December 22, 2013
December 20, 2013
The sky is literally the limit for aviation students. Tuesday at JFK’s T5, we celebrated the launch of the JetBlue Foundation. Students from Aviation High School, York College, and SUN ‘n FUN were all in attendance and enjoyed the T5 experience, complete with a tour of our Ops Center and Control Tower. At the event, we issued each organization a $25,000 grant.
No other airline has gone on record to build a foundation solely focused on supporting aviation education. The JetBlue Foundation, a company-sponsored initiative to encourage and advance aviation-related education, will continue our efforts to place aviation top-of-mind as a career choice for students by igniting interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs. This year, the JetBlue Foundation provided three $25,000 grants to schools and educational alliances focusing on STEM and aviation-related programs geared towards underserved groups and communities.
JetBlue Foundation 2013 grant recipients include:
- Aviation High School (Long Island City, NY): Aviation High School, the nation’s largest public aeronautical high school, will use its grant to launch an Aviation Welding Improvement Plan to ensure students have the resources to earn an FAA certification as an Aircraft Maintenance Technician. This includes purchasing the advanced technologies and materials needed to prepare students for today’s job market. Over 2,300 students, primarily from under-represented groups, attend Aviation High School.
- CUNY Aviation Institute at York College (Jamaica, NY): With this grant, York College will develop a curriculum to establish an FAA-approved Aircraft Dispatcher Certification program, making it the first public education institution in New York to offer this type of program. More than 82% of the student population is from under-represented groups and 66% of the undergraduate student body is women.
- SUN ‘n FUN (Lakeland, FL): SUN ‘n FUN, a nonprofit organization, will use its grant to further their mission to preserve and enhance the future of flight by purchasing tools and educational items for powerplant mechanic students at Central Florida Aerospace Academy, a high school located in Lakeland, Florida. Students from Traviss Career Center, a vocational training facility, as well as Polk State College will also use these items for STEM-focused education.
The JetBlue Foundation plans to build lasting relationships with these programs beyond the initial grants including mentoring, in-kind support, internships and more. The airline already has an extensive relationship with Aviation High School (AHS). Hundreds of JetBlue crewmembers, including 80+ Technicians, received their start at Aviation High School. JetBlue is also a PENCIL partner with AHS. Several JetBlue senior leaders work with school officials including JetBlue’s CEO Dave Barger who is currently working with administrators at AHS through PENCIL. PENCIL connects business leaders and public school administrators to inspire innovation and improve student achievement.
The airline also works with CUNY Aviation Institute at York College to emphasize STEM initiatives with a focus on encouraging women to pursue careers in aviation. Last year JetBlue organized a special charter flight to the SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-in & Expo in Lakeland, Florida. The airline welcomed students from schools in New York and Florida with a strong focus on STEM education for a tour of a JetBlue aircraft and to interact with crewmembers during the week-long expo for active pilots and aviation enthusiasts. A group of crewmembers also joined and shared the day with students and aviation enthusiasts from across the country.
To learn more about the JetBlue Foundation, visit www.jetblue.com/inspiringhumanity.
December 17, 2013
The holidays are a time for families who may be spread across the country to gather and celebrate. Or maybe it’s a time to slip away and enjoy a vacation. Whatever your holiday plans are, air travel with your elderly parent or loved one can pose a challenge.
Today, Austin Kiliham from Caring.com, the leading online destination for caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses, and other loved ones provides 10 tips to help you plan ahead and make your trip easier more comfortable, and most importantly safe for both of you.
Talk to the doctor.
Talk to your loved one’s doctor to let him/her know that you are planning to fly in the near future. Ask if a check-up is advised to make sure your loved one is healthy enough to travel.
Plan for low stress.
Plan your flight itinerary to be as low impact as possible. Multiple layovers mean more stress, so consider direct flights whenever possible.
Make any special requests when making your reservations.
Ask about expedited boarding and whether you need proof of medical conditions to receive this service. Consider your seating options as well. Aisle seating may be preferable, as it is easier to maneuver. Or you may want to reserve Even More Space for extra legroom.
Also, this is the time to request a wheelchair; you want to be sure the airline has one on hand upon your arrival at the airport. Be sure to ask for one to be ready at your final destination as well. If you’ve forgotten to ask before you reach the airport, however, don’t worry; you can ask for one when you reach the check-in counter.
Even if your loved one doesn’t usually use a wheelchair, they can be helpful when you have to navigate long airport corridors, or when you’re in a rush and carrying baggage. Some airports also provide electric carts to help passengers get to their gates.
