JetBlue installs free book vending machines in low-literacy neighbourhoods

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This case appears in the August 2015 edition of the Airline Marketing Benchmark, a monthly report by and Simpliflying that identifies the latest innovative marketing campaigns recently launched by airlines around the world. Learn more »

JetBlue has extended its social responsibility initiatives with a pilot program aimed to close the literacy gap in a low-income town by providing vending machines that give out thousands of free books to underprivileged children. A selection of 12 books rotates every two weeks, offering up to 42 different titles through the summer.

The airline teamed-up with publishing company Random House to place three vending book machines around the low-literacy neighbourhood of Anacostia, in Washington, D.C. which was chosen to launch this program after a study commissioned by JetBlue found that the Anacostia section of D.C. is a large ‘book desert’, leaving residents little or no access to purchase age-appropriate children’s books. According to city school data, the area sees less than 25 per cent of its middle schools (for children aged between 11-15) able to ready at grade level.

The kiosks have been placed at a Salvation Army’s community center, a Safeway store on Alabama Avenue and near the entrance of a Baptist Church.

To help their children enjoy their books, parents can opt-in to an SMS campaign that offers reading tips, as well as updates when the vending machines are re-stocked with fresh selections.

“Innovative solutions that involve and engage the community is necessary to combat the current summer slump that happens especially in underserved communities,” said Icema Gibbs, JetBlue’s director of corporate social responsibility. Read full article »

JetBlue becomes first airline to accept Apple Pay for in-flight purchases


This article first appeared on Future Travel Experience

JetBlue has become the first airline to accept payments via Apple Pay for onboard purchases, including certain food and beverage products and ‘Even More Space’ seat upgrades. Passengers with an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, or an Apple Watch – which will be launched in the US shortly – will be able to make use of Apple Pay, which offers secure, Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled contactless payment using an Apple device.

Commenting on the development, Marty St George, SVP Commercial at JetBlue said the carrier has decided to embrace Apple Pay in response to the fact that “customers want an easy and fast transaction when they decide to make an on-board purchase so that they can get back to enjoying their flight.”

Apple Pay began appearing on select JetBlue transcontinental flights from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco in mid-February and will be available on all JetBlue services by June 2015. Later this year, Apple Pay will also be added to JetBlue’s app.

To enable Apple Pay onboard, JetBlue has equipped more than 3,500 flight attendants with iPad minis and NFC-enabled cases. The iPad minis will also be loaded with the carrier’s Inflight Service Assistant app, which provides access to customer manifest and real-time flight data, and also makes its easier for crew to identify TrueBlue and Mosaic loyalty members.

“JetBlue has always stood out because our crewmembers care about our customers,” said Joanna Geraghty, Executive Vice President, Customer Experience, JetBlue. “By giving crewmembers thoughtful ways to use technology, we can support an even more personalised onboard experience with a perfect partnership of high tech and high touch.”

Video of how paying using Apple Pay on JetBlue flights works here.

JetBlue turns a flight ticket into a ‘chain letter of human goodness’

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This case appears in the November 2014 edition of the Airline Marketing Benchmark, a monthly report by and Simpliflying that identifies the latest innovative marketing campaigns recently launched by airlines around the world. Learn more »

JetBlue is putting its own twist on the concept of “paying it forward,” in a social media-driven initiative called “Fly it Forward” (video here). The program sends one ticket on a never-ending trip around the JetBlue network, aiming to enable people to fulfill a dream or make a meaningful humanitarian impact on the world.

The airline started the long-term campaign by awarding one free JetBlue ticket to several deserving individuals involved in humanitarian efforts, then let that person select another deserving recipient of a free ticket, and so on and so on. Or as the Creativity Online website nicely summarizes the generous concept: “JetBlue is turning an airline ticket into a chain letter of human goodness.”

The first Fly It Forward ticket recipients, shown in this heartwarming video (1.2 million views of YouTube so far), include Tameka Lawson, who represented her Chicago non-profit I-Grow at a UN conference in New York, and Louis Elneus, whose organization Haiti Lumiere helped build the first public library in his home country of Haiti.

These initial recipients were found and picked by JetBlue employees, and now the airline is asking people to submit their own nominations for the next people to get the ticket, through the Fly It Forward microsite and social channels using the hashtag #FlyitForward.

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JetBlue’s new transcontinental A321s to feature private suites and a ‘snack station’

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By Jonny Clark, TheDesignAir

In order to attract premium yields from business travelers, competition on transcontinental routes between New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco is fierce with all major national carriers on the route trying to find their point of difference and fight for the heavy traffic between the three hubs.

New York-based JetBlue is also joining this transcontinental ‘arms race’ with dedicated sub-fleet of 11 brand new A321s. After a sneak peek of the airline’s new A321 cabin a few weeks back when they launched a first video, the airline has shared more details of its new transcontinental premium product, called Mint.

Starting at a mind-bending USD499 one way, JetBlue has managed to surpass our expectations yet again with the fare being yet another reason to fly with the airline. Said JetBlue Chief Executive Dave Barger in a statement: “Mint is stylish service minus all of the stuffiness often associated with the traditional front-of-the-cabin experience. JetBlue is truly all about serving the underserved, the customer who wants to enjoy first-rate service at an exceptional and affordable fare.”

The Mint seat
JetBlue has invested in both Business and Economy, with the coach section featuring slim-line seats, larger touch-screen TVs, as well as an extra legroom section. The big showpiece though is the ‘Mint’ Business Class product, a first for what is fundamentally a low-cost carrier. The Mint cabin features 16 fully lie-flat beds up to 6′ 8″ (203cm) long with rows 1 and 3 featuring a 2 x 2 seating and rows 2 and 4 having a more private 1 x 1 seating configuration with closing doors.

