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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July 25, 2012

Live From New York, It’s Our T5 Concert Series!

As an airline that believes in delivering an excellent customer experience from the moment of booking to time spent in the airport, on our planes and beyond, we are proud to bring the best musicians in pop culture through our Live From T5 concert series.

Our Live From T5 concert series debuted in 2009 and was developed in partnership with Superfly Marketing Group. It has since grown into a concert series that transforms the travel experience through live entertainment for customers traveling in and out of our home at JFK’s Terminal 5.

Live From T5 features artists from around the world, including many Grammy Award nominees and winners. Over the past three years the series has hosted performances by Kany Garcia, Ellie Goulding, Chris Isaak, Jason Derulo, Robyn, James Blunt, Taylor Swift, Raphael Saadiq, Sarah McLachlan and rock band Daughtry, among others. All Live From T5 concerts take place post-security in the terminal marketplace.

Check out some of the below videos from some of our past performances and don’t miss tomorrow’s performance with soul-singing sensation Allen Stone if you’re traveling with us through T5 tomorrow!

Learn more about our Live From T5 concert series
Check out images from past Live From T5 performances

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June 28, 2012

Watch Tour de France at Altitude (plus bikes fly free)!

Image courtesy of wapster on Flickr

For the ninth consecutive year, we’re inviting cyclists to enjoy a front-row seat to continuous, live coverage of the 2012 Tour de France, in partnership with NBC Sports Group, onboard our fleet of 175 aircraft.  Customers are also invited to get a grand start on their vacations and fly their bikes for free throughout the month of July in celebration of the 2012 Tour de France.

Coverage of the 99th Tour de France begins on Saturday, June 30, at 8 a.m. ET, live on NBC Sports Network, at the grand start in Liege, Belgium. Coverage can be found on channels 2 and 36 of our personal seatback televisions, as part of its signature lineup of 36 channels of DIRECTV programming.

We’re also a proud official airline sponsor of the 2012 NYC Triathlon for the fifth consecutive year, the athletic endurance event celebrating its 12th year of the most prominent Olympic-distance races in the heart of Manhattan. The Triathlon kicks off with the swimming portion on Sunday, July 8, followed by the biking segment and a 6.2 mile run through Central Park. Athletes will be greeted after the race at the JetBlue Finish Festival, where they can retrieve their time receipts for each segment and see how well they performed throughout the race.

Customers traveling through our home, Terminal 5 at New York’s John F. Kennedy, on Monday, July 9 will be treated to an all-day interactive event promoting coverage of the Tour de France on NBC Sports Network. Cycling fans will be able to relax in a Tour de France themed lounge, take pictures on a Tour de France winner’s podium replica and share with friends on social media, enjoy interactive games and trivia, win prizes, free giveaways, and more.

We’re always looking out for our fellow friends on wheels. In 2009, we amended our policy in less than 24 hours following a Tweet from a customer to allow folding bikes to be treated like any checked bag and not charged the standard $50 bike fee. We also made friends with a group of ambitious Los Angeles cyclists who wanted to see if they could bike faster than the airline’s flight time between Long Beach and Burbank, California when we offered special “Carmageddon” flights over the 405 during the highway construction closure last summer.

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June 27, 2012

Kicking Off the Summer with Our Second Annual Soar with Reading Initiative!

School’s out for summer but learning is always in with the launch of our second annual Soar with Reading program,  the award-winning initiative with our partners at PBS Kids that places age-appropriate books in the hands of children in need and helps keep kids reading throughout the summer months.  The JetBlue  network-wide initiative officially kicked off today in Boston at the BCYF Tobin Community Center in Mission Hill, a facility within the Boston Centers for Youth & Families, the city’s largest youth and human services agency providing city residents with opportunities for social, educational, recreational and cultural enrichment. Children at the center today were treated to a special performance by PBS KIDS host Mr. Steve, shook paws with PBS KIDS’ Hooper, enjoyed a reading by Barefoot Books author Laurie Krebs and took home a supply of reading materials published by program partner Barefoot Books, all designed to spark imagination and curiosity.

