jetBlue Lifestyle

ShaggyF16

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Had a few questions for the jetBlue folks...

jetBlue sounds like a fantastic place to work. I've been fortunate enough to meet a few people in the company and have been very impressed with everything I've seen and heard.

What is a typical month like for you, I.E., fly for 4 days, off for 3, fly for 3 more, etc? What have your trips and layovers been like (I know the route structure is constantly changing and expanding), do they put you up in nice places, etc? How flexible is the bid system, trading trips, etc? Any commuting problems?

Just curious what your overall quality of life is like.

Thanks, fly safe and good luck!

Shaggy
 

dgs

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Shaggy -- I'll let some of the more experienced pilots at jetBlue give you a more complete answer on the lifestyle, but here are a few specific tidbits on the bidding and flying:

First, there is no such thing as a "typical" schedule. We use a preferential bidding system that builds lines based on your personal needs and desires. If you want specific days off, long or short trips, commutable schedule, minimum number of days off between trips, trips to certain locations, etc., that’s what you specify. The computer runs an optimization routine that tries to give everybody what they want—subject to seniority, of course. As long as you don’t get too demanding relative to your seniority, you can get what is most important to you. You can still trip trade if your bid didn’t get you what you wanted.

We have very high utilization rates (some of the highest in the industry)—both of people and airplanes. That means our pilots and airplanes don’t do much sitting around. You can expect to fly an average of 5.56 hours for pay each day with almost no bag drags, 30-40 min ground times, and one to four legs per day. Currently, hours range from 85 to 95 per month, with 88 being the target. With vacation and down time for sims, you can see that you will probably get close to the maximum 1000 hours per year flying 16 days per month.

We canceled one class after 9/11 that put us behind the power curve with pilots to meet our aircraft acquisition schedule of 13 this year. We are training 16-24 pilots per month and hope the extra manning will reduce the target to about 82 hours a month (which equates to one more day off per pilot per month).

Most of our hotels are pretty nice—Marriott or similar.

JFK is our only crew base, so all trips originate and terminate there. Most of our pilots commute to JFK or LGA with crashpads halfway inbetween at Kew Gardens. There are lots of ways to get to JFK and LGA. We have a very generous commuting policy for other airline personnel. In some cases, we treat FAs from other airlines better than their own companies, so they are more than happy to reciprocate by treating jetBlue crewmembers well.

This is a great company with lots of great people—including management with vision and integrity. They treat us with a lot of respect and that goes a long way toward enjoyment of the job. We are always looking for more good people who are interested in being part of a truly unique and special airline. Hope this helps. -- dgs
 

acaTerry

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I'll buy that for a dollar. I get JB jumpseaters all the time and I have never seen any airlines group as a whole so gracious when asking for a ride (after all, who can be enthusiatic about JS on a J41?)
Just for anyone else out there who wants JS on ACA remember we have the open seat like JB does. We take as many of you as we have open seats.
Fly safe all
 

dgs

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jumpseats

acaTerry -- Thanks for the kind words. I have a two-leg commute, so I can tell you I'm thrilled with anybody who will help me get to and from work. I always try to introduce myself to the Captain and show him/her my credentials on the way in and say "Thanks for the ride" on the way out. Now that we are sitting in the back and the cockpit doors may be closed, it is not always easy to do. For those of you with your cockpit doors closed, if I don't get a chance to say thanks, rest assured that I am very grateful for the ride and look forward to the opportunity to reciprocate. -- dgs
 

Nandu

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DGS,
I have applied to JB, and am extremely excited about the company, and it's future. I have not received a call from the people department, and I was wondering if you knew what the current competitive level is. Here's a breakdown of my stats.

Tot. time: 6800
PIC Turbine: 2400
Turbojet: 1800 (All over 20,000#)
Type Ratings: A320 B757 B767 B737 BE1900
Degree: 4yr Honors ERAU
Experience: Last 5yrs at 2 U.S. Major Airlines

I am planning on walking in an update to Dean on Wednesday...do you think that's a good idea? I am checking the website daily for the new app, but I thought I'd at least do a face to face update in order to express how much I want to work there. Any info you'd care to relay would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
 

side stick-n

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acaTerry,

Thanks for the kind words from myself also. However, I should be the one thanking you. Your entire pilot group has been fantatic with allowing me to ride between IAD and JFK. Please allow us to return the favor by coming to fly with us sometime. Again, thank you for the professionalism and kindness of all the ACA pilots.

ShaggyF16,

dgs is right on. Great company, great people, and an awesome place to work.
 

dgs

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Nandu -- Dean told us last Thursday that they are having minor technical problems with the new web application that they wanted to iron out before they put it online. They had hoped to have it up and running mid-Feb, but he said it should be any day now. At first glance your times sound competitive. If you are A320 type rated, you'll be compared against all the other A320-rated applicants. They will pick the top 15 from that pool to interview. The company wants to get a variety of pilots, not just all A320 folks from other airlines. As a result, pilots are now grouped by experience--e.g. A320 types, tactical military, heavy military, corporate, prior 121, etc.--and compared within that group. The top 15 or so people from each group will be called for interviews. The new web application is supposed to help them with that stratification.

