JetBlue Airlines History

JetBlue Airways Old JetBlue Plane

From the day JetBlue began, their ultimate goal was to “bring humanity back to air travel,” with TVs in every seat, Sirius satellite radio, and different amenities that their competitors didn’t offer like snacks and leather seats for everyone. They are a low-cost, non-union airline with headquarters in Long Island City, New York.

In 1998, JetBlue was incorporated and by early 1999, they operated under the name NewAir. By late 1999, they snagged 75 take off and landing slots at JFK International Airport and received their formal authorization to operate in February of 2000. They began small with flights to Buffalo and Fort Lauderdale and were one of only a handful of airlines to still profit after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

JetBlue prided itself on its low-cost tickets but these would start to become a problem in 2005 when operational issues, amenities, and fuel costs rose tremendously. However despite these setbacks, in 2006, JetBlue planned to include 36 new planes to their roster and continued their plan for growth. 2006 also brought on their first quarterly loss and the attempt to unionize JetBlue’s workers, but this attempt quickly failed. That year also started the RTP (Return to Profitability) plan to help JetBlue get out of the red and cut costs. They successfully profited in the second quarter and fourth quarter of 2006.

2007 threw JetBlue a major bomb when a snowstorm in the Northeast and Midwest upset their operations. They made of habit of never cancelling flights and even with an ice storm raging outside, passengers waited in the airport and on the tarmac, JetBlue tried to get their planes off the ground. Unfortunately, the storm was too strong and JetBlue ended up losing $30 million due to the storm. By mid-2007 though, JetBlue managed to make $21 million in net income, which was $7 million more than in 2006.

JetBlue then got the opportunity to partner with 20th Century Fox’s, The Simpson’s Movie, and became the official airline of Springfield. JetBlue took this full-circle by incorporating characters from the movie into their website. Later in 2007, they also added an in-flight video magazine from The New York Times and provided content from NYTimes.com.

Continuing their quest for exceptional service to many destinations, JetBlue was able to expand their service at the end of 2007 to the Caribbean including Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Cancun, Nassau, Aguadilla, Ponce (Puerto Rico), San Juan (Puerto Rico), Santiago (Dominican Republic), and Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic). Additionally, they sold 19% of JetBlue to Lufthansa to create operational connections through Boston, New York (JFK), and Orlando.

2008 brought excellent technological upgrades to the JetBlue fleet. In Airways Magazine it was announced that JetBlue would partner with Yahoo! and Research in Motion to offer free, limited Wi-Fi on their Airbus A320 a.k.a. BetaBlue. Passengers with Blackberries or Yahoo! email addresses could check their messages and send instant messages with their laptop while in-flight. Later 2008 brought on Orlando as a major city for JetBlue international destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America. They also planned to use Orlando to build a 292-room lodge for those training at JetBlue University.

JetBlue also wanted to change up their eco-footprint in 2008 by offering eco-friendly pillows and blanket packages for $7 with a $5 Bed, Bath and Beyond coupon included. They also offered seats with extra legroom at a cost of $10-$30 and allowed passengers to check a second bag for only $15.

In the last quarter of 2008, JetBlue opened its primary hub at JFK in New York, Terminal 5, costing $800 million and almost encircling the historic TWA Flight Center.

2010 sparked the arrival of snack boxes on JetBlue’s Airbus A320 for $6 and in 2012, JetBlue ranked highest in customer satisfaction among lost-cost carriers in North America by J.D. Power and Associates for the 8th year in a row.

JetBlue had always wanted to give the same experience to everyone on their flight regardless of which seat they sat in. In 2014 though, to compete for premium cabin space, they created their first class called Mint. Mint includes full bed seats with air tube adjustable mattresses, Birchbox take-aways, privacy glass, complimentary alcoholic beverages, and 2 outlets for your devices. Each suite is composed of two seats but if you want your privacy, there is a door that you can shut to be completely alone. There are also buttons you can use to inform the flight staff that you do not wish to be disturbed for drinks or other services. Currently, Mint is only available on the A321 Airbus and from JFK to LAX and JFK to SFO.

Although JetBlue had a rough beginning offering so many amenities for such a low price, they now have a stable profit margin, operate flights around the world, and still uphold their original goal of providing first class amenities like TV, radio, and snacks to all passengers.

