From time to time the general public can be pretty critical of the airlines. There are thousands of flights on dozens of airlines each day, so, of course, some of the criticism is warranted. However, there are times when an airline goes above and beyond for a passenger and THAT is how you build brand loyalty. Let me tell you about my day...
I opted for a 9:30 AM departure to Salt Lake City, UT from New York (JFK) on JetBlue Airways. I am already a TrueBlue member (JetBlue’s frequent flier program) and I downloaded the JetBlue App. I checked in 24 hours prior to my departure by clicking a few buttons within my App. After a short Uber ride, I arrived at JFK Terminal 5 at 7:30 AM. The JetBlue representative at the self-service kiosk helped me get situated, checked my bag and got me on my way to the TSA Pre-Check security line. I had to wait less than 15 seconds for one person ahead of me.
My briefcase and I breezed through security and I decided to buy a book while I waited. The aircraft arrived as scheduled and we boarded on time. The first person I saw onboard was Daniel, one of the flight attendants. His uniform was pressed, he was clean-shaven and greeted me with a smile. For such a long flight I opted for an “Even More Space” extra legroom seat, and was seated in the first row. My seat put me in prime position to watch Daniel as he greeted almost EVERY passenger with a smile and a warm “good morning”. For the record, I usually wear a sport coat when I fly. I do this for two reasons - I feel that it shows respect for the flight crew (and my fellow passengers), but also because I don’t want to pack a jacket. Daniel and the other two attendants were attentive to all the passengers (Even the ones who looked like they just rolled out of bed and threw on a pair of sweatpants and flip flops!!)
We took off on time and the Captain informed us the climb out would be a bit bumpy due to some inclimate weather. He was correct. But we survived! The plane smoothed right out and our flight attendants got to work. I connected to Fly-Fi (JetBlue’s free inflight WIFI) as my seatmate and I chatted briefly before he fell asleep. I was connected to the old World Wide Web and settled in to get some work done during my 4.5 hour flight. I should point out, in the interest of full disclosure, that I don’t sleep well on planes. So I try to keep busy to pass the time.
I was in the mood for something to snack on, so I opted to purchase lunch. Daniel came by with my turkey and pepper jack cheese on a baguette. I had some raw almonds I brought with me and also purchased two Bloody Mary’s - Don’t judge!! I’m not a fan of turbulence, alright!!
The flight smoothed out as we flew 450 MPH away from the weather system in the Northeast. I continued texting with my friend via Fly-Fi, checked in on my co-workers and answered some emails. The time flew by… pun intended. Our Captain soon emerged from the cockpit and alerted Daniel and his crew that we’d be arriving 30 minutes early to the gate! (Favorable winds and a short taxi at JFK were the reason.) We arrived, taxied to the gate and swiftly deplaned. I retrieved my bag from the baggage claim area and was at my hotel in fifteen minutes flat!
JetBlue, along with a host of other airlines, transport millions of people safely from points A to B every day. All the elements have to work in concert 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It’s a tough, relentless, zero-margin-of-error business. My flight experiences don’t always go this smoothly, but they do the vast majority of the time. So on your next flight, give the airline you’re flying a little latitude - they’ll provide the altitude - and the result will be a safe, sane and comfortable ride to your next great adventure.
Thanks, JetBlue, for a marvelous experience.
About The Author
Erik Hastings, a.k.a. Erik the Travel Guy is an EMMY award-winning television personality who is rapidly emerging as “America’s Travel Expert”. He is the host and managing editor of the internationally syndicated television series "Beyond Your Backyard" for public broadcasting stations (PBS) and other networks/VOD platforms. Erik leads an incredibly talented team of industry pros as the driving force of his platform. Erik understands and believes travel makes the world a better place and the industry directly supports millions of families all over the world. He wants his viewers to experience the potentially life-changing positive power of travel.
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TV Series: Beyond Your Backyard
I am on a mission to get you traveling more often. As the host of the Emmy award- winning, nationally syndicated television television for PBS and the Create channel, "Beyond Your Backyard," I travel (on average) 25 weeks per year. I am very grateful for the opportunity to meet cool people, experience new places, eat delicious food and work with the best production crew in the world. Hopefully, through this blog, you will join me on my travels and be reminded just how exciting it is to be alive!