Talking Points Episode 18: JetBlue’s UK Expansion

Apr 16, 2019

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You might have noticed Talking Points’ episodes took a short hiatus these past few weeks, but we’re back today! Following JetBlue’s announcement last week about their plans for transatlantic flights in 2021, Brian Kelly, The Points Guy, sat down with Joanna Geraghty, the airline’s President and COO.

Geraghty details the airline’s decision to fly to the UK, despite it being a highly competitive market. She also explains what it was like to work her way up through the company, shares advice for women in aviation and explains why she thinks customers love the Mint product.

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Full Transcript:

Brian Kelly: Hey, you out there. Yeah, you, listening to this episode of Talking Points. It’s your host, Brian Kelly, The Points Guy. And we want to hear from you about the show. What kind of topics do you want to hear more of? Who would you love to hear me interview? Where do you want me to go? What destinations, conferences, you name it, give me all of your feedback ’cause we’re gonna be relaunching Talking Points with amazing new episodes and we want your feedback. Go to ThePointsGuy.com/podcast to learn more, and let me know by May 1st.

Brian Kelly: Welcome to Talking Points today. We have a very special guest — one of the most powerful women in travel, the president and COO of JetBlue Airways, Joanna Geraghty. Joanna, thank you so much for joining us.

Joanna Geraghty: Thanks for having me.

Brian Kelly: It’s been a really busy month for JetBlue. You guys finally announced — instead of teasing about — flights to Europe. And the announcement was you’re going to be flying to London.

Joanna Geraghty: Correct. Probably the worst kept secret out there.

Brian Kelly: Let’s go over (that) for anyone who has been living under a rock and hasn’t heard.

Joanna Geraghty: Yeah, sure. So, we announced recently that we’d be commencing service to London in 2021. We’re very excited about it. It’s been a decision long in the making. It’s part of our Boston and JFK strategy. It’s the top market that JetBlue does not currently serve out of both of those locations, and we are very excited to announce it. And as I said it’s been the worst kept secret out there. Actually, the day before the announcement, our London PIN got tweeted out. We call that a teaser.

Brian Kelly: And so why London?

Joanna Geraghty: You know, as I said it’s the top market that we don’t currently serve. It’s a big O&D market, so we think there’s plenty of opportunity for better service and great competition. JetBlue does very well when there’s an opportunity to provide better service at a competitive fare. And if you look at the fares currently in those markets, it’s ripe for JetBlue.

Brian Kelly: Amen. And just for those listening, O&D, what does it actually mean?

Joanna Geraghty: Origin and destination.

Brian Kelly: And destination.

Joanna Geraghty: So, a lot of people on both ends.

Brian Kelly: Yeah, business travelers, meaning that the JFK to London is the round trip. Connecting traffic will be part of the strategy, but (the) majority of the tickets you plan to sell will likely be Boston to London and vice versa?

Joanna Geraghty: Correct. Yeah, we built our business case just on originating and — origin and destination traffic on JetBlue. So, partnerships will be a part of the strategy, but it’s not dependent on partnerships.

Brian Kelly: This is a question I’m interested to ask you ’cause we’re launching The Points Guy in the UK. It’s our number two market. Still small compared to … You know, we’re pretty well known in the US. I mean, it’s 2021, but are you gonna start building the JetBlue name in the UK for those people on the other side of the pond?

Joanna Geraghty: Sure. So, we have a pretty good reputation already. We do have more than 50 airline partners, and we partner with carriers over in Europe. So, we will likely leverage our partner alliance, but…

Brian Kelly: And TAP is a big one, right?

Joanna Geraghty: TAP is a big one. Aer Lingus. But we definitely have opportunity to do more brand building on the European point of sale. And we look forward to doing that in the coming months.

Brian Kelly: And now, so I’m a huge Mint fan. And just as a reminder to everyone listening, we pay for all of our own travel ourselves, so whenever we review products, it’s based on our reviews and not sponsorships. But Mint has truly changed the game, even though I’m an American Airlines Executive Platinum because they cover a lot of other places I go. I mean, when I can get a Mint suite, I will change my schedule. Like, that is my preferred way to fly.