The private sliding door idea is a nice little touch, especially on the single solitary seats as it makes the 2nd and 4th rows much more appealing and sort after as a solitary traveller, although we feel the sliding doors are more a sales gimmick that practical elements a traveller really actually requires on a 5-6 hour flight.
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JetBlue unveils new ‘transcontinental’ A321 interior featuring private suites

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By Jonny Clark, TheDesignAir

JetBlue, New York’s ‘homegrown airline’ has released on their video channel a sneak peek of what we can expect on their new fleet of A321′s coming out in 2014, which will be flying the transcontinental East Coast – West Coast flights, competing with the likes of American, United, Delta and Virgin America who have all lifted the quality of product for the 5 to 6 hour trek.

The airline has invested in both business and economy, featuring slim-line seats, with larger touch-screen TVs, and still maintaining their extra legroom seating. Whilst this is just an artists impression (more images here), the detail seems fairly accurate, and we can see the headrests will be fairly slim too. Perhaps lowering the comfort of their seats, they can up-sell their amenity packages of pillows and blankets.

The big showpiece here though is the new Business Class product. A first for what is fundamentally a low-cost carrier. 16 private suites in 4 rows, rows 1 and 3 featuring a 2 x 2 seating and rows 2 and 4 having a more private 1 x 1 seating configuration. The Thomson Vantage full flat seats are a similar product to that seen on international carriers such as Delta and Brussels Airlines.

The private sliding door idea is a nice little touch, especially on the single solitary seats, however, on the dual seats, you lose out on this feature. Making the 2nd and 4th rows much more appealing and sort after as a solitary traveller. We feel the sliding doors are more a sales gimmick that practical elements a traveller really actually requires on a 5-6 hour flight. The inconsistency of the product in business class may also work against the carrier, as someone who flies in the private suite and then is only offered a regular business class seat may decide to decline the purchase and move to a differing carrier. Only time will tell…

JetBlue’s offers 2012 free seats to Republican voters to fly out of the USA

By Raymond Kollau,

Following Virgin America’s initiative to allow passengers to register for the upcoming US presidential election while up in the air, rival ‘no-frills chic’ airline JetBlue has launched a new campaign that is based on the outcome of the US election.

The new campaign, created with Boston marketing agency Mullen, is titled ‘Election Protection’ and plays into Americans’ proclaimed desires to “leave the country” if the presidential candidate they support does not win. For this, JetBlue has pledged to give out 2012 free seats (1006 roundtrip flights) to international JetBlue destination of choice for participants whose candidate-of-choice does not win the election.

The ‘Election Protection’ website, open for participation through November 5 (one day before the election) prompts visitors to watch a video and subsequently choose the emblem of the party they support in the elections, as well as their international JetBlue destination of choice should the election results not be in their favor.

The ‘Election Protection’ website also offers a real-time ‘heat map’ of customers’ preferred destinations, as well as how each candidate is doing by state. All of those who submit their candidate choices through the website are automatically entered into the contest and winners will be drawn at random on November 7.

“We’ve all heard it said before: if my candidate does not win, I’m leaving the country,” said Marty St. George, senior vice president marketing and commercial strategy for JetBlue. “Fun is one of our five founding values, and in this spirit we decided to give people a chance to recover from the political noise and follow through on their claim to skip town if their candidate comes up short.” Read full article »

JetBlue asks the public to do ‘one thing that is green’

Launched as an environmental awareness event in the United States in 1970, Earth Day is celebrated each year on April 22 as the birth of the environmental movement. Today, mainly in the U.S, Earth Day is a day to think about the actions people can take to help protect the environment.

In this spirit, JetBlue has kicked off its ‘One Thing That’s Green’ campaign on Earth Day. For the second year, the airline asks customers, crewmembers and communities across its network to join together in pledging to do ‘one thing that is green’ to protect the environment. The carrier says that just by making small changes to daily habits, such as turning off the water when brushing ones teeth, everyone can help make the world a greener place. This year, JetBlue’s own One Thing That’s Green pledge is a donation of one tree to for each of its 12,000 crewmembers to further offset carbon emissions.
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JetBlue opens temporary ‘Flyer’s Collection’ store in NYC

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Picture courtesy of Paolo Mello

JetBlue has opened a temporary holiday ‘pop-up store’ in New York City’s trendy Meatpacking District, as part of its new  tongue-in-cheek advertising campaign: ‘Flyer’s Collection’. Continuing the holiday 2009 trend of pop-up shops that don’t sell anything (see eBay and Wired), the storefront at 48 9th Avenue features physical samples of the ‘Flyer’s Collection’ products: gimmick items that JetBlue says travellers need to help cope with flying on other airlines. The products on display include ‘leather in a jar’ (to compensate for uncomfortable cloth seats on other carriers), a ‘knee-jockey apparatus’ (to make up for the lack of legroom), ‘depth goggles’ (to make the seat in front seem farther away), and the ‘Yumbro robot’ (to dispense free snacks). Other fun products are a ‘seatback siren’ (to alert those behind you when you plan to recline), a ‘luggage suit’ (to avoid paying baggage fees), and ‘Sounds of Jetblue’ cd’s.

The JetBlue pop-up store is basically a 3D version of the airline’s advertising campaign. You can’t actually go in the store, and it has got a small text down at the corner of the window, that says: “The products shown are fictional and not offered for sale.” Jetblue has also printed a six-page glossy fake holiday catalogue, and distributed 35,000 of them to mostly business travellers via a network of 2,300 New York town car transportation companies, which mostly go to and from the city’s airports. The catalogue is also accessible on JetBlue’s Facebook  page. When clicking on the ‘buy now’ button, the page displays a message saying it’s out of stock due to high demand and suggests the option of going to instead to experience the real thing.

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