May 10, 2013

Building Playgrounds in Areas Impacted by Hurricane Sandy

Did you know that only one-in-five children lives within walking distance of a park or playground? Following Hurricane Sandy, that number has increased in impacted areas. In the aftermath of natural disasters, play becomes even more critical as it creates a sense of normalcy and provides an emotional outlet for children. In an effort to support children in those areas most impacted, we’ve extended our pledge to rebuild New York with a commitment to allocate support for three playground builds this year in areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

Our first post-Hurricane Sandy playground build will take place on May 18 at Magnolia Playground in Long Beach, NY. Two more builds will be announced later this Spring. Long Beach, located in Nassau County, Long Island, experienced significant damage to its shoreline and infrastructure. Magnolia Playground was destroyed nearly six months ago and hundreds of children living in the area have not had a suitable place to play since Hurricane Sandy.

The future site of a brand new playground in Long Beach!

While every KaBOOM! playground build is an inspiring event, the post-Hurricane Sandy playground builds will give volunteers a special chance to reflect on the storm’s impact while renewing their neighborhood. More than 200 volunteers from JetBlue, the City of Long Beach, Surf for All, organizers from KaBOOM! and residents of the local community will join forces to build a new play space at Magnolia Playground. The new playground’s design is based on drawings created by children who participated in a Design Day event in March.

Magnolia Playground is the 17th playground build by KaBOOM! in partnership with JetBlue. We’ve worked together over the last seven years to create play spaces for children across JetBlue’s communities and help fight the deficit of play for children in undeserved neighborhoods and areas under development following natural disasters. This partnership has successfully engaged more than 3,800 volunteers to move 16 tractor trailers full of mulch, which now benefit more than 10,000 children. JetBlue is a KaBOOM! National Partner, a group of organizations providing long-term guidance and support to KaBOOM! and its mission.

Since Hurricane Sandy, JetBlue has coordinated several efforts to provide assistance to its neighbors and help rebuild communities in New York. Just last month, JetBlue made significant progress in revitalizing Highland Park in Brooklyn. Airline crewmembers and community volunteers planted more than 2,500 trees in an area identified by the New York City Parks Department as a priority location for revitalization efforts. The 100-acre park lost a significant stretch of trees due to Hurricane Sandy. Additionally, in the days following the storm, JetBlue partnered with the NYC Food Truck Association to serve more than 25,000 meals to residents throughout in impacted areas. The airline also donated $820,000 to the American Red Cross on behalf of its customers for relief efforts in the New York area.

Learn more about our partnership with KaBOOM!
Learn more about our community efforts around Hurricane Sandy

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April 12, 2013

Welcoming Aer Lingus into JFK’s Terminal 5!

This week we officially welcome Aer Lingus, Ireland’s flag carrier, to our home, Terminal 5 at JFK. At an event in Terminal 5 earlier this week, Scott Laurence, our Vice President of Network Planning and Partnerships was joined by Aer Lingus’ Kevin Reichart, Vice President Customer Service and Jack Foley, Executive Vice President North America. Celebrations also included Irish dancers in the terminal’s central marketplace, as well as Irish snacks and Terra Blues Chips for customers’ enjoyment.

We recently announced a codeshare agreement that expands the partnership linking the two carriers’ networks at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and Boston’s Logan International Airport since 2008. Aer Lingus marketed flights to select JetBlue destinations are now available for purchase on www.aerlingus.com and through local and online travel agencies for travel on or after April 15, 2013.

With Aer Lingus’ move of its New York flight operations from Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport into our acclaimed Terminal 5,  customers connecting to one of our many destinations across the U.S. will benefit from same terminal connections and one-stop ticketing and baggage check-in for travel on both airlines – from the U.S. to Europe. Further, effective April 14, 2013, the minimum connection time from European arrivals to U.S. departures will be reduced to approximately 60 minutes. Customers travelling to Ireland will enjoy connections as fast as 40 minutes.