Soar with Reading aims to inspire every child, everywhere, to get excited about reading by providing free resources for families at SoarwithReading.com, including an interactive reading list, reading tips and expert advice for keeping kids engaged in literature all summer long.

While on the website, adults can help get books into the hands of kids in need across the country by simply sharing the name of their favorite children’s title.  For every submission received, JetBlue will donate an age-appropriate book to a deserving child through partner Barefoot Books. Donations will be made to local literacy-focused organizations identified in partnership with PBS member stations in the 71 cities that we currently serve.  As a special thank you, all adults, including parents, teachers and administrators, who share their favorite book titles on the Soar with Reading site can also be entered into a sweepstakes to win great prizes, including a JetBlue Getaways vacation package.

Up to $200,000 in books will be distributed to children in need through the 2012 Soar with Reading program, and you can help us achieve that goal by visiting SoarWithReading.com today. When you share, kids soar. As part of the program, children flying with us this summer can receive a free activity booklet with literacy based PBS KIDS games.  With help from PBS KIDS’ popular animated host Hooper, the games and other activities encourage kids to learn about the world around them through reading.

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June 26, 2012

Partners in Paradise: Atlantis, Paradise Island and The Cove

We’re pleased to announce a new TrueBlue partner with Atlantis, Paradise Island and The Cove, Atlantis resorts, two of the top destination resorts in the world. While playing in the sands at this tropical paradise, customers can also earn TrueBlue points, good for any seat, any time with no black out dates.

As the latest addition to our friendly TrueBlue customer loyalty rewards program, guests to Atlantis, Paradise Island and The Cove, Atlantis can now earn one TrueBlue point for every $1 spent on the base room rate accommodations at any of Atlantis’ five lodging options, including the chic The Cove Atlantis and the luxurious condo-style resort, The Reef Atlantis, as well as Beach Tower, Royal Tower and Coral Towers.  Guests can easily take advantage of the new partnership by providing their TrueBlue account number when reserving a room directly with Atlantis at 1-800-Atlantis or by visiting the partnership websites at http://thecoveatlantis.com/trueblue/ or http://atlantis.com/trueblue.

TrueBlue is free to join and includes the ability to use points for any seat on any JetBlue operated flight and with no blackout dates. Points do not expire if you fly JetBlue or use your JetBlue Card by American Express at least once every twelve months. Additional information about TrueBlue and registration can be found at https://trueblue.jetblue.com/.

To celebrate the partnership, Atlantis has kicked-off the partnership with a two-week long promotion at our home at Terminal 5 (T5) at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.  This mobile experience will take place from June 23 – July 6, 2012 in the Lower Grandstand at T5 and will include a lounge mimicking The Cove Atlantis, a photo booth and more. Additionally, Atlantis will provide beach-themed merchandise including sunglasses, beach bags, headphones and more!  Travelers flying from Terminal 5 are encouraged to visit the lounge for giveaways and to enter for a chance to win an Atlantis trip getaway and daily prizes via Facebook.com/AtlantisResort and Twitter @AtlantisResort.

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June 20, 2012

First FAA-Certified Carrier to Fly Special RNP AR Approaches!

We’re the first Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-certified carrier in the United States to utilize the new satellite-based Special (Non-Public) Required Navigation Performance Authorization Required (RNP AR) approaches to Runways 13L and 13R at our home base at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport with our fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft.

These unique Special Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) procedures are designed to utilize a constant vertical descent in conjunction with a precise curved flight path to the runways, resulting in the following efficiencies:

  • Stabilized approach path;
  • Shorter flight times for customers;
  • Reduced noise levels and greenhouse-gas emissions and,
  • Increased fuel savings by as much as 120 pounds, or 18 gallons, per flight.

