David Neeleman , CEO Jet Blue Airlines

Published on June 2, 2001

February 1999- CEO David Neeleman announces plan for new airline dedicated to great service, low fares and top of the line equipment. Now you also get free 24 channel live TV In-Flight Satellite Entertainment at each seat.

•April 1999- JetBlue places $4 Billion order with Airbus for 75 new A320 aircraft.

•February 11, 2000- JetBlue launches first flight between JFK and Ft Laurderdale.

•December 21, 2000- JetBlue flies its one-millionth passenger and reports 2000 revenue of $100 Million.

•February 11, 2001- JetBlue celebrates its first anniversary.

•March 20, 2001- JetBlue is voted the #2 Domestic Airline in 2001 Zagat Airline Survey.

•April 26th, 2001- JetBlue flies its two millionth passenger.

•June 18th, 2001- JetBlue orders up to 48 more Airbus A320 aircraft, with the airline’s fleet order now totaling up to 131 new A320 Aircraft.

Okay, so you now know that JetBlue has become a star in the aviation industry under David Neeleman. But do you really know the whole story? Below is the real reason why David Neeleman has been selected as this month’s Titan Profile.

Humberto Fernandini, Director of Sales for Massey Knakal Realty Services, Inc., decided to fly jet Blue from NY to Florida for a two hour lunch meeting with a large client. After booking his ticket and car rental, he went to the airport and told the employee at the ticket counter that he is only flying this airline at the request of a friend who urged him to try out JetBlue. The employee gave Humberto the rundown of JetBlue’s success.

As the employee was talking, Humberto reached into his pocket for the boarding pass and realized, to his horror, that he left his wallet at home. He had no cash, no credit cards, nothing. And here he was on the way to an important meeting.

The JetBlue employee told him no problem and without hesitation reached into his pocket and pulled out $200 and said to Humberto: “Come on, lets get you on the plane”. Humberto asked the employee for his name and the employee responded: “My name is David Neeleman and I’m the CEO of JetBlue. Thanks for flying our airline.”

In relating this story to another manager at JetBlue, the manager responded that this did not surprise her. David Neeleman’s commitment to customers has always been the foundation of JetBlue’s success.

Needless to say, Humberto made his meeting and turned it into a success story. David Neeleman made a customer for life and elevated his success with JetBlue Airlines.

Congratulations David Neeleman, our Titan Profile of the Month. You really know how to grow an airline, one passenger at a time.

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