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10 Reasons JetBlue Is My Favorite Airline

jetblue-mint-logoI am sitting on a wide comfy leather chair that will take me from JFK to Los Angeles, a crew member offers me iced-water with a bit of honey and a mint leaf…

Would you like vodka with it? She asks.

No thanks. I say

Later I chew on my mint and blow kisses across the corridor to James, we have our own separate seats in an airplane for the first time in our marriage, and thanks to booking very early. Please don’t hate me… You will see why in a few lines.

We are on JetBlue Mint, and we have a private cabin, not just a seat.

I almost did not want to put the word out there… But I told James and he wrote it to his ultra successful newsletter that goes to a kazillion number of people… I guess the word is out!  And that is a good thing!

People traveling in the back of the plain, without the lie-flat seat, crammed into a little space with food that has been pre-packaged probably also love JetBlue as much as I do.  But…

It’s likely they don’t know A SECRET, which I am about to tell you.

The seat I have, with my own electric power, full pillow and duvet blanket cost only about $500. Or 1100 roundtrip.

THAT’S IT!

It is not like when you fly with American Airlines et all… where you have to pay about $3,200 dollars for the same round trip (I just checked on American’s website), with awful food and seats that are “standard reclined”. Reclined!

My flat bed cabin on JetBlue is only $1,100 for the same route, round-trip (I just checked, and yes, I do book early which gives me a huge advantage)

I am getting a superior seat for a little over 1K round trip. And I’m loving MY OWN SUITE.

Jetblue mint cabin

A suite is special, it’s not your everyday airline treat, it is something that you only get on those beautiful Emirates flights on FIRST CLASS and in long haul international routes like JFK to Dubai.  Those flights that cost about US$30,000 for a round-trip.

Jet Blue launched Mint last year, but it took me until a few months ago to learn about it.

And the moment I heard about it I KNEW, I would own the stock, which at the time happened to be at 10 dollars…

There is something you should know. I have a 401K left over from my 10 years at the law firm, and now that I own it I buy stocks, but there is not that much money in it… So I only buy 10 to 100 shares of things I USE.  Because I don’t know how to make stock analysis, so my analysis consists of my own intuition and weather I like the product and how I am treated.  The moment that changes, I am out of the stock.  I bought 100 shares of JetBlue at around 11.

The stock is now bordering 21. But who cares? I doubled my money, and I would buy again, today. I am planning on holding on to it until I feel that they are not my friends anymore.

That is what I like about a company that they care for ME. Because I am the most important person in the world for me…

Well, that did not come out the right way, but you know what I mean. I am talking about when I am paying for a service. I want the best and so should you.

And JetBlue listens to my surveys, which I respond to, religiously, and they tweet back to me when I write them. And they care for shareholders too, or so the new CEO tells me.

10 Reasons I Love JetBlue as a Customer And Investor

1)    MOSAIC, EXTRA ROOM AND EXTRA SPEED

When we go from New York to Fort Lauderdale there is no “Mint” service (yet, I’ve been tweeting them like crazy)… BUT there is “extra room” and “extra speed”. And that makes a difference to me!

I know that American Airlines has this too… BUT JetBlue takes off from little airports, and there is one of them in my, literarily. Here is where they fly. And who needs to land in Miami anyways when there is Ubber to take me anywhere I want to go by car?

Because JetBlue is focused on the USA only, (with few international options) they do what they can with what they have while being a 15-year-old airline. They get new airports as they go. And they may fly from somewhere near you.  Check them out…

I am working hard at becoming “Mosaic” for which you would need to fly 30 segments and earn at least 12,000 base points ($4,000 in airfare) or earn 15,000 base points ($5,000) within a year.

Once Mosaic you always enter the plane first (In my 40+ flights with JetBlue I’ve seen only ONE PERSON be “mosaic”), you get waved fees for cancellations and/or changes in flights, which otherwise would cost anywhere from $75-150 per passenger, and you earn 15,000 bonus in TrueBlue points, worth between $150 and $240 depending on where you fly.

Now some people argue the elite status is better for Virgin America, and they may be so, BUT there is no private cabin or lie-flat seats in their flights to LA, as they don’t even go to San Francisco yet.

2)    MINT FLAVOR

If you are flying from LAX or SFO to JFK… now you know…

But there is more…

mint

“According to JetBlue, the Kennedy to Aruba and Kennedy to Barbados flights outfitted with Mint will operate on Saturdays between November 7th, 2015 and April 30th 2016. There will also be daily flights with Mint service during the hectic high-volume holiday period between December 19th 2015 and January 4, 2016” – Bizjournals.com

So there! Barbados or Aruba, which one will it be to escape the chilling winter?

3)    CUBA

On May 5th 2015 they announced they would be flying to CUBA from JFK.

Yes I am a bit New York Centric, you could say, but the airline is based in New York so it makes sense…

The point I am making when looking at it as an investor is that they are the FIRST Airline to DO THIS.  That is important to me.

Colourful buildings in Havana.

Colourful buildings in Havana.

Also, I can’t wait to see Cuba before it becomes Disneyland.  How about you? Aren’t you a little curious?

4)    TWA ABANDONED TERMINAL TO BE A JET BLUE HOTEL

When you go the terminal of JetBlue at Kennedy airport you get a glimpse of the past…

twa

Just across the street, frozen in time, lies the TWA terminal closed and empty, just as it was back when it was, and it has a 60s feel.

