JetBlue’s Superstar London Flight Attendants

JetBlue’s Superstar London Flight Attendants

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JetBlue has just started service between New York and London, and as part of this, the airline is taking a unique approach to staffing these flights. I think this is worth highlighting, in particular to contrast it to how virtually all other major airlines in the United States go about assigning flights to flight attendants.

The problem with premium service at US airlines

Often discussions around service at airlines in the United States end up coming down to one of two “issues,” both of which are concerns I don’t share:

  • Unionized flight attendants vs. non-unionized flight attendants — I support flight attendants’ rights to unionize if they’d like to, and I’ve had great flight attendants on Delta (non-unionized) and I’ve had great flight attendants on Southwest (unionized)
  • The age of flight attendants — I’ve had fantastic service from flight attendants of all ages, and I’ve had some of the best service (and for that matter, also some of the worst service) from the most senior flight attendants

If you ask me, there are a few reasons that airlines in the United States generally can’t compete on service, especially in comparison to foreign rivals:

  • A pure seniority based system — at most airlines in the United States, bidding of flights and cabins is almost exclusively seniority based, with the most senior flight attendants having their pick of flights and cabins; while I’m all for rewarding people for loyalty, in my opinion that shouldn’t be the only consideration
  • No accountability onboard — at the end of the day there’s no actual “boss” onboard the plane, who holds the crew accountable; at many foreign carriers you have an inflight service manager who is actually a “manager,” while at US airlines you have a purser who is paid a couple of extra bucks per hour to do paperwork and make announcements
  • No dedicated premium cabin crews — while airlines should treat all passengers with respect, you’d think that airlines would offer elevated service in premium cabins and/or on high yield routes; in theory you’d think that an American Airlines Dallas to Hong Kong flight in first class should have a higher service standard than an American Airlines Dallas to Tulsa flight in economy
Generally seniority is all that matters at US airlines

JetBlue has special London flight attendants

JetBlue is taking great pride in its new flights to London. After all, it’s a whole new frontier for the airline, and the airline has gorgeous new A321LRs that exclusively operate this route.

But it’s not just the planes that exclusively operate these routes, but also the crews. Flight attendants that work JetBlue’s London flights will exclusively work these flights for 18 months, as they have a special contract for this service.

And the selection process for these flight attendants is nothing short of astounding:

  • So far there are just over 50 flight attendants who have been chosen to work these routes
  • They’re all former Mint business class flight attendants (yes, including those who work economy on London flights)
  • 400-500 flight attendants applied, so the acceptance rate so far has been around 10%
  • The process of being selected was nothing short of arduous, with video interviews, in-person one-on-one interviews, group exercises, essays about why flight attendants wanted to be chosen for this role, letters of recommendation from leadership, and more

While these routes are still new (and we’ll see if excitement decreases over time), the crews working these flights are ridiculously excited. One flight attendant told me “it’s a real honor to be selected for this, I was pinching myself when I finally got the contract.”

Every aspect of the passenger experience reflects the genuine enthusiasm and pride that crews have in the experience. And to be clear, this isn’t a totally new concept for JetBlue — the airline has long had dedicated Mint business class flight attendants, and they’ve been the most consistently excellent crews you’ll find at any airline in the United States, in my opinion. The London crews are just an even more elevated version of that, if that’s possible.

JetBlue has special crews for its London flights

What a novel concept for an airline to:

  • Recognize on which routes it’s most important to put in the most effort
  • Staff accordingly, with flight attendants who share the company’s vision and excitement, and actually want to go out of their way to work these flights

I can’t help but compare this to my flight in American Airlines first class from Dallas to Hong Kong just before the pandemic. How does American go about staffing first class on the carrier’s most premium route? It’s purely based on seniority:

  • The most senior flight attendants pick this route because they can get a lot of flight hours without being away from home very long
  • The flight is viewed as being “easy,” and that’s especially true in first class, where there are at most eight passengers, who for the most part don’t have very high service expectations

So yeah, at JetBlue, flight attendants working the most premium cabin on the most premium flight feel honored to be given the opportunity, while at American, flight attendants working the most premium cabin on the most premium flight sometimes seem genuinely inconvenienced by the presence of customers, and view them as self loading freight standing between them and their layover hotel.