 

JetBlue Codeshare Agreements and Interlines

JetBlue Airways Transfer Partners

JetBlue is not part of any major airline alliance, but does have interline and codeshare agreements with several international airlines. Their partner airlines include the following list below:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Air China
  • American Airlines
  • Asiana Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cape Air
  • Cathay Pacific
  • China Airlines
  • EgyptAir
  • El Al
  • Emirates
  • Etihad
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Icelandair
  • Japan Airlines
  • Jet Airways
  • Korean Air
  • LAN Airlines
  • LIAT
  • LOT Polish Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Scandinavian Airlines
  • Seaborne Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Silver Airways
  • South African Airways
  • TAM Brazilian Airlines
  • Transaero Airlines
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic

 

JetBlue’s Hubs and Where They Fly

JetBlue Airways Terminal 5 JFK

JetBlue’s headquarters are in Long Island City, Queens, New York and their main base airport is JFK International Airport in Queens. They also have a corporate office in Cottonwood Heights, Utah. JetBlue mainly flies throughout the U.S. but does have flights to 12 countries in the Caribbean, South America, and Latin America.

Main Hubs:

  • New York, JFK
  • Boston
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Orlando
  • San Juan
  • Long Beach

 

Where They Fly:

  • United States
  • Caribbean
  • The Bahamas
  • Bermuda
  • Barbados
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Peru
  • Puerto Rico

 

JetBlue’s TrueBlue Frequent Flyer Program and How it Works

JetBlue Airways TrueBlue Logo

JetBlue’s TrueBlue Frequent Flyer Program allows you to use your points on all types of travel. They have 27 partners that you can transfer points to as well as advertising no blackout dates, the points never expire, award flights start at 5,000 points, and you can use your points on any seat at any time. For every dollar you spent on JetBlue airfare, you earn 3 points but if you book online through JetBlue.com, you can double your rewards with 6 points per dollar.

If you happen to have the JetBlue American Express card, you can receive up to 8 points per dollar on qualifying flights. The best way to rack up TrueBlue points is to get the JetBlue credit card and always fly on JetBlue. You can also use your points towards vacation packages, magazine subscriptions, gift points, transfer points, or redeem 10,000 points for a round-trip ticket or 5,000 points for a one-way ticket.

The TrueBlue program also gives you excellent bonuses and badges such as the High Five Bonus (a bonus of 5,000 miles) for purchasing 3 round-trip tickets through JetBlue in the year 2014. They’re also advertising a Lucky 7 Bonus (7,000 bonus points) when you purchase 7 round-trip tickets in 2014. If you fly on JetBlue a lot or travel a lot for business, you can earn up to 10,000 extra bonus points with the Go Long Bonus. This bonus awards those points for purchasing 10 one-way tickets that are 1,600 miles or more in 2014.

Additionally, JetBlue does what many other airlines don’t advertise: they allow family pooling. You and your entire family can group up points, earn points together, and fly together through JetBlue’s TrueBlue program. You can track everyone’s points and manage all of the family’s points from the Family Pooling account.

If you fly JetBlue constantly, you can easily become a Mosaic TrueBlue member. To qualify, you must fly 30 segments plus 12,000 base flight points within one year or earn 15,000 base flight points within a year. As a Mosaic member, you are entitled to the following benefits:

  • 24/7 Customer service line
  • Free second checked bag for everyone on your reservation
  • Ability to purchase Even More Space seats with your TrueBlue points
  • Free Even More Speed, the fast security allowed for Mosaic members at 36 airports
  • Early boarding for everyone on the reservation
  • An extra 3 TrueBlue points for being a Mosaic member (that means you earn 3 points per $1 at the non-Mosaic member rate, 6 points per $1 at the Mosaic member rate when booking JetBlue flights, and 9 points per $1 when you are a Mosaic member booking JetBlue flights online)

JetBlue is truly an airline that rewards loyal travelers and their constant drive to upgrade their fleet and give customers what they want shows in their TrueBlue frequent flyer program.

 

JetBlue’s New First Class, Mint, and Upgraded Economy Seats

JetBlue Airways Mint First Class sleeper seat

 

JetBlue Airways Mint First Class Seat

 

JetBlue Airways Mint First Class Touch Buttons

JetBlue recently announced their premium first class section called Mint with full flat bed seats that accommodate up to 6’8”, mini-suite options, and tons of deluxe customizations. One of the best customizations includes allowing passengers to adjust the firmness of their seats by pressing a few buttons. JetBlue wanted to change the way airline seats were designed and went with the unusual approach of using air tubes like Sleep Number beds. Although you don’t get a fully private suite (there are two seats to a suite), you can create one with the privacy doors. There are also With privacy doors, two easy-to-access power outlets, 15” interactive video screans with 100 channels, tapas, cappuccinos, full-bottle wine service, complimentary alcoholic beverages, a complimentary Birchbox kit, and an on-board vending machine (available to all flight classes), JetBlue’s Mint class is certainly upping the stakes in the first class game.

