JetBlue CFO Gives Out Free Tickets Mid-Flight

Consumerist reader Tracy was flying JetBlue this Saturday when an announcement came over the intercom saying there was a “special guest” onboard. It was JetBlue CFO Ed Barnes! Big whoop, said the passengers, until the flight attendant added, “and the CFO is feeling really generous so we are going to have two people in the front row randomly pick a number and a letter and the person sitting in that seat will win a free JetBlue roundtrip ticket anywhere Jetblue flies.”

That sure got people excited. The CFO gave away two sets of tickets, said Tracy.

From where does this generosity spring? Well, it’s not the first time Barnes has revealed himself to the passengers. When he was spotted actually chipping in as a flight attendant and picking up trash, JetBlue told New York magazine that their top executives routinely fly, talk to customers, and give out free tickets. It’s also company policy for “every single crew member helps clean up the flight and tidy up the plane.”

Guess when you have flight attendants quitting their jobs via emergency slide, it helps to have some backup.

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  1. ShruggingGalt says:

    One the reasons why I love flying JetBlue. JetBlue and SWA are my favorites, Continental used to be up there too, but it seems the United policies started the moment the merger was announced (not finalized).

    • Wombatish says:

      Ok, so yeah… he gave away two tickets, which is a lot more than most arlines will let out of their clenched little fists anymore, and it’s good that he follows the policy of helping to pick up the plane, but this is hardly ‘amazing’.

      Especially considering that airlines used to give away stuff left and right. Before 9/11 some of the flight attendants found out that some good friends were flying somewhere to get away for a weekend for their anniversary and they made a big show of giving them some wine and two free tickets. I’ve heard of even grander gestures for newlyweds, etc.

      Not saying he doesn’t deserve a pat on the back, and any ‘treating people like people’ from the airlines now-a-days is appreciated, but it’s hardly “Every other airline should just quit and if you fly any of them you’re a commie” etc.

  2. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

    A lot of other airlines could learn a lesson or two from this company.

    • Newto-Rah says:

      A lot of other companies could learn a lesson or two from this airline.

      I think the world would be a better place if the top execs of every industry could see what their policy decisions actually accomplished, and how their customers and employees actually think.

      • Woofer says:

        Have you watched Undercover Boss on CBS? It’s probably somewhat rigged and the results vary, but the premise is precisely what you described.

        • HoJu says:

          It’s INCREDIBLY contrived. I watch it every week looking for:
          1) the overachiever
          2) the underachiever
          3) the one that is down-on-his-luck
          4) the one that is putting a kid through college

          I hate that show but I just can’t stop watching.

          • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

            I don’t care how contrived it is, it’s all worth for the look on the CEO’s face falls as a chipper front-line worker explains how their pet policy forces them to have to lick garbage can lids for sustenance while caring for their 20 extended relatives who all lost their limbs and heads in a Pop-Tart-related explosion.

          • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

            LOL, I was just thinking the same thing. I’ve been watching the stupid thing and I think the best moment was watching the Frontier Air guy get a face full of liquid goodness when working “undercover” as a dump tech, or whatever they call the people who empty the waste tanks.

          • TheWillow says:

            it just annoys me that the “solutions” are so often of the “YOU GET $5,000!!” type and not of the “I recognize you are not an exceptional story, this is the norm and we are making X change to our policies to prevent this in the future” kind. I think the guy who ran the company that owns Dollywood was the only one I saw do those kinds of changes.

  3. Mr_Human says:

    They did this about a month ago on a flight from Bulington to NYC. It was JB’s 10th anniversary flying to Burlington. It was a lot of fun.

  4. Blueskylaw says:

    Not only is this a fun thing to do for the CFO, but it also helps show the “human” side of the company not to mention that the free publicity and good word of mouth is exponentially more valuable than the tickets that he gave away.

  5. JRock says:

    I’m guessing the people in the front row aren’t allowed to choose “1” as their number, then?

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      it would probably be random numbers from a “hat” of some sort, rather than just “pick a number.”

      I mean, do typical passenger planes even have a Row Z?

      • JRock says:

        Yeah, that makes sense. It just didn’t say so in the article so that was the first thing that came to my mind, haha.

  6. UnicornMaster says:

    Sounds like a cry for attention. “Everyone hates the airlines, I feel so bad about myself. Maybe if I give away free tickets everyone will love me, for at least today”

  7. drburk says:

    Remember when airlines used to give away free things on a routine basis. My family won a few times usually it was on the return trip so it was a prize located in the exciting city of Columbus, OH. We won dinner and tickets to the conservatory.

  8. lifeat24fps says:

    It’s so awesome when The Consumerist does JetBlue’s marketing for them.

  9. Big Cheese Make Hair Go Boom says:
    • johnmc says:

      The funniest thing to me about that sketch is that Patton Oswalt and the JetBlue manager in SMF sort of look alike.

  10. Yankees368 says:

    JetBlue has been doing this for damn near a decade. My Grandmother was on a flight from PBI to JFK in 2001 when the CEO at the time David Neilman (and airline founder) sat next to her for the flight. This is something JetBlue has always done, year after year.

  11. c!tizen says:

    damn decent of him.

  12. razz4901 says:

    It is nice to see a human being run a large company!

  13. KyBash says:

    Wasn’t this legally a lottery? Where are the published rules? Can I get a free seat assignment by sending in an SASE? In which state do I file a lawsuit because I wasn’t allowed to participate in the giveaway without making a purchase?

    Hey, someone has to rain on the parade, don’t they? :)

  14. george69 says:

    I was on westjet and the pilot played the audio clip of glen quagmire doing the pre takeoff speech. gigity

    I LOL’ed