The RNP AR approach procedure will allow us to utilize a decision altitude while in a slight turn to the runway, the first airline in the United States to harness this special capability. This allows for lower landing weather minimums, increasing runway utilization at JFK. These procedures will be a key component in making JFK operate independent of the other NY-area airports and reduce delays at JFK, LaGuardia (LGA), Newark Liberty International (EWR) and Teterboro (TEB) airports in certain poor weather conditions.

 

We began designing and testing the JFK special instrument procedures in 2004 in partnership with the FAA and MITRE Corporation. Our cadre of more than 2,300 pilots have been trained and certified at our flight simulator training facility in Orlando to fly RNP AR procedures across the National Airspace System.

In addition to these milestones, in 2008 we became the first and remain the only Airbus A320 operator in the country to receive FAA authorization for RNP AR approaches, followed by RNP AR certification for our entire fleet of Embraer E190 aircraft in 2010.  We maintains all of our fleet types certified for RNP AR and plan to extend the unique capability at JFK to our Embraer E190 fleet in the near future.

To further advance our active role in upgrading the nation’s air traffic control system, in 2011 we also announced a partnership with the FAA to provide data and conduct real-time operational evaluations for the organization’s Next-Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) airspace modernization program.  Through FAA-funding, we’ll equip up to 35 of our A320 planes with Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) Out avionics that will provide air traffic controllers with precise positioning of the aircraft using GPS satellite signals, enabling our aircraft to fly more direct routes off the East Coast.  This capability, when combined with the new FAA En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) System, will begin field trials next summer. We’re currently awaiting final aircraft certification.

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June 12, 2012

Now Partnering With Air China!

This week at the Annual General Meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Beijing, our CEO Dave announced our 20th airline partnership, with local carrier Air China — the country’s exclusive national flag carrier. This interline marks the first partnership between our airline and a carrier based in the rapidly-expanding Chinese market.

Our CEO Dave with the CEO and crew of Air China

Beginning later this summer we plan to interline with Air China on their nonstop flights to Beijing from both JFK and LAX. The carrier’s two daily LAX flights are operated aboard the brand new fleet of Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, which will also be deployed on the once-daily JFK route effective October 1, 2012.

Air China operates a fleet of 306 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and its robust network of 289 routes extends throughout Asia, the Middle East, Europe, South and North America.

Through Beijing Capital International Airport – Asia’s busiest airport – travellers can access countless other cities across China including Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Xi’an, Guilin, Chongqing, Fuzhou, and Nanjing, plus many other vibrant destinations across the Asia Pacific region including Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, Singapore, Manila, Delhi, Bangkok, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, and Kuala Lumpur.

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April 19, 2012

We’re Going Out On a Limb! One Tree Planted For Every Customer Flying With Us On Earth Day!


We’re teaming up with long-time partner Carbonfund.org to plant one tree for every customer flying with us on Earth Day, Sunday, April 22, 2012. More than 83,000 customers are expected to take to the skies across our 70 city-network on Sunday, and the new trees will be planted in locations in North and Northwest Haiti through August 2012 to help  rebuild areas impacted by the devastating 2010 earthquake including the municipalities of Arcahaie, Cabaret, and Montrouis.

Additionally, as part of our fifth annual environmentally-conscious One Thing That’s Green campaign, hundreds of volunteers alongside JetBlue crewmembers will celebrate Earth Day weekend and “Color NYC Green” by planting nearly 100 trees in our new roots in Long Island City, including Queensbridge Park. New Yorkers interested in planting trees on April 21 are asked to register in advance at www.jetblue.com/trees. The day-long festivities, in partnership with the New York Restoration Project and MillionTreesNYC, will take place rain or shine.

Those unable to participate on-site in Queens can join the more than 125,000 people who have already committed to maintaining a greener lifestyle by making a pledge at http://www.jetblue.com/pledge. Now through April 30, 2012 participants pledging will also have a chance to win great prizes, including two roundtrip tickets and a $500 Getaways gift certificate every month for an entire year, eco-vacations, and eco-friendly appliances.

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