How JetBlue’s Volunteer Efforts Have Made Fliers Love It Even More

Airline declares November 'Philanthropy Month'

JetBlue's marketing initiatives are all about making flying fun—and doing the right thing. The airline has won kudos for its creative work that humorously tackles the realities of flying like crying babies, and it also has a reputation for helping customers in times of crisis. After the June mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., it offered free flights to victims' friends and family members. It also raised funds for Hurricane Sandy relief and supported relief efforts for the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

This month, JetBlue is continuing those initiatives, dubbing November "Philanthropy Month." It launched JetBlue for Good, a campaign that promotes volunteerism. Customers and crew members can upload a photo or video of their volunteer efforts to JetBlueforGood.com, and each day in November, JetBlue is giving one customer and one crew member $1,000 for a charity of their choice.

"We include our customers in so many of the volunteer opportunities that we have, and encourage them to get involved, primarily because they're willing to do it," said Icema Gibbs, JetBlue's director of corporate social responsibility (CSR).

When the campaign ends, JetBlueforGood.com will house information about all of JetBlue's CSR initiatives, like its Soar With Reading effort, which donates books to kids in need, and its work in promoting STEM careers in schools.

The airline is also working to lessen its impact on the environment. It allows customers to offset part of the carbon footprint of their flights by making a donation to support CO2 reduction projects, and over the past eight years, JetBlue has offset more than 1.5 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. Last year, the airline launched the T5 Farm, a rooftop garden at JFK Airport in New York, whose produce is donated to local food banks.

Since 2011, JetBlue crew members have volunteered more than 500,000 hours of service, and philanthropic efforts like these have helped the airline build brand awareness, Gibbs said.

"Our overall brand promise is bringing humanity back to air travel, and as we continue to evolve, we want to be recognized as having an impact on something," she said. "We're moving the needle for social change, and we want to continue to do so."