Welcome to A Day in the Life, where we take you behind the scenes at JetBlue to learn more about the important jobs that work in concert together to run a major airline. This time, we visit with Jacob, Tracy and Driss, together they make up our Airline Partnership Team!
“Having airline partners gives our customers the freedom to travel the world beyond our network of cities, and still have JetBlue be a part of the journey,” states, Tracy Bink, Director Airline Partnerships.
Unlike other airlines, JetBlue is not in a global airline alliance. Instead, in typical JetBlue fashion, we carefully choose airline partnerships that make a great cultural and strategic fit with JetBlue. We take partnerships seriously, and are picky as to who we partner with. JetBlue currently has 24 partnerships including: Aer Lingus, Air China, American Airlines, Asiana Airlines, Cape Air, Cathy Pacific El Al Israel Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, Icelandair, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, Korean Air, Lan Airlines. LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, QATAR Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, TAM Airlines, Turkish Airlines, & Virgin Atlantic. (find details for each at jetblue.com/partners)
At our Long Island City support center, our Airline Partnerships department consists of a three person Team: Driss Belmadani, Tracy Bink, and Jacob Kriegler. Together, they deliver these incredible partnerships for all our customers and crewmembers to enjoy. They couldn’t do it alone though; they work closely with a top notch team of 24/7 crewmembers located in our Salt Lake City support center. Those crewmembers on the Interline and Distribution Support desk specialize in these complex multi-airline reservations and are the go-to team when problems arise. Our Airports crewmembers are also trained to help customers who make connections in our BlueCities. There are also many other departments back in Long Island City that are key players in executing the many areas of these special airline relationships, including IT, Revenue Accounting, Legal, Airport Programs, Network Planning, Revenue Management, TrueBlue, Marketing, and Promotions.
At JetBlue we partner in a couple different ways. The first is called Interlining, which allows for seamless connecting travel from one carrier to the next including through check-in and baggage transfers, and all on a single reservation and ticket. Instead of booking two separate reservations with two airlines, these agreements give customers a one-stop-shop to make the process easier. Code Sharing is the second way we partner with other airlines. Code Sharing is a marketing arrangement in which one airline places its designator code on a flight operated by another airline and markets that flight as its own. This means you may find yourself able to book a JetBlue flight from Syracuse to Dublin, where one of our partner airlines will actually be operating the New York to Dublin fight. Whether a destination isn’t a strategic fit for JetBlue or because our aircraft don’t have the range to fly long haul extended over water routes, both Interlining and Code Sharing agreements give our JetBlue customers more options to travel the world. Of our 24 airline partners, we have one way codeshare agreements with 7 of them where the partner airline puts their airline code on our JetBlue operated flight. We will launch our first two way codeshare with Emirates later this year and you will see JetBlue marketed flights from cities like New York, San Francisco, and Houston to Dubai, pending FAA, DOT and foreign government operating approval. Stay tuned for a second two way codeshare partner to be announced very soon!
One other unexpected way we partner other airlines is by supporting their operations on the ground. At JFK T5 where we run the terminal, we share our world class terminal with our friends at Hawaiian Airlines and Aer Lingus. Having roomies at T5 allows for even more seamless of a connection with those airlines because you don’t even have to leave the terminal! You’ll also see specially trained JetBlue crewmembers working our partner airline’s flights at the ticket counters, gates, and even outside, guiding the planes in and out and loading and unloading bags.
In a given day, our Partnerships team may be meeting with potential new partners face-to-face, negotiating business terms, working on testing and technical implementation, or looking at ways to make our existing relationships more valuable. Being smart about how we partner goes beyond the flights, including things like reciprocal loyalty agreements (TrueBlue points, etc.) or partnering in the communities we both serve. Not to mention all the work travel! The team has a unique and challenging, but also very fun job, and proudly promotes JetBlue on the global stage each and every day.
Are you interested in taking advantage of one of our partnerships and visiting a country that you have always dreamed about flying to, all while enjoying the same satisfaction as if you were flying JetBlue? Visit our website and book your tickets today! http://www.jetblue.com/airline-partners/
Check out the previous editions of A Day In The Life and stay tuned for the next edition!