[JetBlue has a dedicated team to help support customers with special assistance. Be sure to check the Special Needs section on jetblue.com for more information]
Pack any prescriptions and over-the-counter medications you may need in a carry-on bag instead of putting it in your checked luggage. That way you can keep track of it yourself, making sure that it’s easily accessible during the flight and when you land. Carry pills in their original prescription bottles, and make sure you have the contact information for your loved one’s doctors.
Tell officials in the security lines about any medical equipment, such as pacemakers, hearing aids, or metal surgical implants, which might require your loved one to go through alternative security checkpoints.
Wear loose clothing.
Unconstricting clothes make travel more comfortable and encourage blood circulation while on long flights. Also, slip-on shoes are suggested.
Drink plenty of fluids.
This is the number-one airplane travel tip from doctors. The low humidity on airplanes can easily lead to dehydration, and the best way to combat that is not only drinking plenty of water while you’re in the air but before and after the flight as well. You may want to steer clear of caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, which are diuretics and can further dehydrate you.
Staying hydrated wards off jet lag and helps your immune system, keeping the mucus membranes in your nose and throat moist and better equipped to fight germs. Carry an empty water bottle with you and fill it after you’ve passed through security, or once you’re through security buy a large bottle of water to take with you on the plane.
A supply of snacks is a quick hunger fix and ensures that there is something to eat when it’s time for your loved one to take his or her medication.
[JetBlue offers free snacks and drinks on board, but if our offerings aren't what you had in mind, feel free to bring your own]
While seated during long flights, it’s important to wiggle legs and feet often to increase blood circulation and keep joints feeling limber. Sitting for long periods of time has been associated with blood clots, especially in people with poor circulation. You can take mini exercise breaks by standing, walking in the aisle, or stretching and shaking your arms and legs. Talk to your loved one’s doctor about compression stockings, which can help with circulation. Otherwise, avoid tight stockings and socks.
After your arrival, you may wish to let other passengers exit the plane before you and your loved one disembark. Hanging back will keep you from being jostled by travelers in a rush and give flight attendants the chance to help your loved one while you gather yourself and collect your carry-on baggage.
Austin Kiliham is an author at Caring.com, The site a great place to learn about 10 preboarding secrets to staying healthy when you fly, senior care options, and long-distance caregiving.
December 16, 2013
‘Twas the night before holiday travel, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even the click of a mouse.
The boarding passes were printed near the laptop with care,
In hopes that their trip soon would be there.
The children were nestled, all snug in their beds,
While visions of free Terra® Blues chips danced in their heads.
And Mama on her iPhone®, the Android™ on Dad’s lap,
Had just settled in to download the JetBlue app.
When out of the blue, they heard some strange chatter,
They turned up the TV to see what was the matter.
An anchorman said, “It’s a holiday dash –
All airports are crowded, get there in a flash!”
The TrueBlue family was ready, despite all the snow,
They gathered their bags, even with hours to go.
When at the airport, their tired eyes did appear,
Helpful JetBlue crewmembers, full of holiday cheer!
With first checked bags free1 and service so lively and quick,
They knew in a moment this wasn’t a trick.
Correct documents in hand, the security line came,
Travelers whistled and shouted and called each other mean names:
“Now, slow poke! Now, hotshot! Now move it, and fast!”
(Off sneakers! Off belt! Off jackets at last!)
The TSA called out, “Lumps of coal aren‘t allowed!”
With TSA Precheck, they could‘ve avoided the crowd.
They patiently waited, although eager to fly,
With kindness and holiday spirit, always in mind.
Once at the gate, ‘twas no longer a race,
Just waiting to hear, “Boarding Even More Space!”
And then in a twinkling, it was time to load up,
Each row was called nicely, and nobody cut.
The family sat down and stretched themselves out,
Using devices gate-to-gate gave no reason to pout.
The plane took off and soared thousands of feet,
Then came unlimited snacks – including holiday treats!
EatUp boxes looked tempting, so that’s what they chose,
They sat back and relaxed, and watched all of their shows.
The kids, Cartoon Network, while mom watched her sports,
Papa chose Bravo and housewives, of course.
Then the captain came on, and said with such might,
“Happy holidays to all, and to all a good flight!”
1First bag free subject to exceptions for itineraries including flights marketed or operated by other airlines.
December 13, 2013
Baby, it’s cold outside! Looking for a warm weather getaway this holiday season? We’ve got you covered. We know more people than ever before want to visit one of our dozens of destinations in Florida and the Caribbean, so we are adding hundreds of seats – and our new A321 aircraft – to our schedule for the holiday season (December 19 – January 6).
