September 21, 2012

Growth Spurt in Long Island City!

Long Island City, just across the pond from Manhattan, is the next coolest neighborhood in New York City (and not just because we call it home). The area in Western Queens has seen a lot of development over the past few years and continues to evolve with new housing, retail and an influx of new residents.

Some cool data that illustrates the recent growth in Long Island City includes:

  • LIC Partnership’s pedestrian count conducted in July of 2012 showed that pedestrian foot traffic has doubled during morning and lunch time hours in the past two years
  • 201,300 cars on Queensboro Bridge daily
  • 9,500 daily riders at Queensboro Plaza subway stop with an additional 8,800 at the Queens Plaza stop
  • $80 Million in capital improvements recently completed on Queens Plaza and Jackson Avenue; Mayor Bloomberg cut the ribbon for the new Dutch Kills Green park in April. Queens Plaza now is now an inviting gateway for Manhattan and Queens and an epicenter of activity.
  • 19 Hotels in LIC (many of which have opened since 2008)
  • 2 million sq/ft of Class A office space
  • LIC is among NYC neighborhoods with the most cultural activity
  • LIC is the geographic center of NYC!
  • In the past year, 5 new restaurants have opened on Queens Plaza
  • Spring of 2011, NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene moved 3,000 staff into Gotham Center Building on Queens Plaza. Two more buildings are planned.
  • CUNY School of Law moved to LIC this summer, and Apex Technical School is moving to Queens Plaza South this fall.
  • LIC has excellent transportation: the 7, N, Q, E, F, M, R and G lines run through LIC, as well as many buses and the LIRR. The Queensboro Bridge allows for easy access by car and is the only toll-free bridge on the East River. Ferry service from Hunters Point South quickly connects LIC to 34th Street, Wall Street, Greenpoint and Williamsburg.
  • LIC is home to a thriving industrial sector, a center for commercial and office use, education, arts and a growing residential community.
  • JetBlue officially moved to its new headquarters in Long Island City in April 2012 with nearly 1,000 crewmembers as part of the close to 5,000 who live and work in the New York City area.

Learn more about Long Island City’s history as a transportation hub
Check out our recent sign lighting and the official opening of our support center back in April.

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September 3, 2012

The Panthers Visit the Boys and Girls Club of Puerto Rico

Last month, we shared the news that we have extended our partnership with the Florida Panthers and the BankAtlantic Center. A new aspect of this relationship is developing a street hockey program for the local children of San Juan, and it kicked off recently at the Boys and Girls Club of Puerto Rico! Since San Juan is now a Focus City, we’re focusing even more on giving back to the local communities.

Last week, the Florida Panthers joined us at the Boys and Girls Club of Puerto Rico, where players, alumni, coaches, and team staff led a hockey clinic in the gymnasium. From explaining the game and equipment, to facilitating lessons and drills, it was a fantastic way to provide new learning opportunities and foster teamwork. The Boys and Girls Club greatly appreciated our combined effort with the Panthers, and the exciting experience we provided for the children.

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August 29, 2012

We’re Lighting up the New York City Skyline!

Tonight we’re flipping the switch on a newly-constructed sign atop our headquarters in Queens, illuminating the newest addition to New York City’s iconic skyline! We’re proud to be New York’s Hometown Airline™ and to continue to be a part of the exciting growth in the Long Island City community.


Live video from your Android device on Ustream

About the sign

In keeping with the iconic Long Island City skyline, JetBlue’s logo features individually cut letters spelling the airline’s name mounted on an open-frame structure and is positioned approximately seven stories above Queens Plaza facing southwest, cementing our commitment to The Empire State. Each letter is individually formed as a steel structure with an acrylic façade. The “j” is the tallest letter measuring 25 feet, four inches. During the day, the sign is blue. At night, sustainable LED light strips illuminate the sign white from within.

The sign was constructed by Going Sign Company of Plainview, New York.

JetBlue and the local Community

We’re involved in the communities that we serve, and Long Island is no exception! We’ve partnered with and sponsored a variety of local organizations and events including:

  • Aviation High School
  • East River Development Alliance
  • LIC Partnership annual Luncheon and Trade Show
  • Long Island City Business development Corporate Executive Breakfast
  • Long Island City Cool Roofs Program
  • Official Airline of the New York Jets
  • NYC Outward Bound
  • Playground construction at the Astoria Variety Boys and Girls Club and Forest Hills-based Forestdale foster care center
  • Socrates Sculpture Center Gala
  • Taste of Long Island City

 JetBlue is New York’s Hometown Airline™

New York has been a part of JetBlue’s story from the beginning. Our airline was founded in New York City in 1998 and first took off from John F. Kennedy International Airport in 2000 to two destinations: Buffalo, New York and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. As JetBlue grew, we introduced competitive fares to our current 56 nonstop destinations from JFK. We’re the largest domestic airline at JFK and the only commercial carrier with headquarters in New York City. We offer service from seven Empire State airports: Buffalo, New York/Kennedy, New York/LaGuardia, Newburgh, Rochester, Syracuse, and Westchester County.

