Travel for families with autistic children can be a stressful time. Together with Autism Speaks our JFK team put on Blue Horizons for Autism, our program to help families walk through the airport and plane experience, and let our more sensitive customers get use to the sights and sounds of travel without even needing to take off!
For families not attending in person, here are some great tips for parents traveling with autism:
1. After you book your flights, call JetBlue’s Disability Assistance Line to identify any special accommodations your family might need when traveling. Be sure to let crewmembers know of your requests when you check in or arrive at the gate. We are happy to help!
2. Practice waiting on lines before going to the airport. Bring incentives if necessary to help keep your child calm during waiting periods.
3. Make sure your child is aware that ALL electronic devices must be turned off before takeoff and landing. Be sure to have non-electronic toys or activities for these time
4. When dressing for the day, keep in mind that shoes, belts and jackets will have to be removed going through security. i.e. zips instead of buttons, slip-ons instead of tie shoes.
5. Going through the airport can be a challenge for any family but be kind to yourself and try to remember to have fun. Your destination awaits!
Operational Dispatch systems are fully back online and flights are departing. The system delay impacted about 60 flights (less than 10% of our scheduled flights) directly. These delays will likely result in some “downline delays” as the planes and crews work to catch up with their scheduled flight times and locations. If you’re flying today, we’d encourage you to continue watching your flight status at jetblue.com.
JetBlue experienced an IT system outage early this morning that has created delays in the system. Due to this IT issue, delays are expected throughout the day. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused and are encouraging our customers to check flight status on jetblue.com.
Nearly ten years ago, JetBlue Captain Eric Scott invited a young traveler to visit the cockpit and unknowingly changed this boy’s life.
Elijah Hedrington was just five years old, traveling to Burlington, VT as part of the Fresh Air Fund. This program provides free summer experiences to New York City children from low-income communities. Elijah’s escort happened to be Sheila Donnell, a JetBlue Inflight crewmember who volunteers for the program. On this flight, Sheila introduced Elijah to Capt. Scott. Capt. Scott invited Elijah into the cockpit. At that very instant, Elijah decided he wanted to become a pilot, just like Capt. Scott.
Elijah and Capt. Scott’s first meeting in 2003
Now at age 14, Elijah is continuing on his path to become a pilot. He is a sophomore at Bronx Aerospace High School, and a member of the school’s robotics team that is building an airplane and seeking permission from the FAA to fly the aircraft. After recently hearing that Elijah is following in his footsteps, Capt. Scott offered to become Elijah’s mentor to help keep him on track and encourage his career aspirations.
JetBlue arranged a reunion for Capt. Scott and Elijah in August at JetBlue’s Terminal 5 (T5) at New York’s JFK airport. Capt. Scott treated Elijah and a group of his friends to a special behind-the-scenes tour of T5.
JetBlue Captain Eric Scott and Elijah Hedrington recently reunited at JFK Airport after nearly 10 years.
JetBlue’s CEO, Dave Barger welcomed Elijah Hedrington to Terminal 5 for a reunion with mentors Captain Eric Scott and First Officer Jovan O’Bryant.
Welcome to Unpacked, where we demystify hot topics in the airline industry. This time we’re talking about a topic that brings a smile to just about anyone’s face: working from home.
Here at JetBlue more than 1,900 of our 15,000 crewmembers work from home, mostly in and around Salt Lake City, where we have one of our support centers. Those crewmembers are part of our Customer Support team. They’re the friendly crewmembers providing that great customer service when you call 1-800-JETBLUE, shoot us a note on Twitter, or generally just need help figuring something out. These crewmembers also are on hand to support other crewmembers around our network with project or questions.
Working from home comes with a lot of perks like no morning commute and the luxury of spending extra time with your family. But if you think working from home is easy, think again! These crewmembers have to know how to book travel, certainly, but they also have to know how to help people in all kinds of situations. Customers call us to help them find something they forgot on the plane, to change their itinerary, or when their experience with us doesn’t go well and give us the the opportunity to make it right. We don’t just hire friendly people – we hire people who get things done!