Here’s the kicker: Some of our flights from New York/JFK to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, San Juan, PR and Bridgetown, Barbados will operate on our fresh-from-the-factory A321 aircraft. So they’ll have that “new aircraft” smell, but we won’t have time to get LiveTV installed before the holiday season – so you will have the analog JetBlue Experience without TV, radio or movies.
We encourage you to bring your own entertainment, but if you don’t, we’ve cooked up some cool, old-school ways of keeping you entertained on these flights – books, magazines and playing cards (while supplies last). It’s also our policy to issue a $15 credit to every Customer when your TV is not working – so you’ll get that, too.
We know this is not what you’re used to, but we want to get you and your family to your destinations for the holidays. Here are the flights currently scheduled* to operate on these brand-new airplanes:
|B6 #3||New York City, NY/San Juan, PR|
|B6 #4||San Juan, PR/New York City, NY|
|B6 #661||New York City, NY/Bridgetown, Barbados|
|B6 #662||Bridgetown, Barbados/New York City, NY|
|B6 #1103||New York City, NY/San Juan, PR|
|B6 #1204||San Juan, PR/New York City, NY|
|B6 #1601||New York City, NY/Fort Lauderdale, FL|
|B6 #1802||Fort Lauderdale, FL/New York City, NY|
If you’ve booked one of these flights, and you’d like to change to another, digital aircraft, please give us a call at 800-JETBLUE and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.
*Note that JetBlue reserves the right to change the aircraft assigned to operate on a particular route at any time for any reason, including to avoid delaying a flight. If you book a flight listed in the chart above, it does not guarantee that you will be on the new A321 aircraft. If you book a flight not listed in the chart above, it does not guarantee that you will not be on an A321 without inflight tv/radio/movie entertainment.
December 10, 2013
It’s been about a month since JetBlue launched the only scheduled commercial service to Worcester, Massachusetts. It’s not always easy operating in one of the snowiest cities in the U.S. In fact, Worcester was the second snowiest city in America in the winter of 2012-2013 receiving almost 109” of snow. We checked in with our Air Traffic Systems and Meteorology team for some more information about this unique BlueCity.
When it comes to winter operations, though, snow isn’t the only challenge—things like fog and low visibility can disrupt our travel plans as well. And even though Boston is known as the “city on a hill”, Worcester airport is more than 1,000 feet above sea level. The high elevation means that Worcester sees foggy conditions much more often than our Boston focus city just 40 miles away. Worcester reports, on average, 42 more days of fog per year than Boston, so essentially fog is four times as frequent in Worcester than it is Boston. And remember, if it’s very overcast in Boston with ‘low ceilings’ (as low cloud cover is referred to in airline speak), than it’s entirely possible that Worcester is quite literally in the clouds!
Airport Elevation Above Sea Level
Fog can happen any time of year in Worcester, especially in the night and early morning, but is most common in March, followed by February, November and December. The equipment in place at the Worcester airport, including navigation aids and approach lights, only supports landings when the visibility is at least ¾ of a mile, and fog often reduces that to a ½ mile or less. While the team in our System Operations Center does all it can to predict the weather at time of landing, for safety reasons our aircraft will sometimes have to divert to nearby airports to wait the fog out.
In some situations, it may not be feasible to wait for things to clear up in Worcester, causing us to have to divert the aircraft to an alternate airport, most often Boston Logan. When a diversion is necessary, our Airports and Customer Support teams will work with our Customers to secure ground transportations back to Worcester. Our customers’ safety always comes first for us, and while we prefer to travel by air rather than land, getting you to your destination in a timely manner is also part of our promise to you.
Even when we do get you to Worcester, we still have a plane ‘out of position’ at the diversion airport, which can also cause cancellations for Worcester departures.. In these situations, like we’ve seen with the fog during the past mild week in the northeast, our teams will look at options for changing the departure to nearby airports and will reach out to those impacted as soon as possible with options to get you moving.
JetBlue is working closely with Worcester Airport and our partners at Massport who own the facility to explore opportunities to enhance the landing equipment there, which could improve our ability to land in poor weather and fog conditions. While these efforts are underway, we have teams in airports and customer support working closely to improve how we recover from these disruptions to our Worcester customers.
December 9, 2013
’Tis the season to be jolly, and we want flying JetBlue to be fun for everyone! With shopping, singing, relaxing and celebrating, moving through our airports shouldn’t be stressful. We’re doing what we can to ensure our customers are happy this holiday season, particularly at our home at JFK, Terminal 5.
Making your home feel festive can make the season brighter, and that’s exactly what we’re doing! If you’re traveling through JFK, make sure to keep your eyes open for some of the surprises that are in store at T5.
