December 18, 2012

Donating $820,000 to the Red Cross’ Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts

On Monday, Dec.17, Rob Maruster, JetBlue’s chief operating officer (COO), and Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s chief commercial officer (CCO) were joined by two customers that donated via jetbluegives.org.  Niki Glarkis and Rosalind Sutherland represented the more than 7,400 JetBlue customers and TrueBlue members that gave so generously.

After the hurricane, we quickly mobilized and launched jetbluegives.org to engage customers and TrueBlue members in fund raising efforts for the Red Cross. Throughout November, customers donated $720,000 to support the relief and recovery efforts of impacted communities. We matched the first $100,000 bringing the grand total to $820,000.

Following their donation, many customers shared comments, feedback and advice for the victims of Hurricane Sandy including from the two below who joined us yesterday:

  • Niki Glarakis shared “Being a resident of Long Island I was affected by Sandy by losing power for a few days, however nowhere near the damage I saw in other areas. I knew I had to and felt obligated to help the communities that were hit hard by Sandy. It is heartbreaking to see the amount of loss and devastation Sandy left. I also donated money since JetBlue is a company that showed initiative to help. I did what I could and thank the many people and companies like JetBlue, who have made a difference. We will rebuild again.”
  • Rosalind Sutherland commented, “I live in New Orleans, so I am very aware of the emotional toll of living through a disaster. My advice to the victims of Sandy is to take one day at a time, one task at a time and don’t try to go it alone. Remember that there are people who you will never see or meet, who are sharing what they can (money, clothing, volunteering, etc.) and praying for your safety and well-being. Hang in there!”

Read additional customer comments.

Our relationship with the Red Cross is an ongoing collaboration. Our COO Rob Maruster currently serves as Board Chair of the American Red Cross of Greater New York. Also, through this partnership, more than 500 JetBlue crewmembers have joined the Red Cross ‘Ready When the Time Comes’ (RWTC) program that trains community-based volunteers to mobilize with the Red Cross during a disaster.

Our JetBlueGives.org  was powered by KULA Causes and provided an immediate platform for our customers to donate directly to relief efforts right in their local communities in the New York tri-state area. For every one dollar donated via the site, TrueBlue members received six TrueBlue points in return. Through this transactional giving program, our loyal customers became donors providing much needed, time sensitive charitable donations.

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December 15, 2012

Light Up a Life Campaign Kicks Off

For our seventh annual Light Up a Life campaign we’re partnering with two fantastic organizations: Together We Rise and Soaringwords. The next few months are all about bringing the holiday spirit to children across the cities we serve, and each year, our crewmembers go above and beyond to bring our airline’s culture of giving to those in need.

Together We Rise is a non-profit organization that works with foster children across the nation. It develops programs and activities to enrich their lives, and also offers one-on-one support. From sports camp and music to mentoring and counseling, Together We Rise aims to help these children feel connected during tough times.

Soaringwords also works with youth, but in the capacity of helping children who suffer from a serious illness—and their families. It’s all about connecting these children and loved ones with volunteers who communicate a “never give up!” attitude. Through creative and educational activities—both in person and online—Soaringwords tries to heal by providing hope and a few laughs.

What we’re doing

For the Light Up a Life season, our crewmembers will be channeling their creative side.  In partnership with Together We Rise, we’ll be making Sweet Cases, which are decorative suit cases and duffel bags filled with new supplies (stuffed animals, coloring books, hygiene kits, etc.) for children who are moved around the foster care system, sometimes with little or no notice. Also, just like last year, we’ll be making and delivering SoaringQuilts to children in hospitals.

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December 1, 2012

Live From T5 Receives Award!

The industry group Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) recently held a concessions conference in Denver, where our Live From T5 concert series was recognized with an award. The event brought together concession and airport managers, small business owners, and concession operators to discuss the latest in retail and restaurant design, as well as merchandising trends — all in the hope of exploring potential partnerships.

At the conference, Live From T5 received a Honorable Mention award for “Best Innovative Consumer Experience Concept or Practice.” We’re happy that industry professionals appreciate what a great compliment LFT5 is to our concessions program at T5 and its ability to deliver a unique customer experience.

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November 16, 2012

First-Ever Playground Build in Tamarac, Florida!

We’re proud to announce a partnership with K.C.  Wright Leadership Academy and KaBOOM! to build a playground on the school’s premises further highlighting the airline’s commitment to Ft. Lauderdale and the surrounding community.  JetBlue and KaBOOM! joined forces with the Florida Panthers and their fans to build the first-ever playground at  K.C. Wright Leadership Academy in Tamarac, FL. The children who attend K.C. Wright Leadership Academy do not currently have a playground to enjoy.  Understanding that children discover the world through play, the new playground will provide more than 150 children in the local community with a safe source of recreation. The new playground’s blueprint is based on drawings created by children from the school who participated in a Design Day event in September.

