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You've got questions; we might get answers

You've got questions; we might get answers

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Old Jun 5, 08, 7:50 am
  #1  
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Question You've got questions; we might get answers

With the JFK T5 tour and visit with JetBlue folks coming up tomorrow, I thought I'd throw out the opportunity to folks who won't be able to attend to toss out some questions that we can ask for you at the event. Among others, we'll be meeting with the Director of Loyalty Marketing (aka TrueBlue), so we should have ample opportunity to get at some real info. No guarantee that they'll actually answer, but we can try.

So if you've got anything you want us to ask, post it here...
  • Are there any plans to make better use of the EI/LH partnerships to allow for reciprocal earning/burning?
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Old Jun 5, 08, 9:22 am
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  • With fuel prices so high, is JetBlue/airline industry looking into converting to a hybrid setup or alternative fuel source for relieve (near or long term)?
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Old Jun 5, 08, 12:02 pm
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What percentage of TrueBlue members actually redeem points for flight (s) in a given year?

Why doesn't JetBlue market itself in out stations, especially in the west, where it is trying to grow a west coast corridor business (by stealing traffic from WN, AS, UA) but is virtually unknown?

In low-frequency markets, why doesn't JetBlue set up interlining agreements for irrops situations to reassure business travelers that can't risk being stranded by a 12- or 24-hour flight delay and therefore do not book B6 much?

Is the fact that B6 now usually quotes at least as expensive as legacy competitors due to: a strategic backing away from price competition; confidence in the "draw" of a better inflight product; crude / slow yield management; or some other factor?

Thanks for thinking to ask for questions!
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Old Jun 5, 08, 1:13 pm
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The percentage of redeemed awards is listed in the annual report of the company. I forgot what it was exactly, but it's available on the JBLU Investor Relations page.
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Old Jun 5, 08, 2:07 pm
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I'd be interested in knowing about "BetaBlue" ... When/if we might see another plane (or more) added to the beta testing?

I'd love to try that out but the 1% chance of getting to fly on that plane havent worked out in my favor as yet.
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Old Jun 5, 08, 5:49 pm
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In order of Importance
1. With the increase in the number of overweight people in this country , have you considered offering a WIDER seat in addition to more legroom ala Spirit's BIG FRONT SEAT?

2. Have you considered offering Buy On Board (aka BOB) on for your longer flights (over 4 hours)? Perhaps offering a system for customers to order meals in advance might limit problems with excess weight or overstocking.

3. Whats the deal with the JFK-SLC route, Jetblue has been flying it over 7 years now, yet it is still only 1 flight at less than diserable times?

4. What percentage of A320 aircraft actually have XM installed?
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Old Jun 5, 08, 6:47 pm
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These are random questions, maybe not very good questions, maybe already known answers....so don't consider these very pressing questions, but here goes:

Any plans to expand Austin more? Possibly make it a mid-country hub to make transcons cheaper, by cutting them up?

What's gonna happen to T6 after T5 opens?
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Old Jun 6, 08, 1:56 am
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Any plans to expand the TrueBlue program? (add points earning partners, various reward levels, redemption of other airlines, etc...)
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Old Jun 6, 08, 6:13 pm
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Are there any plans to add new routes this year? New cities are out of the question but are some low risk "connecting dots" on the board?
American's dropping AUS-RDU and AUS-SEA in September. They used MD-80's so people will fly those routes but AA couldn't make it work with fuel. The Embraer 190's would be perfect here. Also, Orlando to Richmond and Raleigh Durham would make a lot of sense too.

Last edited by MrPresident1776; Jun 9, 08 at 5:53 pm
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Old Jun 6, 08, 7:50 pm
  #10  
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Answers from the event today....

Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
  • Are there any plans to make better use of the EI/LH partnerships to allow for reciprocal earning/burning?
Efforts are underway to effect a reciprocal earn & burn plan with the LH M&M program. EI is also being considered, but my impression based on the response is that it is less of a priority than LH is.
Originally Posted by Seat13c View Post
  • With fuel prices so high, is JetBlue/airline industry looking into converting to a hybrid setup or alternative fuel source for relieve (near or long term)?
B6 has been a pioneer in the fuel efficiency efforts, including leading the single-engine taxi efforts that many airlines are now undertaking. There are no new/additional efforts in fuel efficiency that B6 foresees.
Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
What percentage of TrueBlue members actually redeem points for flight (s) in a given year?
Not directly asked and implicitly answered. There are 6MM TB members of which 35% have taken a flight in the last 12 months. TB availability continues to remain at the top end of the industry in terms of reward flights. There are definitely some routes/dates that are not going to have availability based on the Revenue Management group's needs. JFK-SEA is one of the hardest reward seats to find, and several other routes are also difficult, especially on holiday weekends. In other words, even though there are no blackout dates, don't necessarily expect to get a TB reward seat on any particular flight, especially on high leisure destinations and holiday weekends. That bing said, much like other carriers, TB reward seats might open up closer to the departure date, so keep looking.
Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
Why doesn't JetBlue market itself in out stations, especially in the west, where it is trying to grow a west coast corridor business (by stealing traffic from WN, AS, UA) but is virtually unknown?
The past few months have seen the launch of National marketing efforts. In the near future (<6 weeks) we should start to see more targeted destination marketing. They are very keen on using online and other non-traditional forms of advertising (we were on two different B6 subway cars coming back from today's event). Don't expect too much in print media in the near future.
Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
In low-frequency markets, why doesn't JetBlue set up interlining agreements for irrops situations to reassure business travelers that can't risk being stranded by a 12- or 24-hour flight delay and therefore do not book B6 much?
"This is something that is constantly being considered." My impression is that they are looking to the LH/EI efforts to be proof of concept of the interlining efforts. Once that has been figured out they might try to expand it.
Originally Posted by PepsiAddict View Post
I'd be interested in knowing about "BetaBlue" ... When/if we might see another plane (or more) added to the beta testing?