To welcome our partner, we’ve enhanced our menu offerings in many of the award-winning T5 restaurants, expanded both the size and selection of the T5 duty free/duty paid store, and added a new customer lounge, to be opened soon and available to all on a pay-per-use basis.   Further, we’ll be doing all of the ground handling for Aer Lingus at Terminal 5 as part of the agreement.

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March 16, 2013

Wingwoman Tracy: Celebrating Ireland this St. Patrick’s Day

With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I decided to draw some vacation inspiration from the luck of the Irish and explore Ireland for the first time. As a JetBlue flight attendant, I am fortunate to have the freedom to travel often. For this trip I wanted to tour a new destination that felt far away, but was possible to explore over a long weekend. Ireland perfectly fit the bill!

Who knew a trip to Ireland could be so easy? JetBlue’s partnership with Aer Lingus makes travel to DublinShannon and an array of other destinations across Europe fast and convenient. You can fly to Ireland or beyond through JetBlue’s gateway cities, New York, Boston or Orlando, and your checked bags will automatically transfer through to your final destination. I opted to fly through the night so I could sleep on the plane. When I arrived in Dublin, it was time to start my day and embark on my wonderful Ireland adventure.

I always imagine what a new place will be like before I arrive, and Ireland was exactly what I had envisioned and hoped for. It was so beautifully green, and of course rainy and foggy too. I packed an array of outfits but in the end I only needed a rain jacket and my Wellies. Despite — or maybe even because of — the gloomy Irish weather, which only added to the old-world charm and romanticism, I had a wonderful trip.

After arriving in Dublin, I rented a car to drive the Giant’s Causeway to Northern Ireland. The journey wound through many little coastal towns with beautiful seaside cottages. At points it was so foggy I couldn’t take pictures of the scenic villages, and I’ll have to keep them only in my memory. But the fog made the little villages feel even more remote and quaint.

Next I visited Belfast, trading small villages for a large city. While there, my favorite sightseeing outing was visiting the authentic Titanic landmark. The Titanic was built in Belfast and the museumtakes you through the building of the great ship and its unfortunate history.

After Belfast, I made a trip to Larne, a famous coastal area. From there, I passed through more picturesque seaside villages and journeyed to the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge in Ballintoy. The bridge, an historic landmark run by the National Trust, is positioned at a high altitude and offers amazing views. While I loved the adventure of walking across the bridge, other visitors wouldn’t cross due to their fear of heights. Even if you just gaze up at the wonderful creation, it’s a must-see destination.

Later, I visited Dunluce Castle, the remnants of a medieval castle. I was completely swept up in the history and romanticism of the castle and captured the most beautiful photographs. The scenery is so majestic and dramatic it turns even an amateur shutterbug’s photos into professional-quality shots.

Then it was back down through the countryside, balancing the sea views from the first leg of the trip with beautiful green rolling hills. Many colorfully-dyed sheep populate the countryside. Their wooly bodies of pink and blue pop against the deep green background and create a gorgeous, colorful vista.

I also had a chance to visit the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, the city of Derry and the village of Bushmills and its whiskey distillery. Considering I arrived on Friday morning and departed on Monday, I truly cannot believe all the amazing places I was able to cover in such a short visit. Ireland truly is a navigable and magical place.

Visiting the building site of the Titanic, crossing the exhilarating Rope Bridge and basking in the romance of the Dunluce Castle were by far the highlights of my trip. The beauty of the landscape is awe-inspiring and, with so many historical places to see, Ireland is a trip you won’t soon forget.

Remember when you travel to Ireland to train your brain to drive on the left side of the road. I absolutely recommend renting a car, but driving on the opposite side of the road definitely throws you for a loop at first. Also, a GPS is a must! With so many roundabouts, a GPS comes in very handy. You can get one at the local car rental facility.

The trip wouldn’t have been complete without learning about those mystical creatures, the leprechauns. Also known as the “wee folk,” leprechauns are relayed as being both friendly and cranky and enjoy good-natured trickery from time to time. Supposedly, if one of these mystical little beings befriends you, you’ll have a friend for life.

As you prepare for your St. Patrick’s Day festivities, remember that no Irish celebration is complete without music, singing and dancing. Sláinte!