JetBlue and long-standing partner KaBOOM! have worked together over the last seven years to build safe places to play for children across the airline’s network. This partnership has successfully engaged more than 3,000 volunteers and served more than 8,000 children through 16 playground builds. The playground at K.C. Wright Leadership Academy marks the fourth build in Florida through the collaboration.

Learn more about our partnership and previous events with KaBOOM!

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November 5, 2012

Update on Operations and Recovery Efforts

Operational Update:

We are now back to running a full schedule across our network, but our airports in the New York metropolitan area, including LaGuardia, JFK, and Newark have suffered infrastructure damage from Sandy. In particular, the instrument landing systems (ILS), or radio-based ground to air technology that allows planes to navigate on final approach in low visibility, are impaired.

On a sunny day (like we’ve seen since Sandy hit) that’s no problemo. On bad weather days, like we’re expecting this Wednesday and Thursday, we’re looking at delays and cancellations.

Looking ahead of the potential Nor’easter, we’re encouraging those who are scheduled to fly with us mid-week to take advantage of our waived change/cancel fees and fare differences to/from the cities listed below and with travel meeting the following criteria:

Travel to/from:
- New York Metros (EWR, HPN, JFK, LGA & SWF)-
- Washington D.C. Metros (BWI, DCA & IAD)
- Hartford, CT (BDL)
- Richmond, VA (RIC)
- Boston (BOS)
- Burlington VT (BTV)
- Buffalo, NY (BUF)
- Rochester, NY (ROC)
- Syracuse, NY (SYR)

Booking date on or before 11/5/2012
And, travel dates are between 11/5/2012 and 11/8/2012:
- No change fee or increase in fare for rebooked travel to be completed before 11/17/2012
- No change fee for rebooked travel to be completed after 11/17/2012 – increase in fare may apply
- No cancelation fee – funds can be deposited to JetBlue Credit valid for one year, or to original form of payment upon request

*All changes/cancellations must be complete prior to scheduled travel, and before 12/31/2012.

For assistance, please call us at 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583) and please be sure to check the status of your flight online prior to leaving for the airport. Those with web-enabled cell phones and PDAs may check the status of their flight at mobile.jetblue.com.

Community Update:

As New York’s Hometown Airline, we realize that there are many communities that are in need of assistance and will be for some time. In partnership with the NYC Food Association we helped to serve over 25,000 meals from 20 trucks over the past four days to locations throughout lower Manhattan, the Rockaways, Staten Island, and Hoboken. We’re happy to report that our friends at the NYC Food Truck Association has raised over $27,000 in donations and will continue to deliver free meals to people in areas impacted by Sandy.

We pledged to match donations dollar for dollar up to $100,000 to the American Red Cross. Our customers have come together to raise more than $500,000 for the Red Cross through jetbluegives.org so far! We’re giving donors six TrueBlue points for every dollar donated through jetbluegives.org through November 30, 2012.

Visit jetblue.com/rebuild to learn about all of our current community efforts and how you can help and stay tuned here and on jetblue.com for the most up to date travel information.

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November 4, 2012

Sandy Relief Continues

As Hurricane Sandy relief efforts continue, we’ve received some amazing stories of caring from all corners of our route network that we’ll share in the coming days. Our customers have come together to raise more than $500,000 for the Red Cross through jetbluegives.org, and we’d encourage you to share the link and get more people involved. Remember, we’re giving donors six TrueBlue points for every dollar donated through jetbluegives.org through November 30, 2012.

Within the NY Metro area, our partnership with the New York City Food Truck Association continues. Today, they’re helping send four trucks to two different locations in the Rockaways. The trucks will be distributing another 4,000 free lunches to the heavily impacted Rockaways:

Location #1: Beach 50th and Beach Channel Drive
Timing: 12pm-4pm
Cupcake Crew
Eddies Pizza

Location #2: Waldbaum’s parking lot – Beach 113 and Beach Channel Drive
Timing: 12pm-4pm
Gorilla Cheese
Valduccis

You can follow the New York City Food Truck Association on Twitter for additional details. If you want help contribute to their efforts yourself, go to their Sandy Outreach fundraising page to donate.

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:
JetBlue: Rebuilding our community
New York Food Truck Association Sandy Outreach
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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October 12, 2012

Live From T5: CMJ Music Marathon First Music Showcase!

We’re pleased to announce the first-ever one-day music festival at our home terminal with featured artists from CMJ Music Marathon. The CMJ Music Access Live From T5 concert will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012 at 1 p.m., a collaboration with CMJ that is the first music showcase partnership in our Live From T5′s three-year history. As CMJ’s five-day music marathon kicks off in New York, a Live From T5 show featuring Icona Pop, JJAMZ, Matt Sucich and Kate Earl will serve as the perfect addition to the world’s most important platform for new music discovery. This Live From T5 concert will be held post-security at our Terminal 5 (T5) at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York. Focusing on enhancing the overall customer experience, Live From T5 performances are available exclusively to JetBlue ticketed customers and contest winners.