I'd love to try that out but the 1% chance of getting to fly on that plane havent worked out in my favor as yet.
"Very likely." No further details.
Originally Posted by Jerseyguy View Post
In order of Importance
1. With the increase in the number of overweight people in this country , have you considered offering a WIDER seat in addition to more legroom ala Spirit's BIG FRONT SEAT?
They actually laughed out loud when I asked this. Don't expect to see this anytime soon
Originally Posted by Jerseyguy View Post
2. Have you considered offering Buy On Board (aka BOB) on for your longer flights (over 4 hours)? Perhaps offering a system for customers to order meals in advance might limit problems with excess weight or overstocking.
Considered but not likely to happen. The advance ordering thing didn't work well for Song, and the terminals have quite a few options for grab 'n' go that are pretty good. At least JFK does. The logistics are hard and the yields don't seem to be very high. It isn't likely to happen in the near future to.
Originally Posted by Jerseyguy View Post
3. Whats the deal with the JFK-SLC route, Jetblue has been flying it over 7 years now, yet it is still only 1 flight at less than diserable times?
Not asked and not answered; sorry.
Originally Posted by Jerseyguy View Post
4. What percentage of A320 aircraft actually have XM installed?
They are at 92% of aircraft. And he knew the number off the top of his head. So either he was making it up or that's really the number.

Originally Posted by ty97 View Post
Any plans to expand Austin more? Possibly make it a mid-country hub to make transcons cheaper, by cutting them up?
Not asked and not answered.
Originally Posted by ty97 View Post
What's gonna happen to T6 after T5 opens?
TBD. They are looking at a "phase 2" plan that might include lots of different things. Or maybe Jeff, Director of Reconstruction was just hoping that he still has a job. Really though it seems like T6 has no specific plans for the immediate future. The cutover from T6 to T5 will be a hard cut one day, so the day T5 goes live T6 will go into hibernation mode, though available as a backup should the B6 T5 be as bad as the BA T5 at LHR.
Originally Posted by dinosims View Post
Any plans to expand the TrueBlue program? (add points earning partners, various reward levels, redemption of other airlines, etc...)
There is a rework of the TrueBlue program in the works. They expect to have details figured out in the next 8-10 weeks and more announcements to the public at some point(s) after that. The change(s) will not be dramatic but there will be some new things coming down the pike. There is no expectation of tiers in the program - they like the socialist aspect of equality - and there is no specific expectation of partner airlines other than the LH and possibly EI partnerships as mentioned above.

My perception is that LH is very much going to happen as an earn & burn partner in the relatively near future and that everything else is a pipe dream at this point.


Some other comments that I found interesting from the Q&A period:

Opening LAX was an $11MM investment that was deferred. That is a way higher number than I think any of us here expected to hear mentioned associated with the service.

They expect to be able to handle 4000 bags per hour with the 10 CTX9000 machines they have in the baggage screening facility. Of those, 90% are expected to be handled automagically by the machines. The other 10% will be handled by various TSOs in the screening/sorting room. The machines that they have for the sorting and other management of the baggage is pretty impressive. We weren't allowed to take photos in the TSA part of the facility, but it really was cool (to me ).

The TSA passenger screening area is going to be 20 lanes wide (possibly largest in the country, though I think ATL is close). They will be doing the self-selection expert lane thing, which I'm pretty sure doesn't actually work, but they're doing it. There will be dedicated lanes for selectees (SSSS) and the family lanes will be slightly wider (20 feet v. 14 feet) to accommodate the additional "stuff" that families bring to the TSA checkpoint. The TSA area is roughly the size of a US football field. It was really big, especially without all the equipment in there.

I'm sure I'll think of more as happy hour wears off. It really was a great event.

Last edited by sbm12; Jun 6, 08 at 9:36 pm Reason: UBB fix.
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Old Jun 6, 08, 9:35 pm
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
They actually laughed out loud when I asked this. Don't expect to see this anytime soon
I'm happy I could provide some amusement for our gracious BlueCrew hosts but I'm even happier I didn't attend and ask that question myself. Although my next B6 trip after September is going to be from EWR so I may have to wait on seeing T5.
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Old Jun 6, 08, 9:59 pm
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Before we launched the EML seats, the company looked at a business class section. It was decided that the EML section would be a greater benefit to a larger number of customers.
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Old Jun 6, 08, 10:41 pm
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
Answers from the event today....
Thanks for getting the answers to all those questions. Very interesting stuff. Wish I could have been there.
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Old Jun 6, 08, 11:14 pm
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sbm12, excellent work. Thanks very much for relaying the questions and answers. Very gracious of you!
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Old Jun 7, 08, 8:40 am
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Originally Posted by JetBlueFA View Post
Before we launched the EML seats, the company looked at a business class section. It was decided that the EML section would be a greater benefit to a larger number of customers.
The other comment that was made about this is that there was pretty much no way B6 was going to remove more seats from the plane because the yields weren't there.
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