Check out Tracy’s slideshow with images from her trip on Huffington Post
Read Tracy’s previous columns
Learn more about our Wingwoman Tracy

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March 14, 2013

A Day in the Life: Sponsorships

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 Rick, who manages our National Sponsorships.

Rick sporting of all his sponsorship swag

Rick’s overarching task is to identify and suggest potential partnerships that align with our commercial goals and match our sensibilities as a brand. Innovative brands with passionate fan bases, like our partnerships with Barclays Center in Brooklyn and USC Athletics, for instance, are a great fit for us given that we’re an airline that likes to do things differently. Each partnership decision is made with a delicate level of consideration in order to build brand awareness in the focus cities that we serve as well as building trust with our customers. Partnerships are one important way that we’re able to show we care about the same things that those in the communities that we serve attach themselves to.

Rick has worked on JetBlue’s Brand and Advertising team for the past two years vetting, researching, coordinating and managing our sponsorship partners. His work has extended beyond just sports; other programs he’s worked on include our entertainment partnerships such as the Tribeca Film Festival, our concert series Live From T5, and our online store ShopBlue. He also helps vet and direct any number of other, more localized sponsorship requests that come in to our Promotions or Regional Marketing teams for further consideration.

Partnership renewal announcement with Florida Panthers in Fort Lauderdale

If you open Rick’s desk drawer you’ll find a sports fan’s greatest dream – tickets to all sorts of sporting events; football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, golf, to name a few. No, Rick doesn’t keep them for himself (although he does get to go to some great events), but he coordinates allocating these tickets from our partners to crewmembers, customers and business partners.

The most challenging part of Rick’s job? “Saying no to people,” he relays. Rick receives dozens of sponsorship requests each week, and he evaluates each one through the lens of our allotted resources and whether it’s a brand fit to determine whether it might be pursued further. He helps guide our approach in each of our partnership ventures based on the unique aspects of a particular region. New York, for instance, is very different from Boston or from Salt Lake City in terms of how we look to partner and what the terms of those partnerships look like. Our partnership with Utah’s soccer team Real Salt Lake, for instance, is focused around supporting our 2,000 Customer Support crewmembers, contrasted with Boston, where we’re the largest carrier and the Red Sox are the most attended team in the city.

Opening Day at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida

Sports are a “passion point” for Rick and he enjoys that the focus on his work is also of personal interest to him. While he feels lucky to have met athletes and celebrities and engage in great experiences, he prefers to “stay in the background and let JetBlue and its crewmembers be the focus.”

Rick sees his job as an opportunity to “create experiences for people that they’re never going to forget,” like the customer whose request to fly on the Jets plane was met or the crewmember who got the opportunity to throw out the first pitch at a Red Sox game. One of the most interesting parts of Rick’s job is coordinating partner livery designs like we did with the Jets and the Red Sox, among others.

Brooklyn Nets cheerleaders at our home at JFK’s T5

When Rick’s not at major league sports arenas or rubbing shoulders with athletes and sports personalities, he is consumed with tasks like contract negotiations with our potential new partners. Negotiating terms of a new partnership can take anywhere from a few weeks to more than a year. He also spends time on arguably less glamorous though no less important tasks like mailing materials and tickets our for various purposes, and coordinating assets like charter flights as well as advertising, in-stadium signage and creative events to promote the partnerships and JetBlue.

Prior to JetBlue, Rick worked for Madison Square Garden on such partnerships as Absolut Vodka, Capital One and Delta (where knowledge of the airline industry helped prepare him for his current post).

Check out the previous editions of A Day In The Life and meet:

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March 9, 2013

Medellin named Innovative City of the Year

Our 79th BlueCity, Medellin, Colombia, recently made headlines by being named “Innovative City of the Year.” The competition was held on a global scale, and called attention to the most creative, forward-thinking cities when it comes to infrastructure and urban planning.

Image courtesy of luchilu on Flickr

“City of the Year” was organized by the nonprofit Urban Landscape Institue, in partnership with Citi and the Wall Street Journal. Together, they evaluated 200 cities and asked WSJ readers to first narrow it down to 25 contenders, and then the top three. In fact, back when we announced service to Medellin, it had recently been named as a finalist. Well, here we are – voted as the big winner!