We have more than 4,000 crewmembers who live in the Empire State and 1,500 crewmembers in Queens, a number of whom live in Long Island City and the surrounding areas.

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August 24, 2012

Tell Us Your Favorite Children’s Book for a Chance to Win a Vacation!

This summer, we partnered with PBS Kids to provide up to $200,000 worth of books to children in need as part of our second annual Soar With Reading program.  Between now and August 31, simply share the name of your favorite children’s book at Soar With Reading and through our partner Barefoot Books we will donate one book to a child in need.

With your help we have donated $127,150 worth of books to children in need so far this summer. Well known personalities such as Glen “Big Baby” Davis of the Orlando Magic, PBS KIDS host Mr. Steve, PBS KIDS’ Hooper and Barefoot Books author Laurie Krebs all assisted in spreading the word to help us reach our goal. You too can help us reach this goal. As a special “thank you,’ everyone who submits a book title will be entered for a chance to win prizes including a JetBlue Getaways vacation package.

Soar With Reading is setting the stage for back-to-school reading success through these book donations, reading events in select cities and by providing free resources for families including an interactive reading list, reading tips and expert advice for keeping kids engaged in literature all summer long.  Book donations will be made to local literacy-focused organizations identified in partnership with PBS member stations in the 71 cities that JetBlue currently serves.

For more information, or to submit the name of your favorite children’s book, visit SoarWithReading.com.

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August 18, 2012

Building Our 15th Playground With KaBOOM!

We’re proud to announce a partnership with the Community School for Creative Education and KaBOOM! to build our next playground in Oakland, CA today. We’ve worked with our long-standing partner KaBOOM! over the last seven years to build playgrounds for children across our network. The playground location was determined in February by our customers who were invited to vote on the next playground location on our Facebook page. The Bay Area was the lucky winner and will have a brand new park this summer, the 15th playground built through the partnership and the third in California.

As the funding partner for this build, JetBlue volunteers and community residents will work side-by-side to create a new playground for the children of the Community School for Creative Education. This will be our second playground built in California this year and record fourth playground built in 2012 (Long Beach, CA; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Boston, MA: San Francisco, CA; and New York, NY). In seven years, JetBlue and KaBOOM! have built 15 playgrounds, engaged more than 3,000 volunteers and served more than 8,000 children every year by providing a safe place to play.

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August 8, 2012

Help From Some Small Experts for Our 15th Playground Build

We teamed up with our long-time partners Kaboom! and children from Oakland’s Community School for Creative Education for “design day” on our first Bay Area playground build, which will be later this month.  Our team, composed of crewmembers from our Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Jose stations, joined the important and fun first step in the playground’s development.

We were impressed with the kids’ creativity as the students let their imaginations run wild during the design session.  After the crayons were set aside, students presented their individual designs in front of everyone.  Kaboom! coordinator, Kristin’s experience with kids and volunteers kept the day’s agenda in order.  After the presentation and sticker awards, parents and volunteers from the school along with JetBlue crewmembers were divided into nine committees.  The committees’ task included overseeing logistics, acquiring tools, safety, partnership generation, fundraising and volunteer recruitment.  The preparation for the actual playground build is an eight-week process culminating on August 18 at 2111 International Blvd in Oakland, CA.  Stay tuned for more!

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August 5, 2012

Connecting Children and the Red Sox

As the official airline of the Red Sox, we’re proud to support the team’s official charity, the Red Sox Foundation. The organization implements many initiatives which channel local passion for the Red Sox into positive causes—in fact, you may have heard about its work with the Jimmy Fund, and how we got involved to help support its fight against cancer. More recently, we partnered with the Red Sox Foundation to transport children to a tournament in New York, part of the organization’s work with RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities).

RBI was started by Major League Baseball and connects children from economically disadvantaged areas with baseball. The program promotes positive self-esteem, conflict resolution, and resistance to substance abuse. It recently organized the Northeast Regional All Star Baseball and Softball Tournament, and through our Red Sox partnership, we flew 40 children and coaches from BOS to the tournament’s home base in New York. Wally the Green Monster, the official mascot of the Boston Red Sox, came to Logan to send the kids off and wish them luck in the tournament!

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August 2, 2012

Unpacked: Support Centers

Welcome to Unpacked, where we demystify hot topics in the airline industry! This edition’s topic peels back the layers of our company physiology to reveal our Support Centers.

When most people think of airline employees, pilots and flight attendants first come to mind. Maybe they think about the guys and gals who transport checked baggage or the folks who check tickets during the boarding process. Less obvious, though no less important, are all of the people behind the scenes who work to support our frontline crewmembers with the shared goal of helping the airline fly. We call these locations our Support Centers, working each day to support our local crewmembers at the 71 airports that we offer service, six of which we consider our Focus Cities, or cities that where we focus our efforts and growth, and we view the thousands of people who work in them as the arteries of our operation.