If you’ve ever traveled through T5, you know there’s so much to explore, from an impressive selection of award-winning restaurants and concessions, to all the interesting kiosks – and there’s even a brand new Airspace lounge! Something for the entire family. This holiday season, also make sure to:
- Enjoy some holiday tunes – Carolers may be wandering the airport, and our Rockbot playlist is stocked full of classic and not-so-classic holiday music. Download the Rockbot app and try your hand at DJing while you wait for your flight.
- Snap a photo – Forgot to send those holiday cards? On select days, we’ll have our SocialPix Photo Booth set up to help send out some great last minute e-cards.
- Shop! – whether you stop by one of the great T5 shops like Muji-To-Go or Tech Showcase, or get some ideas at the Kate Spade Saturday pop-up in the central marketplace. You’re bound to find something for that last-minute gift!
- Wrap it up – Whether you find that perfect gift in our marketplace, or have an unwrapped present you’ve brought through security (always a good idea to leave gifts unwrapped for inspection) keep an eye out for crewmembers with free gift wrapping kits.
We’ll do everything we can to make travel easy for you this season, but there are also some great tricks YOU can do to make your trip stress-free too. To make the experience a little smoother, check out these tips:
Anticipate the busy holiday traffic: Give yourself plenty of time to get to and through the airport. If traveling domestically, plan to arrive at the airport two hours ahead of time. For international travel, allow three hours before your scheduled departure time.
Get a speedy check-in: Have no bags to check? Print your boarding pass at home to proceed directly to security, or download the free JetBlue app to get your mobile boarding pass, where mobile boarding is available. Bonus tip: Screenshot your mobile boarding pass in case the Internet connection at the airport is spotty. Bonus, bonus tip: Make sure all relevant travel documents (e.g., ID, passport, boarding pass) are stored in an easily accessible pocket or pouch for easy access through security and boarding.
Check your bag: Why? Because first bag is always free on JetBlue*, and it will be a load of stress off your arm to not have to navigate through the airport with luggage in-hand.
* Weight and size limits apply.
Keep gifts unwrapped and shoes untied: Unless you want to watch the TSA open presents (that could be fun???), you should leave gifts unwrapped for inspection. Also, wear slip-on shoes for easy removal.
Running late? Hate long lines? Consider purchasing Even More Speed to help get you through security faster (now available at most domestic airports). Or take advantage of TSA Pre-Check and reduce security time for everyone!
Early boarding gets the overhead bin space: Purchase an Even More Space seat in order to receive priority boarding and first dibs on overhead bin space. Plus, you’ll get extra legroom to relax.
Eat, drink and be merry: Didn’t get the chance to eat before your flight? Don’t fret; we have plenty of unlimited snacks and drinks onboard. For something more substantial, try one of our yummy Eat Up boxes.
Have your credit card handy: for any inflight purchases (cash is not accepted onboard). Got a JetBlue Amex card? Once the drink service starts, flash your card to the flight attendant to receive a FREE adult beverage. No card or under the age of 21? Flash a smile for a regular drink!
Keep your kids occupied. Bring games and toys on the flight for the little ones. Or bring or purchase a headset onboard for just $3 and have them tune in to our onboard entertainment. Nickelodeon, anyone?
You made it! Congratulations on a stress-free holiday travel. Take pictures of your awesome experience and share them using the hashtag #JetBlueSoFly
December 5, 2013
Did you know on an average $300 roundtrip ticket, 20% of the total cost goes to Washington D.C.? Yup commercial air travel is in the same federal tax bracket as “sin goods” like tobacco or alcohol. In total, the aviation industry and its customers are subject to 17 separate taxes and fees, equating to $19 billion in costs in 2012 alone; all this being done to an industry that has lost nearly $50 billion and a third of its workforce since 2001. Now it looks like Washington is looking to increase fees once again, and we think that’s an unfair burden being placed on the traveling public.
As part of a potential budget deal, Congress is seeking to double the current Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Passenger Security Tax from $2.50 to $5, and the White House proposes tripling the tax. Our trade organization, Airlines for America (A4A), and other industry partners have joined together to oppose yet another tax grab placed squarely on your back. What is even worse is that this plan will not improve airport security – it simply hikes TSA passenger taxes to reduce the budget deficit. But it will definitely drive up the cost of your air travel. Let’s be honest, every dollar counts, and every dollar added to the cost of a ticket, makes it a little harder to travel.
It is critical for Congress to hear directly from you that it’s time to find another way. Enough really is enough when it comes to the air travel taxes you pay.
