Posted tagged ‘JetBlue’

Southwest Airlines to Offer Service to New York

April 7, 2009

Southwest Airlines said today that they will begin flights to New York’s LaGuardia Airport in June, the carrier’s first entry into the major market.

I have always LOVED Southwest Airlines and am happy to see them finally serving the New York market.

From the Associated Press:

The Dallas-based company will have eight daily nonstop flights — five between LaGuardia and Chicago Midway and three between LaGuardia and Baltimore/Washington. A one-way ticket to Baltimore/Washington will run $49, while a Chicago one-way fare will cost $89 if purchased 14 days in advance.

Southwest will also provide direct or connecting service from New York to locations such as Las Vegas, Denver, Seattle, San Diego and Los Angeles.

In December Southwest agreed to pay $7.5 million for assets of ATA Airlines, including 14 takeoff and landing slots at LaGuardia, after receiving a bankruptcy judge’s approval. At the time the purchase was somewhat of a departure for the airline, as it had previously steered clear of service at congested urban airports in favor of secondary airports where crews could service and clean planes and get them back in the air quickly.

The LaGuardia addition will now put Southwest in the company of low-cost carrier JetBlue Airways Corp., which also services the airport but does not provide Chicago or Baltimore/Washington flights from the hub. JetBlue does however offer flights to the cities from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Prior to LaGuardia, Southwest’s closest hub for New York-based travelers was Long Island’s Islip Airport.

Jet Blue Employee Found Sleeping in Cargo Hold

March 31, 2009

Jet Blue officials are investigating after an employee was found sleeping inside the cargo bin of a Jet Blue plane that landed at Boston’s Logan International Airport this weekend.

From WCVB:

Jet Blue said it is investigating how one of its employees wound up in the cargo bin for a New York to Boston flight.

The man was discovered by baggage at Logan International Airport after the plane landed there on Saturday. He reportedly told police that he became accidentally locked inside the aircraft’s pressurized luggage compartment after falling asleep.

The 21-year-old man — whose name was not released — said he called JetBlue officials when he realized he was no longer on the ground.

From WHDH:

The plane was coming from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport and landed in Boston Saturday around 11 a.m.

When baggage handlers opened the cargo door, they found a man inside the belly of the plane with the luggage.

Officials rushed to the scene and determined that the man was a Jet Blue crewmember who said that he was accidentally locked inside the cargo bin when he had fallen asleep.

He was sent back home to New York on a plane after authorities learned that he was not dangerous.

Yes Virginia…There Will Be No Bonuses for Top Goldman Executives This Christmas

November 17, 2008

After months of internal debate at Goldman Sachs, the seven top executives at the firm, including Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein, have asked the board’s compensation committee not to give them bonuses in 2008. Isn’t that nice of them?

From the Associated Press:

Better to be a broker than a baron on Wall Street if you’re expecting a big bonus this year.

The decision by top Goldman Sachs executives to forgo bonuses in 2008 is forcing other investment bank bosses to consider following suit. But thousands of lower-tier brokers will still collect hefty bonuses as firms try to keep their top talent from bolting for boutique firms or other industries.

Wall Street employees often receive up to 80 percent of their total compensation from year-end bonuses. Now those payments are attracting more scrutiny from lawmakers and consumer groups because taxpayers are footing the bill for the government’s $700 billion financial bailout.

“Nobody is going to be stupid enough to pay their CEO an outlandish amount of money in this climate,” said Alan Johnson, managing director of New York-based compensation consulting firm Johnson Associates.

He estimates Wall Street CEOs will see their bonuses reduced by up to 70 percent this year.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. announced Sunday that seven executives, including Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein, would get no cash or stock bonuses for 2008.

Blankfein received total compensation of $54 million last year, according to calculations by The Associated Press, making him the sixth-highest-paid CEO of a Standard & Poor’s 500 company in 2007.

It’s the first time top Goldman executives have not received bonuses since the 139-year-old investment bank went public in 1999. The executives decided to forgo the payments this time “because they believe it’s the right thing to do,” Goldman spokesman Michael DuVally said.