I hate to advise you one way or another about visiting Dean. Given that they are going to be using the new system exclusively to pick who interviews, I don't think it will help in getting an interview. If you get the interview, it might help in the selection phase. Of course, we want to hire energetic and enthusiastic people. Bottom line in my opinion is that it probably wouldn't hurt, but it also probably won't help. I'd keep looking for the new online app and get that submitted as soon as it comes online.

Other JB pilots feel free to chime in. -- dgs
 

Nandu

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DGS,
Thanks for the info! I appreciate your prompt reply. I came to the same conclusion as you about walking in the update...it may not get me the interview, but it shows effort and desire. Hopefully that will count for something.
Bob
 

reepicheep

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dgs said:
If you are A320 type rated, you'll be compared against all the other A320-rated applicants. They will pick the top 15 from that pool to interview. The company wants to get a variety of pilots, not just all A320 folks from other airlines. As a result, pilots are now grouped by experience--e.g. A320 types, tactical military, heavy military, corporate, prior 121, etc.--and compared within that group. The top 15 or so people from each group will be called for interviews.

This is disappointing - it sounds like the United system where pilots with 2000 hours of Cessna time are interviewed while people with 1000's of heavy jet time wait years to get a shot. Hopefully JB will do a better job.
 

dgs

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reepicheep -- If you are disappointed, then I think you missed the point, or only heard what you wanted to hear. The idea of this program is to improve fairness--realizing that there are several ways to obtain competitive credentials. jetBlue has some firm minimums like 1000 hrs of PIC in aircraft greater than 20,000 lbs. (Check the website for more details on our minimums.) That kinda kills your 2000 hr Cessna pilot example. If all we interviewed were people with extensive A320 experience, then we'd have a bunch of furloughed pilots from other airlines. If all we looked at was hours, we'd have lots of regional guys and the military guys would never have a chance. This is simply an acknowledgement that there are many ways to gain experience and they are not all purely measured by hours or type ratings. We have some very smart people running our hiring processes and they know first how to identify a broad range of people who meet the qualifications they desire, and second how to identify the people who live our core values. You can bet they are hiring the best possible candidates.
 

reepicheep

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Like I said, I hope JB does a better job with this system than United. Hopefully pilots retain some control over hiring; in our industry there seems to be a gradual process of HR people taking over and implementing their social agenda rather than hiring the most qualified or best-suited pilot. But don't get me wrong; the company has the right to hire using whatever method they want. It's part of the game. And it's why some airlines in the recent hiring boom were not selecting the best candidates among those they had to choose from.

Now; on to another point. You mentioned that JB require 1000 PIC in aircraft greater than 20,000 lbs. Is this a new requirement? The website (which I understand is being revised) mentions only 1000 total hours in such aircraft; not PIC. The 1000 PIC requirement I see does not list a weight limit, only that it be turbine. If JB are instituting a new minimum of 1000 PIC in aircraft over 20,000 lbs., it would seem to me they are eliminating many regional and corporate pilots from consideration.
 
Last edited:

SpeedBird

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Reepicheep:

You're correct....the requirement, as posted on the website, is 1,000 hours PIC turbine only. The 20K lb requirement is for 1,000 hours, either PIC and/or SIC. I'm sure DGS "misspoke" on that one.

I will back up what he has said in his previous posts; jetBlue has some excellent people in charge of hiring its pilots. I've been extremely impressed with the quality of new hires (thats all of us!). The most important thing I've noticed about all of them is their attitude and willingness to go the extra mile for the customer and fellow employees.

If you want to be part of the jetBlue team, then throw your hat into the ring. If it doesn't work out then it was most likely for the best, for both you and the airline. Best of luck to you !
 

FZRA

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To those at ACA who have taken me home/to work on many occasions, THANK YOU. I was with two of your crews on Sept. 11th and watched it all happen in ops that day. Seeing that I was stranded with them, they even offered to share their room with me. They are ALWAYS courteous and Kind about their jumpseats and always eager to help out. I hope that some of you come over to JB sometime soon.

THANKS AGAIN GUYS/GALS!!!

Now about this "selectee" stuff!!:eek:
 

ShaggyF16

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Sounds great!

DGS, Side Stick-N, Speedbird and others -

Thanks for your words. jB does sound like a unique opportunity in the industry. Flew on the airline for the first time 'bout a month ago and I couldn't get over how professional and friendly everyone was from check-in through landing, including corporate HQ folks and pilots I met.

Good-on-ya!

Any other info, such as, what did your work schedule look like this month, would be great to hear. The preferential bid system sounds great, as do all other aspects of your company. I also understand they are ANG/Reserve-friendly?

Thanks again, and I certainly welcome any other comments, insight, etc.

Fly safe and good luck to all!

Shaggy
 

dgs

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my bad

Sorry for the confusion. Obviously, I was getting the turbine PIC and the 20,000 lb requirement mixed up. I should have looked more closely before I put it in print online. Our hiring process is being carefully overseen by our chief pilot and from what I've seen they are doing a great job dealing with the candidates and balancing all their priorities. The people they hire now will define the future of this airline and that's not a responsibility they take lightly.
 
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