Flight simulator at our Orlando support center

JetBlue has Support Centers in Long Island City, New York; Orlando, Florida; and Salt Lake City, Utah, each with unique and distinctive functionality. All of our Support Centers are vital to ensuring that our customer-facing crewmembers are well equipped to do their jobs in getting customers where they need to go and putting smiles on their faces.

Our Salt Lake City support center

Our Salt Lake City support center is the heart of our customer support, or reservations group, where hundreds of crewmembers work in-house to support our 2,000 work from home agents. They’re the folks making sure your questions are answered and  needs addressed when customers call 1-800-JETBLUE and that customers are rebooked or fees waived when there’s a special offer, a weather event, or an operational challenge. They’re also the closest group to our Sabre reservations system and ensure that  special requests on the phone gets properly recorded in the system, which then gets communicated to our airport operations crewmembers to deliver the best service to our flying customers.

Our Orlando support center

Our Orlando support center is the soul of our company’s learning and growing. JetBlue University is housed here, our state-of-the-art training facility where every new crewmember (regardless of where they’ll be working) goes for orientation, and where our frontline crewmembers, like pilots and flight attendants, go through training before they step into uniforms and out into the airport environment. The facility can fit up to 300 new hires for training at a given time and contains some very cool equipment, like our flight simulators for piloting practice. JetBlue University has teachers and lots of tools, including online learning videos for various workgroups to touch up on skills or to deepen their knowledge base about current practices and company protocol. Blue learning never stops!

Our Long Island City Support Center

As New York’s Hometown Airline, our Long Island City support center is located in Queens, New York and boasts a brand-spanking new facility with an open workspace model and a bright, clean look and feel. Close to 1,000 crewmembers work in our Long Island City support center across many departments including people (human resources), commercial (marketing, revenue management, network planning, product development, brand and advertising, partnerships, corporate social responsibility), engineering, IT, supply chain, communications, legal, security, safety, finance and accounting, as well as our executive leadership team. Our system operations team also resides here, the folks who plan the flights on the ground, including crew scheduling, aircraft routing, system operations controllers, dispatch, and our in-house meteorologist (who’s weather reports tend to be more accurate than the local news!).

Also at the Long Island City support center are our airports, inflight and flight groups, all of whom work on the back-end to support our frontline airport, ground, and tech operations crewmembers, as well as our pilots and flight attendants. They manage the scheduling, communications, uniform design and compliance, among other things.

All of the groups at our support centers are in constant collaboration and communication with one another, with our frontline crewmembers, and with our many business partners to ensure that we’re always open to new and creative ways of thinking and innovating, and that we’re delivering the best in product and service.

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August 1, 2012

Official Airline Partner of the USC Trojans!

We’re proud to announce a partnership to become the Official Airline Partner of the USC Trojans. The multi-year sponsorship will kick off with this season’s activities and will include all 21 USC Division I teams. Leaders from JetBlue and USC joined Long Beach mayor Bob Foster, the USC Marching Band and Song Girls, and Traveler, the official mascot of the Trojans, to make the announcement today at Long Beach International Airport.

To celebrate the launch of our partnership, we’re offering a special Traveler Sale, in honor of the 55th anniversary as the Trojans’ official mascot, with fares as low as $55 on short haul routes out of Long Beach, available today through August 3, 2012, for travel between September 5 and November 14, 2012.

The sponsorship includes joint marketing promotions and advertising. Featured elements include Official partner of the USC Alumni Association, select game support, and signage at Signage at LA Memorial Coliseum (Football), Galen Center (Basketball/Volleyball), Dedeaux Field (Baseball), and McAlister Field (Soccer).

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July 27, 2012

JetBlue Branches Out to Texas, Literally

On June 27 we offered a one day “Ewing Oil for Soil” fare sale on flights to the Lone Star State to celebrate our new service between Boston’s Logan International Airport (BOS) and Dallas/Fort-Worth International Airport (DFW). Flights were just $79 each way between Austin, Dallas and Houston to Boston, the same as the opening price of a barrel of crude oil that day. As DFW’s newest neighbor, we also vowed to plant one tree for every booking made that day for our Boston to Texas routes. We are excited to announce that 500 trees will be planted throughout Texas!

The special fare and tree-planting pledge follows our recent partnership with the new show Dallas on TNT.  As an environmentally-conscious airline, we paid homage to the televised oil legacy featured on Dallas in our own unique way.  Through our partnership with CarbonFund.org, we are doing our part to be a good corporate citizen in one of our newest BlueCities and throughout the Lone Star State, helping to reduce climate change and improve air quality.

Deforestation is responsible for about 20% of global warming and reforestation is a critical part of the solution. We will plant 500 trees in the southern part of Texas in the Lower Rio Grande Valley area by year’s end to help absorb carbon dioxide and improve air quality. Tree planting also preserves biodiversity, provides habitat and nutrition for wildlife and ultimately creates jobs such as managing tree nurseries and care.

Our partnership with Carbonfund.org Foundation allows our customers to offset carbon dioxide emissions generated by individual air travel through the purchase of carbon offsets. Also, to set an example, we also purchase carbon offsets for all company business travel.  To learn more visit www.carbonfund.org/jetblue.

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