Mad Men should have shot a scene or two there… Maybe they have, I don’t know.

Interesting fact, when David Neeleman, the founder of JetBlue, was pitching his company as a budget airlines to government regulators back in 1999, he wanted to be based in NY.

He found out that terminal six was abandoned and offered to take over it.

Can you even imagine that?

An “ABANDONED” terminal at JFK in 1999?

Hard to believe!

And look what he has done with it?

“After considering multiple groups, the Port Authority appears to have  settled on the JetBlue-MCR group and London-based Yotel as the final contenders to develop the site into a hotel”, reports bizjournals.com

“A 500 ROOM HOTEL”

The ONLY HOTEL inside JFK.

Are you wowed? Because I am.

So the nostalgic momentum of the TWA terminal will go, but in its place we will have 500 affordable rooms for anybody coming to visit the USA and stopping at JFK to make a transfer… Likely into a JetBlue flight as I see it….

5)   STREAMING AMAZON PRIME WITH WOODY ON BOARD

This was just announced by Reuters on May 5th.

The move is more likely to help Amazon says the article.  Are you kidding me? It helps both.

Woody Allen just signed up an exclusive deal with Amazon to create a television show with them, guess who is going to be watching?

woody

And just in case you did not know, JetBlue has LIVE TV in all of their flights…

One time when flying to Florida with James the attendants told us that  they didn’t have it because the TV was not working.

They credited my JetBlue account with 15 dollars for James, and me and I was able to use the credit money when buying my next flight…

No issues, no friction.

6)    THE FUTURE PAYING WITH APPLE PAY

On Feb 10 Fortune reported that Jet Blue will begin accepting Apple mobile payment.  They are issuing IPad  Minis to 3500 flight crewmembers…

Applepay

Note that JetBlue does not call its people “employees”, they are all crewmembers…

Genius… That was the founder.

7)    THE NEW CEO CARES ABOUT CUSTOMERS AND INVESTORS, HE SAYS

The new CEO came on board recently. His name is Robin Hayes.

Robin grew up in London and knew the underground system by heart.

If you wanted to go anywhere in London he knew exactly what was the fastest route and where on the platform to stand to get off near the right exit, closest to your destination.

At 19 he flew to visit his girlfriend and he was “hooked”.  Airlines were his destiny.

He worked for 10 years with British Airways.  One day he mistakenly let a domestic passenger into an international flight without a passport. A big mistake.

But he was not fired and he says that he hates when people don’t talk openly about their mistakes because he LEARNED A LOT from that.

In the Spring of 2015 he will be adding a charge for first checked bag to passengers on JetBlue.  The move will bring 300 Million in added revenue.

The move also comes with adding more seats, which is not exactly better for the clients, but when you look at the chart below, you will see that even with the retrofitted seats, they will still have the widest seats in the skies in the United States

8)      IF YOUR FLIGHT IS CANCELLED YOU’LL KNOW EARLIER

JetBlue which is the fifth biggest U.S. airline by passengers carried cancels flights sooner than rivals when storms pummel the U.S. Northeast, a tactic that may help its customers reach destinations more reliably, a Reuters analysis of flight data shows.  Says Reuters.

Letting everyone know about the changes helps them re-allocate planes and crew early.

They are extremely proactive which helps travelers unnecessary trips to the airport, and offers more options for rebooking.

A PERSONAL STORY

My dad was a pilot, so I have a soft spot for them.  Whenever I board a JetBlue flight I say hello to the pilots and the flight attendant and then say: “Thank you for flying us today”.  I don’t have to, but I like to do that.

One time in Orlando, a flight that was taking off before James’s and mine was cancelled.  IT was not our flight so we had an opportunity to observe what happened as they had to do such a last minute cancellation on a full flight because of a computer malfunction.

The CAPTAIN of the plane came onto the ticketing desk and through their intercome introced himself to all passengers, explained what had happened and then said he was going to stick around in case anyone had any questions.

I HAD to go talk to him. I had never seen anything like that.

Because JetBlue crewmembers (remember they are not called employees) are non-union, they care a little more…  And this was a shock to me.

I went to him and told him I applauded him for doing that. Can you imagine? He didn’t have to do that.  People did stick around and talked to him.  If that is not customer service at a high level I don’t know what is.

9)    YOU CAN BUY MORE THAN ONE SEAT

This is not something particular to JetBlue alone. United, Delta, American, US Airways and Continental also let you buy more than one seat in coach if you call them (and pay the over-the-phone-booking fee)

Southwest won’t let you.

What I like about JetBlue is the open-mildness of choice.

Lastly, my maiden name is Azula… And the Founder of JetBlue went on to create an airline called Azul in Brazil.  How can I not like them?

10) THEY GET DIVERSITY

And we just saw a case of other airlines not getting it (and by that I mean… United?, What’s up!? This is what John Stuart had to say)

In New York I read that JetBlue isa La Aerolinea de Nueva York.

Hispanics will make up 30–40% of the USA Population by 2050…

In fact, I t0ok that picture above because I was happy they talk to me…

By 2050 the majority of the country will be non-white…

So much so that in the latest episode of Louie… Louis CK Made a joke about how in NYC he might have to stop saying he is the majority… Because he HAS TO when he notices that “Oh, I’m the only majority here”…

Things are changing and we are becoming more diverse.

It is important for companies to learn about the changes…

One More!  Just because you are reading this here

11) WIDEST SEATS IN THE INDUSTRY

The picture that speaks a thousand words…

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