Mint seats start at $599 for one-way tickets, vastly cheaper than other airlines, but the flights are only available from JFK to LA and JFK to San Francisco. JetBlue just released their seat availability for Mint up to September 2, 2014. Book now because the first set of seats revealed sold out before the first flight. JetBlue is also in the process of upgrading their economy class seats in their A321s so try to book those as well if you can.

JetBlue Airways Economy Class Updated Seats

 

JetBlue Airways Economy Class New Seat Design

 

JetBlue Airways Economy Class New Seats

 

JetBlue Award Travel Flights

JetBlue Airways Hawaiian Airlines First Class Food Transfer Partner

JetBlue isn’t set up like your typical airline where you can book first class seats on luxury airlines for ridiculously low point amounts. They start their award travel at 5,000 points for one-way tickets and 10,000 points for round-trip tickets. Depending on your destination, the time of year of your flight, days of the week you’re flying, and the advance booking window, the rates for award travel will vary.

For example, the brand new Mint class tickets from JFK to LAX are 29,100 points one-way. Not bad for a brand-new, extremely-awesome first class ticket.

You can also transfer points to their partners and get any of these great flights:

  • Transfer TrueBlue Points to American Airlines to Fly on Cathay Pacific First Class to Asia for 67,500 Miles One-way (http://reservefirstcl.wpengine.com/how-to/13-best-ways-to-use-chase-ultimate-rewards-points/)
  • Transfer TrueBlue Points to American Airlines to Fly During the Off-peak Season to Hawaii for 17,500 AAdvantage Miles
  • Transfer TrueBlue Points to Emirates to Fly First Class to Milan One-way for 75,000 Miles (http://reservefirstcl.wpengine.com/how-to/10-best-first-class-flights-bookable-for-award-travel/)

 

How to Book JetBlue TrueBlue Award Travel Flights

JetBlue Airways homepage

It’s very simple to book JetBlue TrueBlue Award Travel; all you have to do is visit their website. Once you have enough TrueBlue points for award travel, you can click, “Book Award Travel,” and you’ll be able to see all the flights that are available for the amount of points you have. You can call 1-800-JETBLUE (1-800-538-2583) but you won’t get the extra 3 points per $1 that you do for booking online.

 

How to Earn TrueBlue Points

JetBlue Airways TrueBlue Bonus

As discussed above, you can earn 3 TrueBlue points for every $1 you spend on JetBlue air travel and 6 points per $1 if you book that air travel online through their website. You can also buy or gift TrueBlue points at discounted rates so that you can travel for free quicker.

JetBlue also has a series of online shopping portals and the list of partners below include all the ways you can earn points including magazine subscriptions, rental cars, your energy bill, airlines, and hotels. The rates vary tremendously between partners so choose carefully. Some partners, like AMEX Rewards, offer transfer bonuses to help boost your point’s worth.

They also offer a JetBlue TrueBlue card from American Express. With this card, you can earn 20,000 TrueBlue points after spending $1,000 on the card within the first 3 months. For the first year the annual fee of $40 is waived and you can earn up to 8 TrueBlue Points per $1 on certain JetBlue flights and Getaways packages. You earn 1 TrueBlue point per dollar on eligible purchases and can combine the points you earn with your TrueBlue credit card with you Mosaic member points benefits.

Check out JetBlue’s website for all of the point earning opportunities. There are a bunch but probably the most lucrative is using the TrueBlue AMEX to purchase JetBlue flights online.

 

JetBlue TrueBlue Point Transfer Partners

JetBlue Airways Cathay Pacific first class transfer partner

  • Emirates
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Marriott Rewards
  • Rocketmiles
  • Voila Hotel Rewards
  • Hilton HHonors
  • Atlantis Paradise Island
  • The Cove Atlantis
  • Santander JetBlue MasterCard
  • JetBlue Card from American Express
  • Avis
  • AMEX Membership Rewards
  • Hertz
  • Energy Plus
  • ShopTrue
  • FTD
  • Budget
  • Magazine Subscriptions
  • e-Rewards
  • JetBlue Getaways
  • Buy, Gift, or Transfer Points
  • Laithwaites Wine
  • Carmel
  • True Giving
  • TrueBlue Gift Registry