Let me once again emphasize that there are some good flight attendants at American as well, but the issue is that it’s complete luck of the draw. If they’re great it’s because they have a good attitude in life and want to be nice, and not because of anything American did to encourage it.

In American first class, service is like a box of chocolates

How can JetBlue “get away” with this?

I think a logical question is how JetBlue can “get away” with staffing its most premium cabins and flights with incredible flight attendants (or at least flight attendants who actually want to work there, and who go through the process of applying), given that historically the major US carriers have used a strict seniority based system.

Why don’t other airlines do this? Heck, if nothing else, create a super complicated application process, so that flight attendants have to jump through hoops to work these flights, and show some initiative.

I think it’s worth noting that up until fairly recently, JetBlue flight attendants haven’t been unionized, meaning that there wasn’t really an organized group that could object to this.

In 2018, JetBlue’s flight attendants voted to unionize, and be represented by the Transport Workers Union. However, in late 2020, JetBlue flight attendants rejected the contract they were offered, and to my knowledge they still don’t have a proper union contract.

My hope is that even once JetBlue has a full union contract, the airline will still be able to take its current approach to staffing Mint business class cabins, as well as its London flights. I’m not at all coming at this from an anti-union standpoint, but rather from a practical standpoint — JetBlue’s Mint flight attendants are consistently phenomenal, they love their jobs and it shows, and the current system works. While there’s a lot that’s great about the JetBlue Mint transatlantic experience, the consistently phenomenal service is the single biggest competitive advantage.

I hope JetBlue’s current staffing system stays in place

Bottom line

In my experience JetBlue offers the most consistently exceptional service of any US airline in its premium cabins and on premium routes. The airline does this by making flight attendants apply to work in Mint business class or to London, rather than just assigning these flights based on seniority. What an incredibly refreshing concept.

I’d be fascinated to know how the non-Mint crews feel about this, and if this causes problems behind the scenes. JetBlue’s system for crewing these flights is the single best thing about this service — I hope it sticks around, and I’d love to see other airlines adopt a similar system (though there’s no way that’s happening, unfortunately).

If you’ve flown JetBlue Mint, have you found service to be as consistently excellent as I have? What do you make of JetBlue’s approach to crewing these flights?

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  1. Robb

    This is a very good idea for JetBlue..A few years ago my airline did the same thing ( yes I am a FA,)as my airline had been awarded a very prestigious charter contract..We had to interview, write why we were the best fit for the contract...We all truly wanted to make the cut and be offered those charter flights.

  2. Flight Attendant

    I am a 20 year JB FA and I think your perspective has some value, however I know that I would be an excellent FA for these routes having flown as a International FA for my former airline. The number of years of seniority doesn't mean you always get lousy or disinterested service. Many of the senior FAs still love their jobs and uphold the airline standards for business and first class. Its a privilege...

    I am a 20 year JB FA and I think your perspective has some value, however I know that I would be an excellent FA for these routes having flown as a International FA for my former airline. The number of years of seniority doesn't mean you always get lousy or disinterested service. Many of the senior FAs still love their jobs and uphold the airline standards for business and first class. Its a privilege by seniority at other airlines to be able to fly these routes and the FAs enjoy the passengers and providing the service. I was part of the original group of FAs that helped design this JB Mint service. That's a contribution I am very proud of. Not only do you have to jump through hoops to get into our program, you must be based in JFK or BOS. We have other bases where many fine FAs live MCO, FLL, LAX and these FAs are excluded unless they want to go live in BOS/JFK and/or pay for an additional place to live. The program parameters we have are definitely not my favorite and do not value seniority or longevity. Thats a shame because our 20-21+ year FAs brought this Company to where they are today by providing the JB experience with excellence. In addition we have been negotiating for 3 years for our FAs to get a contract as we are members of the Transport Workers Union. JB FAs are paid below industry average in salary, work rules, and benefits. Yet they still provide on all of our flights domestic and international, Award winning Industry leading service to our passengers, whether they are senior or junior FAs.