To celebrate our first multi-artist concert, fans can tweet #TrueBlueAccess to be entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to win two passes to Live From T5 plus two badges for all-week access to CMJ Music Marathon from Oct. 16-20. The TrueBlue Access contest ends on October 11 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Additionally, several notable music blogs and sites will also provide fans with a chance to win all-day access to the Live From T5 show.

Artists performing at the CMJ Music Access Live From T5 concert include:

  • Icona Pop – an electro-pop duo made up of Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt. Hailed as one of the best songs of the summer by Entertainment Weekly, Washington Post, Pitchfork and The Fader, this Swedish sensation have taken the States by storm by brandishing their in-your-face, ode to the ’90s, electronic masterpiece “I Love It.” The song will be featured on the forthcoming Iconic EP, set for release on October 16, 2012.
  • JJAMZ - a pop band comprised of James Valentine (Maroon 5), Jason Boesel (Rilo Kiley/Bright Eyes), Alex Greenwald (Phantom Planet), Michael Runion, and Z Berg (The Like). The band name is an acronym using the first letter of each member’s first name. JJAMZ was formed as a means of escape from each member’s respective bands. Their freshman album, Suicide Pact was released on July 10, 2012. The song “Heartbeat” was featured in a promotional video for an upcoming update for the social media site MySpace.
  • Matt Sucich - The Astoria, Queens-based singer-songwriter who performed at Bonnaroo in 2012 is known for his soothing voice and heart-breaking lyrics. What appear at first glance to be simple love songs quickly reveal a Wilco- and Iron & Wine-like depth.
  • Kate Earl – Not long ago, this remarkable young singer was living in tiny Chugiak, Alaska, nursing musical ambitions between shifts at her parents’ gas station. After a move to Los Angeles, Kate released a couple major label albums that garnered acclaim and placements on network TV, yet the process left her lost in someone else’s vision. Kate re-emerges and flourishes on her Downtown Records debut Stronger. Written and recorded with a crew of well-respected Californians, including Brett Dennen and Blake Mills, Stronger shows off the development of a singular voice and finds this thoughtful songwriter coming into her own. With the LP set for release November 19, the first single, “One Woman Army,” came out in September.

Learn more about our Live From T5 concert series

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October 11, 2012

A Day in the Life: Corporate Social Responsibility

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 Icema, Jenna, Irma and Kate, who have one of the most generous jobs at our airline.

This four person team makes up our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) department, or the folks tasked with identifying charitable causes that make sense for JetBlue to support, and to allocate our resources accordingly.

The CSR team, led by Icema (who has been with us since JetBlue’s infancy when she was an operational leader at JFK), works in several capacities to support our philanthropic efforts. Overall, we support more than 1,000 non-profit organizations throughout the 71 cities that we serve. That support may range from financial contributions to in-kind donations to volunteer support, with the ultimate goal of moving the needle on social change in the areas of education, youth, environment and community.

The team wears many hats, including handling inbound inquiries for donations of funds; planning charity events like our annual Swing For Good Golf Classic (which just took place this week Tuesday); and organizing and empowering our 14,500 crewmembers to get out in their individual communities to volunteer for the causes they’re most passionate about. On any given day, the CSR team might be in Orlando with professional basketball players reading to hundreds of kids as part of Soar With Reading initiative, digging in the dirt to plant trees for our One Thing That’s Green campaign, or building relationships with our partners around the JetBlue network.

Our Soar With Reading event in New York

Many companies and celebrities now feel an obligation to have a charitable arm which donates to its largest bases as part of its regular operations, but at JetBlue, we are a little different in our thinking. We have always believed that giving back to the communities in which we serve is not a corporate obligation, but rather a moral one. Not only do our customers live in the cities that we fly to, but our crewmembers do as well, and we feel strongly about our responsibility to support those neighborhoods as best we’re able.

Some national partners that we have longstanding relationships with include:

  • Carbonfund.org
  • DoSomething.org
  • First Book
  • KaBOOM!
  • PBS
  • VH1 Save the Music

In 2012 alone we have:

  • Donated $200,000 worth of books to kids in need, through our Soar with Reading program
  • Decorated and delivered 2,100 quilts to children in hospitals throughout the JetBlue network, through our partner Soaringwords
  • Pledged to plant a tree for everyone traveling with us on Earth Day, which resulted in over 83,000 trees, in honor of our 5th annual One Thing That’s Green Campaign!
  • Built new KaBOOM! playgrounds – in San Juan, PR, Long Beach, CA, Boston, MA and Oakland, CA. Each of the new play spaces were designed with the help of local children and built by JetBlue Crewmembers, customers and local residents. In 2012 alone, together with KaBOOM!, JetBlue engaged over 825 volunteers, to build four new playgrounds that will serve 5,228 children.
  • And many more!