From BusinessWeek:

Much has been made today of the news that Goldman Sachs’ top seven executives, including CEO Lloyd Blankfein, are giving up their bonuses for 2008. According to a story in today’s Wall Street Journal, the move follows “months of internal debate” at the Wall Street firm, and that now that Goldman has acted, other firms on “Lloyd watch,” as the Journal calls it, will follow suit. Indeed, Swiss bank UBS has already done so, axing bonuses for its executive board members. The WSJ’s DealJournal blog referred to the bonus cut as “The Neutron Bomb of Wall Street.”

But really, how much debate was there? Would Blankfein really have ever gotten a hefty bonus in a year when plenty of CEOs of other struggling companies not part of the bailout have passed up on bonuses and even taken pay cuts? Sure, $68.5 million—the total size of Blankfein’s enormous package last year—was a lot to consider giving up. But with the uproar over bankers pay at a fever pitch, did they really ever consider paying those bonuses?

More telling, if less substantial, I believe, is that some companies outside the maelstrom of the financial crisis have been trimming top executive salaries and slashing bonuses. Earlier this year, JetBlue Airways CEO Dave Barger and Continental Airlines chief Larry Kellner cut their salaries; Kellner also relinquished his bonus. Executive compensation consulting firm Equilar searched its database for BusinessWeek and turned up several recent examples of CEOs whose pay had been trimmed, including Gannett’s chief, who is taking a 17% pay cut. NVIDIA’s board accepted a management proposal (because these are always proposed by management, of course) to do away with cash incentives. Even directors’ pay is getting cut: At RV maker Thor Industries, each of the non-employee directors is forgoing 15% of pay “due to the decline in the Company’s profits in fiscal 2008.”

When companies are restructuring and laying off workers, as Goldman and many of the other banks are in the process of doing, many management consultants acknowledge it’s a best practice for CEOs to share in the pain somehow. When that firm is also receiving government bailout funds, cutting top executive bonuses should be a necessary practice. And one that doesn’t need a lot of debate.

How Companies Are Using Twitter to Bolster Their Brands

September 9, 2008

BusinessWeek has a great article discussing how microblogging service Twitter, used by members to alert friends to small, random happenings and short musings via 140-character bursts, also can provide marketers with a view of how their brands are being discussed. JetBlue, General Motors, Comcast, Dell and Whole Foods Market are some of the companies that track Twitter mentions (called “tweets”) using Twitter’s internal search function.

From the article:

A growing number of companies are keeping track of what’s said about their brands on Twitter. Comcast (CMCSA), Dell (DELL), General Motors (GM), H&R Block (HRB), Kodak (EK), and Whole Foods Market (WFMI) are among a handful of companies haunting Twitter to do everything from burnish brands to provide customer service. The attention to Twitter reflects the power of new social media tools in letting consumers shape public discussion over brands. “The real control of the brand has moved into the customer’s hands, and technology has enabled that,” says Lane Becker, president of Get Satisfaction, a Web site that draws together customers and companies to answer each other’s questions and give feedback on products and services.

Begun in 2006, Twitter is a pioneer of microblogging, a way for users to keep others informed of their current status by way of text messaging, instant messaging, e-mail, or the Web. Other services that have followed suit include Jaiku, Pownce, FriendFeed, and Plurk. At this stage, many brands are sticking to Twitter, which has amassed a larger number of users. While Twitter doesn’t release exact numbers, estimates range from 1 million to 3 million users.

It’s not just audience size that draws brands. People who use the site are likely to hold sway over others. A single Twitter message—known informally as a tweet—sent in frustration over a product or a service’s performance can be read by hundreds or thousands of people. Similarly, positive interaction with a representative of the manufacturer or service provider can help change an influencer’s perspective for the better.

JetBlue, Comcast, and H&R Block are among the companies that recognize Twitter’s potential in providing customer service. For companies, tools such as Tweetscan or Twitter’s own search tool, formerly known as Summize, make it easy to unearth a company’s name mentioned in tweets. “Why wouldn’t you want to be able to take care of that person at the moment when it’s most important?” says JetBlue’s Johnston. The services are free, helping keep costs low.

But social media sensations are like quicksilver. Today companies may need to pay attention to Twitter. Tomorrow, they may have to join Pownce, Jaiku, FriendFeed, or Plurk, especially if outages keep hobbling Twitter. Newell Rubbermaid (NWL), owner of more than 30 brands including Rubbermaid, Graco, and Sharpie, is hedging its bets by trying several different microblogging sites, including Twitter, FriendFeed, and Pownce.