  3. Captain Bob

    The last couple of flights I took found the cabin staff very jittery. That's probably some mouthy passengers who think they are above being decent and talk trash to the staff.
    They all need to be kicked off the flight.

  4. ConnieWebber

    I loved being a stewardess for Continental Airlines and Was chosen to introduce Vice President Lyndon B Johnson at the inauguration of “our New LAX with Boeing 707s “ in 1961. I had suggested showing Movies aboard flights and I was selected for Special Flights. Connie Webber.

  5. Douglas DeNunzio

    I he old delay from o hare to Atlanta from the c Hartford to Atlanta.

  6. Chris

    If you don't know the importance of unionization at the workplace, you shouldn't be commenting. This has to be one of the most offensive and poorly written pieces I've ever read. Quite shameful. It's people like you that engender socio-economic stratification and make the world a far worse place. Don't fly non-union airlines. Some of us have a code of ethics and morals.

  7. Tom Krpata

    I like the article but what are we to think about the flight attendants on "non premium" flights? Do we then expect yo have crappy flight attendants on simple domestic routes.
    The other part of the artic look e is about flight attendants choosing routes based on most flight hours. As a past employee of a major US carrier, many of the attendants also look at certain layover cities for the amount of time...

    I like the article but what are we to think about the flight attendants on "non premium" flights? Do we then expect yo have crappy flight attendants on simple domestic routes.
    The other part of the artic look e is about flight attendants choosing routes based on most flight hours. As a past employee of a major US carrier, many of the attendants also look at certain layover cities for the amount of time they spend there. They love a 24 - 36 hour layover where they become tourists during their paid stay !

  8. J. Brown

    It really has NOTHING to do with the age or seniority of the flight attendants working international flights, it has to do with TRAINING and having the tools we need to do our jobs well. Once upon a time, most major US airlines had domestic and international divisions and any FA in the International Division was given extra service training and was held to a higher lever of performance. International service was much better then...

    It really has NOTHING to do with the age or seniority of the flight attendants working international flights, it has to do with TRAINING and having the tools we need to do our jobs well. Once upon a time, most major US airlines had domestic and international divisions and any FA in the International Division was given extra service training and was held to a higher lever of performance. International service was much better then on US carriers. But through bankruptcies, mergers, and rampant cost-cutting, the International Divisions went away because airlines no longer wanted to provide the extra service training required. So now we are left with a situation where most US FAs are not trained properly or well to perform International services or to anticipate the needs or desires of international travelers.

  9. Natasha

    Who holds management responsible for choosing actual qualified flight attendants, and not friends or favorites, or simply because they’re “better looking?”

  10. Stephen Roese

    This post really hit home. I have been trying to understand the difference in service between business class on AA or BA vs QATAR or Etihad. It truly is like a completely different concept. Try saying I would like to sleep now and eat later on AA or BA...the response alone says it all.

  11. A real jb FA

    Lol how do the other crews feel about it?

    London is poorly paid. Many people were actually offered it that interview and turned it down because the pay so so incredibly low. The trips are unproductive those working it only make 8-2 extra dollars an hour. It’s actually a pay decrease from domestic. The people that want to work it are people who just really love it. Which is too bad because it means...

    Lol how do the other crews feel about it?

    London is poorly paid. Many people were actually offered it that interview and turned it down because the pay so so incredibly low. The trips are unproductive those working it only make 8-2 extra dollars an hour. It’s actually a pay decrease from domestic. The people that want to work it are people who just really love it. Which is too bad because it means nobody gets paid better when people are willing to do it for pennies.

