I Love JetBlue

November 27, 2005

I was recently comfortably seated in the sixth row of a JetBlue flight to San Jose when I noticed a familiar figure seated in the front row. Immediately after reaching cruising altitude, David Neeleman stood and introduced himself to the passengers as the CEO of JetBlue.

He said he would be serving the passengers this morning along with the cabin crew and would be happy to speak with anyone who might have something on his or her mind. He then brought his tray of snacks through the aisle serving the passengers. I overheard passengers expressing their desire to fly JetBlue to Europe. Mr. Neeleman explained the fuel limitations of their jets. Another person chimed in that they could refuel in Newfoundland. Another said they would rather have a refueling stop than fly any other airline. When he reached my row I told him that I had written about JetBlue in my most recent book, The Best of Branding. I asked if he would like me to send him a copy, he said he would. When the flight landed in San Jose he again spoke to each passenger as they disembarked. As I gave my farewell I reminded him to be on the lookout for my book and he said, “Right, The Best of Branding.” Wow, I was so impressed. Here is a fully engaged CEO who knows his brand.

In my book I included an experience CoreBrand’s Managing Director Karl Barnhart had on a JetBlue flight to Orlando a few years ago: “…the plane was full of kids on their way to see Mickey. The pilot and the first officer were joking around the whole way down and the kids on the plane loved it. I’ve never been on a plane like this before, ever. It was fantastic. Everything was so consistent, so well done, with their identity and the experience they offered. And the experience was the big star.” I felt the same way about my flight; it was a real love fest and a wonderful branding experience to observe. I love JetBlue.

- James R. Gregory jgregory@corebrand.com

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