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JetBlue CEO Dave Barger holds the giant scissors to cut the ribbon
While the country is still fixated on the pilot freakout drama of Flight 191, JetBlue turned the frown upside-down today to celebrate the opening of their new international headquarters. Granted, they only moved down the length of Queens Boulevard in New York City's borough of Queens, but the change of space preludes changes for both the city and for the airline.
You may not even know that JetBlue, now just over ten years old, considered ditching NY for a sunnier spot a couple years ago. Thanks to the efforts of local politicians like good ol' Mayor Mike Bloomberg, and some other wheeling and dealing, JetBlue cemented its claim to the title of "New York's Hometown Airline" by keeping their biz in the Big Apple.
The lucky location? It's the Brewster Building, in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens. The place already comes complete with an aviation history, as it was once the factory that produced the F2A "Brewster Buffalo" naval aircraft during World War II (plus a time as a Rolls Royce car factorybow chicka bow wow). As a passenger, this doesn't really matter to you since it's only JetBlue support staff who'll be heading through the revolving doors. And yet, it's cool to know about these things.
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So JetBlue was like, "hey, we're throwing a little party with cheerleaders, buffalo wings and cookies and oh, it's going to be in our hangar and oh, the star of the day is a new plane." So duh, we hightailed our butts out to JFK today and caught the grand unveiling of JetBlue's first non-blue livery, done in honor of the NY Jets football team.
JetBlue is a sponsor of the team and this bird's first commercial flight will whisk the team, some lucky fans and JetBlue employees to Denver this weekend for the Jets versus Broncos game. After that, you'll see it hopping from airport to airport as part of the regular JetBlue fleet, but we wonderwill the other JetBlue planes pick on it for being different?
It was a seemingly normal Jetblue flight that departed this morning from JFK; the Dunkin Donuts coffee was flowing, the seat-back TVs were turned to morning newscasts, and passengers were eagerly chatting about their plans in Los Angeles.
Wait a secondLos Angeles? Jetblue doesn't fly there. As of this morning, they do now! It was apparent that this morning's flight 671 to LAX was more than routine, what with the free mimosas and in-flight movies, the limited WiFi access as we were traveling on LiveTV-enabled BetaBlue, the raffle for free tickets, and NY Post gossip columnist Cindy Adams petting her Yorkies up front.
It was just over five hours of beautiful flying, and landing at LAX was the best part. BetaBlue was greeted in true inaugural flight style by an arc of water from LAX's firetruckswe've got a video of this and more, just wait until tomorrow. Jetblue CEO Dave Barger was there at the exit to welcome every deplaning passenger to LAX with breakfast pastries, cake, a youth mariachi band, and the announcement that they'd be making a huge donation to VH1's Save the Music Foundation. And if there's one thing that gets LA's attention, it's money.
· Head to Hollywood: Jetblue Cuts the Ribbon on LAX Route [Jaunted]
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Yesterday's shindig out at JetBlue's new Terminal 5 was no boring, corporate ribbon-cutting, nossir it was not. Instead, the carrier threw a straight-up block party to celebrate more than just a new address; the festivities and congratulations all centered on JetBlue's employees, many of whom turned out to spend half the day cavorting in their future workplace.
Getting business out of the way with a packed-to-the-gills press conference at 2 pm, where JetBlue founder (and current Azul airline mogul) David Neeleman entered to an immediate standing ovation, the day slowly progressed into pure fun with a performance by Estelle and free booze.