    Ask most of us- we don’t want to work those flights LOL

    1. Flygurl

      Also, the newer FAs choose to apply for Mint because it allows them a reasonable chance at a decent schedule, which is demanding, yes, but not as rigorous as they might otherwise have. At B6, senior mama’s don’t need to bother as they already get the schedule they want and moving to Mint would restrict their flexibility. So, its not that they didn’t get accepted, they never applied.
      Lucky has a few things correct...

      Also, the newer FAs choose to apply for Mint because it allows them a reasonable chance at a decent schedule, which is demanding, yes, but not as rigorous as they might otherwise have. At B6, senior mama’s don’t need to bother as they already get the schedule they want and moving to Mint would restrict their flexibility. So, its not that they didn’t get accepted, they never applied.
      Lucky has a few things correct in his article, but he doesn’t have the whole story as to how the process really works. Furthermore, there are plenty of FAs who are quite capable (and perhaps even interested) who don’t apply because they don’t want to commute to JF(stinking)K to go to work. Another words they are already based out of another B6 base and don’t want to leave it. If you live in South Florida snd are based at FLL and are fairly senior, why would you apply for Mint when that would mean having to get on a plane to fly to JFK before you could go to work.
      (Insert LA, Orlando, Boston) It doesn’t make sense.
      So you see Lucky, you DON’T have the whole story.

  12. Lynne

    The “spirit “ of most airlines is to make money, which translates to cutting costs. Passengers are now called customers by companies.
    As much as the author longs for a 19th century servant on board consisting of employees competing against each other to be the most obsequious maid, flight attendants exist to protect passenger‘s lives.
    While salaries have shrunk against inflation, hours have increased, and airplanes are crammed full. Oxygen onboard has been...

    The “spirit “ of most airlines is to make money, which translates to cutting costs. Passengers are now called customers by companies.
    As much as the author longs for a 19th century servant on board consisting of employees competing against each other to be the most obsequious maid, flight attendants exist to protect passenger‘s lives.
    While salaries have shrunk against inflation, hours have increased, and airplanes are crammed full. Oxygen onboard has been cut resulting in Co2 deprived passenger misconduct.
    Amidst this, the diminished food and amenities are dispensed by the crew keeping a watchful eye for medical and mechanical emergencies.
    You are in good hands, sans the white gloves and livery gear of a paid servant.
    If you are looking for a slave, you are too late, Lincoln got there first.

    1. Lee Martin

      It is this attitude which drives me to spend my money on Qatar and Emirates. Their employees understand the concept of providing good service. That doesn’t mean servitude, it simply means providing the service one pays for. It also makes it more likely they come back.

      I had an itinerary this year where I flew Air Canada to Doha and connected to Qatar. The difference between the two could it be more striking.

      ...

      It is this attitude which drives me to spend my money on Qatar and Emirates. Their employees understand the concept of providing good service. That doesn’t mean servitude, it simply means providing the service one pays for. It also makes it more likely they come back.

      I had an itinerary this year where I flew Air Canada to Doha and connected to Qatar. The difference between the two could it be more striking.

      This is why when I fly business class, which is often, if they fly the route Qatar gets my money.

  13. Schar

    just an observation Ben, but this is YOUR blog, and YOU are writing this post, no need to say "in my opinion" after every third sentence. chill, we know its your damn opinion this is your damn blog hahah

  14. Angelo C

    Hey Ben,
    As an airline executive team ass kisser, how many true blue points did you get for writing this trash? As someone who knows what really happened during this "selection" process (nobody wants to fly this route) you made me crack up! Keep writing trash and getting free flights you ass kisser!

  15. SEASteve

    I was a flight attendant for 35 years and retired a year ago this month. I agree with you. I saw my position as sales; I did what I could to make my passengers want to come back.
    I hated working alongside unpolished clods whose only reason for being there was seniority.
    It was funny in a sad sort of way to sign up for positions with people who do the trip each...