It’s important to us to make sure these agents are ingrained in the JetBlue culture, friendly, knowledgeable, articulate problem-solvers, who can handle a wide range of situations and personalities. To bring out these desired skills, our JetBlue Reservations agents go through a four week Initial Reservations Training, covering everything from our booking system, airline industry regulations, JetBlue policy and of course, award-winning customer service. JetBlue is able to provide a unique “hands-on” training experience where our agents get opportunities to learn by taking live calls while having the support of seasoned agents watching remotely via screen share and “double-jacking” in to listen to the call. This mixed approach of classroom and “hands-on” provides an innovative approach to training.
After their initial training, Reservations crewmembers can choose to work at the Support Center or work from home. The idea of working remotely has become a bit of a hot potato lately, but we believe that giving our crewmembers the opportunity to work from home delivers results. Not only does it make financial sense (with lower overhead costs), it also provides us the flexibility to quickly ramp up the number of agents on our phone lines if we need to. We also believe that offering our crewmembers the chance to take your calls from the comfort of their home pays off in terms of customer service. Who wouldn’t be in a great mood working at home? One of our agents, Michelle, was even featured on CBS Sunday Morning this past weekend.
Soon we’ll open a second call center in Orlando, meaning more jobs and more opportunities to work from home! If you’re interested in inspiring humanity by working for JetBlue, let us know!
On Saturday, Aug. 17, more than 200 volunteers from JetBlue, and residents of the local community along with organizers from KaBOOM! came together to build a new playground at the Broad Channel Athletic Club. The new playground’s design was based on drawings created by children who participated in a Design Day Event in June. This playground is the second of three planned playgrounds JetBlue and KaBoom! are building in communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
Take a look on how it all went down:
The entire community came together to make this a successful event. Broad Channel Athletic Club members bicycled in to preserve parking spaces for volunteers. Local restaurants provided breakfast and lunch. Local fire fighters who helped after Hurricane Sandy were also on board. We couldn’t have asked for a better turn out. Thank you all who came!
We’re excited to announce the next up in our Live From T5 concert series: an exclusive live performance by the newly reunited hip hop group – Goodie Mob on Monday, September 9 at 6 p.m. ET.
Celebrating their reunion after a 14 year hiatus, Grammy-Award winning artist CeeLo Green will join original Goodie Mob group members Big Gipp, Khujo and T-Mo to perform selections from their new CD “Age Against the Machine,”which drops on August 27. This pioneering rap group will perform their critically acclaimed first single entitled “Special Education” as well as other songs. CeeLo will also perform some of his solo hits.
This exclusive concert marks the first hip hop performance as part of our concert series. JetBlue’s Live From T5concerts are held post-security at Terminal 5 (T5) at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York and are available exclusively to ticketed customers and lucky contest winners.
JetBlue and Goodie Mob have partnered with Atlantic Records to provide some of Goodie Mob’s biggest fans with special access to this show and an opportunity to meet the group. Additionally, as a special treat, JetBlue will provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to several lucky TrueBlue members.
On Sunday, August 18, Flight 827 from Boston to Baltimore with 95 customers and four crewmembers on board diverted to Philadelphia. In an abundance of caution, the captain elected to divert, after the crew reported an odor of smoke in the cabin. The flight landed at 5:53 p.m. and all customers and crew were safely evacuated with no injuries reported. The customers are being reaccommodated on a later JetBlue flight.
11:17 pm Customers will receive a refund for the value of their trip (whether that was a one way or round trip) and getting a value of the round trip (or double the one way) in credit for future JetBlue travel.
Last month, several of our pilots hosted a special Aviation Career Education (ACE) camp at JetBlue University in Orlando, FL for middle and high school students. Each year, the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) partners with the FAA to conduct multiple weeklong ACE programs across the country. Admission is offered to students ages 14 to 18 years old who have an interest in learning about aviation. Applicants are competitively ranked based on age, cumulative GPA, and essay.
ACE camps expose minority middle and high school students to a wide variety of career opportunities in aviation. One of the core pillars of our Corporate Social Responsibility platform is education. Our leaders and crewmembers participate in a variety of programs designed to encourage the next generation of aviation professional. Captain Eric Poole was instrumental in bringing the camp to JetBlue University.
Many of the participating students had never had the chance to travel in an airplane, let alone fly one. Pilots, like First Officer Sherwon Liverpool made sure the students received a behind-the-scenes look at our Flight Operations training, giving them an overview of what it takes to become a JetBlue inflight crewmember or pilot.
At JetBlue University, students from Oak Ridge High School received a tour of the facility and had a chance to speak with pilots and even visit our flight simulators.