Our crewmembers are encouraged to go out into their local communities though our Community Connections program. So far this year, 2,014 crewmembers have volunteered 16,341 hours for 345 non-profits across the cities that we serve. For every 25 hours a crewmember volunteers, we donate one round trip ticket to their charity of choice. Crewmembers who volunteer more than 100 hours of their time are invited to an annual recognition dinner. “All of the rewards are important mainly because they demonstrate that we value crewmember engagement within their communities and it allows us to further align our corporate giving with crewmembers’ passions,” shared Jenna from the CSR team.

Our KaBOOM! playground build

Of course we don’t do the right thing in order to get recognition, but our community efforts have received accolades including CSR Cause Branding Campaign of the Year from PR News for our 2011 Soar with Reading program, which aims to help kids’ imaginations take flight through reading; to learn more about that award click here. We were also awarded the For Planet and People Award in the travel category, by Carbonfund.org, for our long-standing partnership and commitment to reducing the environmental impact of our crewmembers and customers. For more information on that award, click here.

“My favorite part of working on the CSR team is when crewmembers share the impact our donation of tickets had on their child’s school or an animal shelter or one of the other 300 organizations we support. The rewards may seem small but have a huge impact on morale,” said Kate.

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

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October 5, 2012

The New JetBlue Sky Theater Planetarium!

We’re excited to share a new way that our name is gracing the skies: we’re sponsoring the JetBlue Sky Theater Planetarium! This state-of-the-art digital projection system is the latest addition to the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Long Island, New York. Our partnership with the Cradle of Aviation Museum is an important one, allowing us to develop new ways to support education, and like our airline, the it is a big believer in advocating STEM subjects in schools. In fact, Mike Stromer (VP Customer Connections) is serving on a regional board for STEM, along with our friends at the Cradle of Aviation Museum.

Offering visitors a jaw-dropping view of the universe is something we’re excited to be a part of. The planetarium is Long Island’s largest screen and built with an all-star resolution projection and sound system. This high-definition system can deliver real-time visuals as well as pre-designed graphics that reflect solar system data from NASA and the European Space Agency. The view of more than two billion stars—thanks to data from the Museum of Natural History—is nothing short of amazing.

As New York’s Hometown Airline, we’re proud to support our local community support education. The Cradle of Aviation Museum just celebrated its 10th anniversary and is right in our backyard. Located at the historic Mitchel Field, a former Army air base which dates back to World War I, the museum is home to over 75 planes and spacecraft that contribute to more than 100 years of aerospace history. For example, Spirit of St. Louis, the first aircraft owned by Charles Lindbergh, and F14 TOMCAT, one of the most successful aircraft flown by the Navy.

The JetBlue Sky Theater Planetarium will officially open on Saturday, October 6 to coincide with World Astronomy Day!

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September 27, 2012

Bid For Good! Online Charity Auction for Exclusive Items

Our fourth annual Swing for Good Golf Classic and Bid for Good online auction together make up our largest fundraising effort of the year. Help us reach our goal of raising $1 million to benefit two of our long-standing charitable partners – KaBOOM! and PBS Kids. Bid on items ranging from luxurious all inclusive Getaways packages and exclusive access to VIP sporting events to one-of-a-kind experiential opportunities, and provide much needed funding to these great non-profit organizations. Visit Charitybuzz.com/JetBlue and bid today through Oct.18 on items including:

  • A chance to throw the first pitch at a Boston RedSox game
  • VIP tickets to The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in Los Angeles
  • An Eli Manning signed jersey
  • Four passes to the 2013 PGA Championship
  • Super Bowl 2013 tickets
  • Tickets to the 2013 Academy of Country Music Awards
  • MTV Movie Award tickets
  • Pit passes at a NASCAR race
  • A private PBS Kids party featuring a live musical performance by PBS Kids Host Mr. Steve
  • VIP tickets to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in New York City; and much more.

Additionally, as part of this year’s fundraising efforts, we’ll also raise funds for both non-profit organizations at our fourth annual Swing For Good Golf Classic, held on Tues, Oct. 9, 2012 at Bethpage State Park Golf Courses.

Our non-profit partners are near and dear to our heart. Kaboom! envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. In addition to raising funds, our crewmembers have helped build 15 playgrounds and counting as part of our partnership. PBS Kids, the number one educational media brand for kids, is another longtime collaborator. Just this summer, we partnered with PBS Kids to provide more than $200,000 worth of books to children in need through our Soar with Reading literacy program.

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