    I was a flight attendant for 35 years and retired a year ago this month. I agree with you. I saw my position as sales; I did what I could to make my passengers want to come back.
    I hated working alongside unpolished clods whose only reason for being there was seniority.
    It was funny in a sad sort of way to sign up for positions with people who do the trip each week and still have zero clue.
    A dedicated crew based on language, service, and commitment is the way to go.

  16. Sudah Yehuda shaheb

    The lack of service or courtesy among the USA based airlines is well known. Now on top of that there is an excuse not to have contact.. the pandemic. In the last month I have had four trans atlantic legs .. Polaris Iberia both virtually Zero. in service and food.
    swiss from Zurich to Miami was a dream, wonderful service and great food .
    Oh How I miss Qatar Airways!
    I like the policy of JB Mint.. compete for your space with eagerness to serve the premium classes..

  17. D3kingg

    I would take that American Flagship First suite on a 77W in a heartbeat as opposed to Jet Blue’s high end service and superior catering on an a321.

    1. Berisha

      The seats are quite nice on AA, but after three flights with a nice seat and possibly the worst service I’ve ever experienced, I wouldn’t be so quick to choose them over B6. One of the flight attendants call me Kitten, for goodness sake. My name isn’t Kitten.

  18. Tom

    I worked for both AA and JB.
    My years with AA were great and I honestly enjoyed them until I was furloughed. However, my years with JB were a NIGHTMARE! Since they are non-unionized they fly their crews to exhaustion and then have them clean the cabin between flights. The JB thru out the network were always unprofessional and we always seemed to have issues with crew scheduling..like being abandoned at a Florida airport...

    I worked for both AA and JB.
    My years with AA were great and I honestly enjoyed them until I was furloughed. However, my years with JB were a NIGHTMARE! Since they are non-unionized they fly their crews to exhaustion and then have them clean the cabin between flights. The JB thru out the network were always unprofessional and we always seemed to have issues with crew scheduling..like being abandoned at a Florida airport during a hurricane..I mean AT THE TERMINAL without a hotel! So it looks to the OUTSIDER all is well but looks ARE NOT ALWAYS WHAT THEY SEEM!!!

  19. E Kondrat

    I have flown Mint across the US a couple of times and have had a wonderful experience both times. I should also say that my daughter is one of the phenomenal Mint flight attendants you mentioned. She’s not New York based so doesn’t fly to London…yet. Hopefully, with the success of the New York flights, other bases will schedule flights across the Atlantic.

  20. Michael

    I was a JetBlue IFC for 15 years with 27 years at TWA preceding that.

    IMHO, the majority of B6s FAs are customer- service- focused. JetBlue knows who to hire and they don't discriminate.

    My absolute best customer- service years were spent at JetBlue. I had to leave for personal reasons that I now regret.

    Today, I would trade my handsome ageless face and my tall fit body to continue to " give up a...

    I was a JetBlue IFC for 15 years with 27 years at TWA preceding that.

    IMHO, the majority of B6s FAs are customer- service- focused. JetBlue knows who to hire and they don't discriminate.

    My absolute best customer- service years were spent at JetBlue. I had to leave for personal reasons that I now regret.

    Today, I would trade my handsome ageless face and my tall fit body to continue to " give up a little bit of myself" to keep the Customer happy.

    But, alas, I cannot.

    I am so happy that others seem to be carrying the "torch".

    Happy Jetting!

    Mike

  21. IAHGuy

    Lucky,
    You hit the nail on the head.
    In Asia the FA profession is still considered glamorous and the service is an art (Singapore Airlines, Garuda Indonesia are just some example as you have experienced yourself). The screening process is very tough and they have to meet a very high service standards to get hired.
    Here in the US being a FA is considered just a regular job, and it’s up to...