Go to stopairtaxnow.com to let your voice be heard and stay updated on our progress.
November 25, 2013
This year’s Swing for Goof Golf Classic and the Bid for Good online charitable auction marked the most successful year to date for our annual fundraising campaign. Crewmembers, customers and business partners joined to raise $500,000 for our non-profit partners – KaBOOM! And First Book. As a result, each nonprofit partner will receive $250,000 to continue with their youth-focused initiatives.
This year marked the fifth anniversary of The Swing for Good Classic. Since 2009, JetBlue has raised more than $1.5 million for a range of nonprofit partners and charitable organizations. This event began as friendly competition between JetBlue and its business partners to make a difference for children throughout JetBlue’s network. We then added Bid for Good, powered by Charity Buzz, in 2010 as an extension of the golf outing. Bid For Good provides an online option for those that cannot attend the Golf Classic, providing an invitation to give beyond the golf event.
Every year our crewmembers and business partners come out and have a great time, supporting a great cause. Take a look at all the fun that was had at this year’s event:
We are committed to both KaBOOM! And First Book beyond the annual Swing for Good campaign. We will continue to work with KaBOOM! to provide a third playground in an area impacted by Hurricane Sandy to restore play and a sense of normalcy for affected children. We are also working with First Book to provide 250,000 new books to children in need. JetBlue recently began service to Worcester, Mass and will soon launch service in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. In partnership with First Book, the airline will provide new reading materials to children in both cities, addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy — access to books.
November 21, 2013
We’re always looking for ways to make our customers’ experience better, and we’ve heard from more than a few savy customers that you’d like to see us participate in TSA Pre✓™. Well, we’re excited to say that we’re launching the TSA’s TSA Pre✓ program in 22 cities today!
“What is TSA Pre✓?” you may ask. Participating carriers may allow certain frequent flyers and members of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Trusted Traveler programs (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI) to receive faster screening benefits including: leaving on shoes, light outerwear/Jacket and belts; leaving laptops and compliant liquids in carry-on bags. This means fast and shorter lines at TSA for everyone and we’re happy about that too.
(For more information on TSA Pre✓™, including how Customers may apply and which other carriers offer the program, visit TSA.gov.)
JetBlue customers who are members of one of the certified “trusted traveler” programs as defined by TSA may add their “known traveler” number to their reservation, and check in via JetBlue’s mobile app in order to receive expedited screening benefits at any of the 22 JetBlue locations where it is available. In addition, some customers who opt to use JetBlue’s mobile boarding pass, who are not TSA Pre✓ qualified but meet TSA’s low-risk profile, may be randomly selected for TSA Pre✓ expedited screening.
Approved customers then just need to show their mobile boarding pass with the logo at participating cities to move through security with speed. Don’t worry if you’re not part of the known traveler program, we’re still offering our own Even More Speed program as well.
Initially, TSA Pre✓ will be available to JetBlue customers who are U.S. citizens and members of one of the following certified “trusted traveler” programs recognized by the TSA: Global Entry; NEXUS; and SENTRI. Members of those programs may input their “known traveler” number into their JetBlue reservation prior to getting their mobile boarding pass. All U.S. Armed Forces service members are eligible to participate in the program as well, effective Dec. 20, 2013, using their Department of Defense identification number.
JetBlue will expand its participation in TSA Pre✓ to include paper boarding passes printed at home, from the check-in desk, or from the kiosk in the departure lobby by the end of the first quarter 2014. Until then, only mobile boarding passes via JetBlue’s app will be available for the TSA Pre✓ lane.
TSA Pre✓/expedited security screening is available in the following 22 JetBlue locations:
|Austin, Texas||Newark, N.J. (a)|
|Charlotte, N.C.||Orlando, Fla.|
|Ft Lauderdale, Fla. (a)||Pittsburgh|
|Hartford, Conn.||Salt Lake City|
|Houston (Hobby)||San Francisco (a)|
|Las Vegas||San Juan, Puerto Rico (a)|
|Long Beach, Calif.||Seattle|
|Los Angeles||Syracuse, N.Y.|
|New York (LaGuardia) (a)||Washington, D.C. (Dulles)|
|New York (JFK)||White Plains, N.Y.|
(a) These locations do not currently have a dedicated TSA Pre✓ lane. However, TSA will offer a form of expedited screening to eligible passengers; customers may keep their shoes, belt and light outerwear on, but must remove their laptop and 3-1-1 compliant liquids and gels from their carry-on bags
We’re really excited to be participating in TSA Pre✓, and know that all our customers and crewmembers will ultimately see the benefit of a more streamlined security process at the airports.