We’re excited for our big Medellin launch in June, when our customers can check out this innovative BlueCity!

 

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February 21, 2013

Announcing a Codeshare Agreement with Aer Lingus

We’re pleased to announce a one-way codeshare agreement with Aer Lingus, our longest-standing international partner and one of our most successful.

We’ve teamed up with the Irish airline since 2008 and now the carrier will place its EI code on select flights operated by JetBlue beyond New York and Boston.

Between our ever-expanding network and Aer Lingus’s increased flights to the U.S. (as many as three per day to New York and two per day to Boston!), the codeshare agreement will give customers connecting through JFK or BOS better options to craft their perfect travel itinerary: a transatlantic flight paired with one of 29 U.S. BlueCities.

Aer Lingus moves under our roof April 3

Our codeshare agreement is the latest way we’re deepening our partnership with the Irish carrier. You may remember that last year we shared the big news that Aer Lingus would be operating its flights in and out of New York from T5 beginning this year. We’re excited to announce that the official start date of their operations is April 3!

Though Aer Lingus’s flights are international, they pre-clear U.S. Customs and Immigration in Dublin, effectively arriving as domestic flights at T5.

Similar to our handling agreement with Hawaiian Airlines, our crewmembers will be taking care of Aer Lingus customers. From check-in to boarding to baggage service, JFK crewmembers will be delivering the signature JetBlue experience to Aer Lingus fliers – whether they’re just flying between Ireland and New York, or connecting to/from a BlueCity.

Aer Lingus customers will they enjoy the T5 experience, and if they’re connecting to/from a JetBlue destination, their connection time will now be reduced. The minimum connection time from European arrivals to U.S. departures will be reduced to just 60 minutes. Customers traveling to Ireland will enjoy connections as fast as 40 minutes.

Stay tuned for updates!

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February 12, 2013

Hey Rhode Island! Got An Itch For Florida?

Big Blue Bug Solutions invited us to announce our new service out of T.F Green with a banner under the famed icon featured below. To celebrate the partnership, we’re offering $20 one-way fares between T.F. Green and Fort Lauderdale or Orlando today through Feb. 12, 2013 good for travel between May 1 and June 30, 2013. In addition, customers can take advantage of a JetBlue Getaways Vacation package to Florida inclusive of flights and hotel. Three-night vacations are available for just $279 and come with the best price guarantee and our unique Concierge on Call to assist with those extra vacation needs.

We took to the skies from T.F. Green this past November with two daily flights to Orlando International Airport (MCO) and one daily flight to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL).

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January 21, 2013

Honoring National Day of Service

In observance of National Day of Service, we’re encouraging our crewmembers across our 75 city network to make a positive impact in their local communities through volunteer service. This year’s “Light Up A Life” campaign will provide resources and support to children in foster care in partnership with Together We Rise (TWR), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children in the foster care system.

During January and February, our crewmembers will decorate and deliver close to 2,000 “Sweet Cases” with TWR. “Sweet Cases” are decorative suit cases and duffle bags filled with stuffed animals, coloring books, hygiene kits and other items. Foster children are often forced to move with a moment’s notice and many times are only provided with a trash bag for their belongings. JetBlue partnered with the TWR to donate personally designed “Sweet Cases” to children ages 4-10.

JetBlue displays its “Caring” and “Passion” values by encouraging crewmembers to volunteer every day through our ‘Community Connection’ program. This volunteerism platform acknowledges and rewards our 14,500 crewmembers for their community service both as individuals and as teams. For every 25 hours a crewmember volunteers, JetBlue donates one roundtrip flight to the non-profit organization of the crewmember’s choice. Some volunteers have amassed more than 500 volunteer hours for causes including Making Strides for Breast Cancer, Charles River Center for Autism and KaBOOM!.

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January 10, 2013

A Day in the Life: Care and Emergency Response

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 Penny on our Care and Emergency Response team who has one of the most forward-thinking jobs at our airline.