    Lucky,
    You hit the nail on the head.
    In Asia the FA profession is still considered glamorous and the service is an art (Singapore Airlines, Garuda Indonesia are just some example as you have experienced yourself). The screening process is very tough and they have to meet a very high service standards to get hired.
    Here in the US being a FA is considered just a regular job, and it’s up to the individuals to perform and behave as they want, as long as they meet a certain (basic if not low) service standard. The real issue is that there is minimum to no incentives for them to want to perform above and beyond, making most of them resort to the “why bother” attitude.
    You are also correct about the issue of the absence of an in-flight service manager, since with very little to no supervision the FAs won’t have someone to keep them on their toes, and will just slack on their performance. Hey, as long as I did all the basics of what I need to do, where I don’t even need to smile or be nice, I can just sit back, ignore help requests unless it’s super urgent, and enjoy my sweet (paid) time unbothered, right?
    On the flip side, I’ve seen passengers who abused the system and taking advantage of the kindness of FAs (mostly on Asian carriers), and that rude and manipulative behaviors is really appalling. It is hard work for a FA when you want to be good at what you do and there are people who took advantage of you.
    Until there is a competition between the FAs to perform, like what JetBlue did to select their best FAs for their London route, I believe we have to be content with what we have, and can only hope there will be the best FAs we can get from any particular airline we will fly with in our next flight.
    And for my part, I will always be respectful and kind to these hard working people, and know where to draw the line between a normal request, and something that I want and I can demand just because I can.

  22. Eskimo

    I just hope no crew was from the flight that a Junkie try to threaten the crew with feathers.

    Or trained in handling juvenile with autism using duct tape.

    Right @Elizabeth?

  23. Mark G.

    The age of the crew is extremely noticeable flying international business on a US carrier. Unless a younger flight attendant is filling in for someone on vacation, the cabin crew looks like they're one step from retirement. It's also extremely jarring to be served by someone in her or his 60's if the service they provide doesn't match the quality you'd expect of the 30 years of experience it takes to staff the route.

    That...

    The age of the crew is extremely noticeable flying international business on a US carrier. Unless a younger flight attendant is filling in for someone on vacation, the cabin crew looks like they're one step from retirement. It's also extremely jarring to be served by someone in her or his 60's if the service they provide doesn't match the quality you'd expect of the 30 years of experience it takes to staff the route.

    That being said: the best flight attendant I remember was a senior US Airways crew member I had on my first business class flight from Venice to Philadelphia. 6 years on she is still the example I use to judge my trips.

  24. Brian Drourr

    Having just make the hop from JFK to London and back (12th to 18th) I can say that the flight and flight attendants were awesome. Not sure why dinner is served at midnight on a red eye but at least the food and service were great. It was interesting hearing that more then 1 of the crew recently RN's who wanted break from health care. But where they really shined was helping passengers who did...

    Having just make the hop from JFK to London and back (12th to 18th) I can say that the flight and flight attendants were awesome. Not sure why dinner is served at midnight on a red eye but at least the food and service were great. It was interesting hearing that more then 1 of the crew recently RN's who wanted break from health care. But where they really shined was helping passengers who did not have the needed documentation and or testing set up get as much together as they good under pressure while tbe flight was boarding. Would be helpful for Jet Blue to have some computers on hand for those who need to to sort out trace requirements prior to boarding won't does not needlessly delay the flight. Over all if you are organized and willing to put the work in I would highly recommend making the hop with Jet Blue.

  25. Skyward Geek

    Excellent points made here, Lucky.

    I'll also add that when the airline creates an onboard product and service procedures that both customers AND flight attendants like, along with what you suggested, you have a magical experience where the employee is happy and proud to deliver the service and doesn't have to always apologize and be ashamed of what's served.

  26. Jaime Rodriguez

    JET BLUE HAVE ONE OF THE BEST GREW MEMBERS ON BOARD.I FLOWN A FEW TIMES TO COLOMBIA AND MEXICO CITY GREAT SERVICE
    AND THAT WAS IN ECONOMY. TO BAD THAT JETBLUE DISCONTINUE SERVICE TO MEXICO CITY.I JUST FLOW UNITED TO MEXICO CITY WORST EXPERIENCE. AND AMERICAN THE WORST.BRING BACK JETBLUE TO MEXICO CITY

  27. MoJoe

    "...should have a higher service standard than an American Airlines Dallas to Tulsa flight in economy"

    Woah, woah, woah. Watch what you say/imply, Lucky, I grew up in Tulsa. :-)

    Good article/conjecture on FA staffing on international flights. Given an option to fly U.S. metal or the major foreign airlines overseas, I would almost certainly opt for the foreign airline (e.g. using AA miles to fly Qantas to Australia).

