we appreciate people wanting to help, work with you local groups, as the proper infrastructure needs to be in place in order to deliver necessary items to those in need (resources below).

Next Steps

Now that our operation is back-up and running, and the immediate and urgent needs of our crewmembers and customers are being met, we’re transitioning into the next phase of this event – the return to steady-state operations. Our ability to fly 100% of our schedule is important to the region and to you.

Dave, our CEO, is visiting Newark (EWR), LaGuardia (LGA) and JFK today to check-in first hand with crewmembers and customers, and is tweeting from the road – feel free to follow along.

Please continue to take care of yourself, your family, your colleagues and your community. We’ll keep you updated on the ongoing impact of Hurricane Sandy on our company and how we’ll continue to move forward – at 35, 000 feet!

If you’re in need of help or want to volunteer:
We’ve also heard amazing requests from you on how much you want to help donate your time or resources to the effort. We’re humbled by the caring of our customers, but also understand from our partners that there’s more to an organized relief effort than donation of time and supplies. We’d encourage those that want to lend a hand to look into the below groups and work with existing organizations to have the greatest impact.
Resources:
Time Out New York’s “How to Help Out After Sandy”
American Red Cross
NYC Service
New York Cares
New Jersey’s Volunteer Emergency Response
Boston Cares
Community Emergency Response Teams
ServeRhodeIsland.org
Team Rubicon
The Humane Society
American Humane Association

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