The Care and Emergency Response Team: (from left to right) Athena, Christina, Kristal, Puneet, Matt and Penny

The Care and Emergency Response team falls under our Operations team, positioning it as one of the vital wings at JetBlue. The team is responsible for preparing JetBlue to effectively, compassionately and responsibly handle major crisis at the airline. Headed by Penny, who has been with JetBlue since 1999 (before we had a name or aircraft to fly), along with her five team members, Christina, Kristal, Puneet, Matt, and Athena, has built a nimble and caring team that manages thousands of crewmember volunteers to effectively plan for and mobilize around challenging times.

The team is responsible for setting up our Emergency Command Center (EEC) at our Long Island City support center, a space with 27 assigned positions that activate in times of need. The team is also in charge of planning for the 100 assigned members of the Go Team to provide incident management support on-site in the event of an aircraft incident; and the Family Support Team (FST) composed of more than 200 volunteer crewmembers based in our Salt Lake City support center trained to provide assistance to family members via phone. Every city throughout our network also has at least one trained crewmember who serves as emergency response liaison who works on their preparedness plan locally.

The Ready Team activates during natural disasters to assist with the Red Cross’ efforts

Penny’s team also ensures that all plans and procedures are updated and tested. Her team organizes a full-scale emergency drill every other year and annual tabletop drills to keep everyone fresh on protocol surrounding an emergency or major incident.

We’ve extended the purview of the Care Team to include helping one another in times of need that extend beyond our own operations. We have more than 1,200 trained Care Team members throughout our 75 city network who may be called upon at any time to travel to an area to assist where help is needed during natural disasters or other unfortunate events. In addition, we have a Ready Team made up of over 500 specially trained volunteers who activate to work with the Red Cross during natural disasters, whether or not they occur in communities that we serve. Learn more about the Ready Team and where they’ve traveled to assist others in need.

Unloading supplies to help those impacted by Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy is the most recent example of our Ready and Care team activation. Penny and the Care team knew that although we had many crewmember volunteers in the New York area that many may have been impacted by the hurricane and so the team called in 40 Care volunteers from our Florida stations to assist. In addition to the partnerships we formed to assist our customers and impacted communities following the hurricane, we also set up a team to assist affected crewmembers.

The Care and Emergency Response Team’s job is to prepare for major crisis and make sure that we have the people, plans and supplies in place to activate quickly and effectively. “We like to think of ourselves as a team who needs to balance our heads and hearts,” Penny relays. “Caring is part of our DNA, it’s who we are, and it’s so rewarding to know that we’re helping to build a stronger company.”

Read Penny’s 2011 Op-Ed in the New York Times about her role at JetBlue

Check out the previous editions of A Day In The Life and meet:

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December 19, 2012

We’re the Official Domestic Airline of Barclays Center!

As New York’s Hometown Airline™, we’re proud to announce our status as the Official Domestic Airline of the brand new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, a major sports and entertainment venue showcasing an extensive variety of events, including premier concerts, major professional boxing cards, top college basketball, family shows, and the Brooklyn Nets.

On Thursday, Dec. 20 we’ll launch the partnership with Barclays Center Day from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., post-security at our world-class home at John F. Kennedy International Airport’s (JFK) Terminal 5, complete with a branded SportPros court where ticketed customers will have the opportunity to shoot hoops for great prizes including flight giveaways and Nets game tickets.  The Brooklyn Nets dance team, Brooklynettes, will be onsite to entertain.

Each Thursday during the month of January, 2013, Barclays Center will host a “Bound for Brooklyn” sweepstakes, presented by JetBlue.  Customers can visit Barclays Center’s Facebook page at facebook.com/barclayscenter and enter for the chance to win a pair of round trip JetBlue tickets to or from New York, plus a pair of tickets to an event at Barclays Center.  Five winners will be selected every Thursday for a total of 25 winners.

Our partnership with Barclays Center, located in the heart of Brooklyn and designed by the award-winning architectural firms Ellerbe Becket and SHoP Architects, includes exclusive digital street-to-seat signage for all events, courtside television-visible signage and baseline signage during Brooklyn Nets home games, and arena activation rights.

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