  28. Omar

    This probably means anyone that didn't make the cut here or mint domestic is below average and Jetblue should be avoided for economy domestic travel.

    1. Bob

      That's ridiculous. Only a small percentage of flight attendants staff Mint. Most B6 planes don't even have it. Non-Mint flight attendants are therefore not all "below average." Further, I've found B6 FAs to be great in any cabin.

  29. Clem

    Great write up indeed! And good to know there is such good care in the process, although that was expected from JetBlue. I'd be curious to see if things are as great once the novelty wears off for those flight attendants in several months, especially since working exclusively on TATL flights can be grueling. But I'm thinking it will still be good, since transcon Mint FAs are still as stellar as when it all started. Great job JetBlue!

  30. jetset

    I have no idea if this route will work out for JetBlue or not, BUT, if you’re an executive team trying to ensure success on a highly competitive route, this is how you go about it.

    Too many large companies have very entitled approaches to trying new things - thinking they are ‘owed’ some share of the market based on who they are (I would say often the big 3 US carriers operate this way)....

    I have no idea if this route will work out for JetBlue or not, BUT, if you’re an executive team trying to ensure success on a highly competitive route, this is how you go about it.

    Too many large companies have very entitled approaches to trying new things - thinking they are ‘owed’ some share of the market based on who they are (I would say often the big 3 US carriers operate this way). If you don’t take on this mindset, you would look at all options available to you to ensure a consistent, elevated experience above and beyond competitors. Crews are a substantive portion of the equation so this is great to see vs. the alternative (lazy) approach that there’s nothing that can be done to ensure good crew service aside from training.

  31. Mike

    Can they also put all the passengers through an interview process? Please!

  32. Abey

    It doesn’t have to be union vs non union, it is up to upper management to reward employees who provide good service by giving them the “easy” work, better pay and for this to be a focus for management which it is not at legacy carriers. Even delta which tries to provide a premium experience, when flying JFK-TLV I simply felt bad inconveniencing the grandma who looked to be at least 70…

    1. Samo

      Exactly. Most European airlines have unions (certainly legacy carriers that fly transatlantic) and you don't see longhaul flights being offered as a reward to senior crew. If anything, senior crews are put on long flights in premium cabins because (and only if) they are the best the carrier has to offer.

  33. Joey

    This is great though I’d think most crew doing a new route would be excited and provide great service. Hopefully they’ll still be excited 6 months from now.
    In addition, I hope the other 400 or so applicants who were not chosen for this route will still provide amazing service in their JetBlue routes in the Americas.

  34. stvr

    I just wanted to note how carefully you wrote this article so as not to start any flame wars. Kudos. (If flame wars start anyway then that's just a sad commentary on humanity.)

  35. Ryan R

    JetBlue is interesting because their Mint products are wonderful (much better than other US carries), the new London service seems wonderful (despite the unfortunate lack of a daytime flight to London), but their non-Mint flights and economy cabins are generally full of riff-raff passengers just choosing whatever ticket is the cheapest (and without any loyalty to the brand).

    1. DCA Will Always be "National"

      I'm in total agreement re: pax. But I'd also add that the last three or four times I've flown B6, I was in Y because there was no Mint, and the FAs were marginal - no better than the average FA on UA or AA. Which is to say they did their jobs, barely.

      As to the pax, I think the destination (and origin) plays a key role. The times I've flown to FLL, it's...

      I'm in total agreement re: pax. But I'd also add that the last three or four times I've flown B6, I was in Y because there was no Mint, and the FAs were marginal - no better than the average FA on UA or AA. Which is to say they did their jobs, barely.

      As to the pax, I think the destination (and origin) plays a key role. The times I've flown to FLL, it's been the bargain, mouth-breather holiday bus - Spririt with TVs. Other destinations, I've seen a different pax loadout.

  36. Francisco C

    One aspect missing from this interesting post. What are the attractive features for a flight attendant to want to work this route? Better pay? Better schedule? Opportunities to visit Uk?

    1. Erin

      Spot on! Only 500 out of 5,400 applied in the first place. How many just did it to get a line and not be on 100% reserve schedule? There were those that applied for the Boston to London flight, that said no thank you once they announced Boston won't start until 2022, so the numbers aren't quite correct.

  37. Matt

    I recently flew IAD-MUC on United Polaris. It was on a 787-8. The flight attendant assigned to my aisle was a mid to late fifties man. He literally did not say a word, except responding to my one question. No “good evening,
    , no “enjoy your dinner.” Nothing. I was genuinely sorry for him since he must be an extremely unhappy man in his life.

    1. BBK

      So sad, with so many ppl around the world just dreaming of the privilege to work as a Flight Attendant for a major airline.

    2. CW

      As a recently retired AA F/A. of 42 years I have had the pleasure of flying mint class from sxm-jfk. F/A,s in business were attentive and knowledgeable in all aspects of aircraft and service. Great experience. As for being a senior F/A, loved my job and had great fun with my passengers.

  38. PM1

    Thanks Ben - this was a very thoughfully written article. These are the kinds of posts (beside your trip reports) that bring me to your website daily.

  39. Endre

    No matter how hard all the “I’m just here for your safety” Karens try to defend themselves, there’s a reason why people prefer not to fly with the US3. Service and manners matter.

  40. keitherson

    This has to be one of your best writing in a long time, Lucky. Thanks for the insight and look forward to the review.

    1. OCTinPHL

      Yes, much better than posting years’ old posts about coffee with no disclaimer… even a “hey, here’s a post I really like from pre-pandemic”. When Lucky recycles it really cheapens the blog. If reusing, just say so. Add something new (like in a different color, etc.).

    2. Tennen

      Yes! I'm not the only one who finds this frustrating! You never know if a post is recycled until you get to the comments section, and even then, if you're not paying attention, you could end up replying to a months or years-old comment. I mean, how hard is it to have a big banner at the top (more distinguishing and noticeable than the regular advertising/CC referral ones)? Something like, "This was originally posted on...

      Yes! I'm not the only one who finds this frustrating! You never know if a post is recycled until you get to the comments section, and even then, if you're not paying attention, you could end up replying to a months or years-old comment. I mean, how hard is it to have a big banner at the top (more distinguishing and noticeable than the regular advertising/CC referral ones)? Something like, "This was originally posted on ABC. It has been updated N times and was last updated on XYZ."

    3. GBOAC

      I hope Ben pays attention to the comments regarding clearly recycling posts made by OCTinPHL and Tennen

Featured Comments Load all 53 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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OCTinPHL

Yes, much better than posting years’ old posts about coffee with no disclaimer… even a “hey, here’s a post I really like from pre-pandemic”. When Lucky recycles it really cheapens the blog. If reusing, just say so. Add something new (like in a different color, etc.).

Matt

I recently flew IAD-MUC on United Polaris. It was on a 787-8. The flight attendant assigned to my aisle was a mid to late fifties man. He literally did not say a word, except responding to my one question. No “good evening, , no “enjoy your dinner.” Nothing. I was genuinely sorry for him since he must be an extremely unhappy man in his life.

Tennen

Yes! I'm not the only one who finds this frustrating! You never know if a post is recycled until you get to the comments section, and even then, if you're not paying attention, you could end up replying to a months or years-old comment. I mean, how hard is it to have a big banner at the top (more distinguishing and noticeable than the regular advertising/CC referral ones)? Something like, "This was originally posted on ABC. It has been updated N times and was last updated on XYZ."

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