Brian Kelly: And I like supporting the underdog because you’re right about fares. On the transcon fares they used to be … You know, I used to work at Morgan Stanley before starting The Points Guy. And last-minute business class fares in those old recliners would be like $4,000, $5,000. And then JetBlue came in with $599 one-way fares, and really, you brought prices down tremendously.

Brian Kelly: So, my point was thank you for doing that…

Joanna Geraghty: You’re welcome.

Brian Kelly: …on the transcon market, and I’m looking forward to seeing that. Now, you haven’t discussed fare pricing ’cause we’re still a couple of years away…

Joanna Geraghty: Sure.

Brian Kelly: But the strategy will be similar to what you did on the transcon market? Come in and…

Joanna Geraghty: And disrupt, yeah.

Brian Kelly: Disrupt.

Joanna Geraghty: I think if you look at what we accomplished in Mint, it’s been simply remarkable. When we started you know fares, walk-up fares, were well in excess of $5,000. And we have driven those prices down by significant numbers. We’ve also, with the service that we offer at Mint, introduced a level of service that just did not exist before Mint.

Brian Kelly: Yeah.

Joanna Geraghty: You know, I think there was one market that had a lie-flat seat when JetBlue launched. Now 10 markets out West have a lie-flat seat. And that’s because we came in with a better product, better service, and a lower price and forced everybody to raise their games.

Brian Kelly: Yeah, the food … I mean, one of the things… The food on Mint is truly … It’s tapas style, so you get to choose three smaller entrees. But it is freaking delicious.

Joanna Geraghty: I think you’ve flown Mint more than I have.

Brian Kelly: I’m like … I always sit on Mint, and I’m, like, moaning. I’m like, “Yeah!” I’m like licking my fingers. Like, throwing my hands up in the air. It’s, like, actual food that you would, in a restaurant, be very satisfied with.

Joanna Geraghty: It is great. Right.

Brian Kelly: And also the blazing fast Wi-Fi for free — shocking.

Joanna Geraghty: Yeah.

Brian Kelly: And just the pride that your employees take in the product.

Joanna Geraghty: Yeah.

Brian Kelly: And without fail, I’m not putting down other airlines, but it’s very hit or miss. And I feel like with JetBlue, 95% of the time… introductions, “Have you flown Mint before? Can I show you the feature?” I mean, it’s just a whole different vibe to it.

Brian Kelly: Now the one downside to Mint, and especially at JFK, (is) the lounge closed. I personally am a Pre-checker. I show up to the airport 46 minutes prior to departure, and usually don’t have issues. Is getting a lounge, or even a priority pass lounge, a big priority in JFK specifically?

Joanna Geraghty: You know, we’re working through what the ground experience looks like. You know, with regard to Mint and the lounge access, part of our philosophy has been we want to keep our prices low, and operating a lounge is a very expensive thing to do. And so with the transcontinental experience, it’s very much been about putting the investment into the product, the onboard product. We think our terminals are great. Terminal 5 at JFK is world class.

Joanna Geraghty: And when we start thinking about flying across the Atlantic, these are things that we’re looking at. But we haven’t disclosed any of the details of what the product…

Brian Kelly: Or maybe contracting with someone.

Joanna Geraghty: There’s a few different lounges.

Brian Kelly: ‘Cause Aer Lingus has a little lounge…

Joanna Geraghty: Aer Lingus has a lounge in our area, yeah.

Brian Kelly: Yes.

Joanna Geraghty: So, there’s different options out there, but we’re working through what that ground experience looks like, and whether it makes sense to invest in something that our customers would appreciate.

Brian Kelly: All right, Joanna, I know we just jumped right into it, but let’s learn a little bit about you because you’ve been at JetBlue for 14 … over 14 years.

Joanna Geraghty: Yeah, over 14 years.

Brian Kelly: And before that, you were a lawyer.

Joanna Geraghty: I was a lawyer, yes.

Brian Kelly: How does one go…

Joanna Geraghty: You were at Morgan Stanley, so…

Brian Kelly: I know, I know. And so how big was JetBlue when you joined?

Joanna Geraghty: So, JetBlue was 34 destinations, 9,000 crew members. And to put that into context we are 22,000 crew members now, and 103 destinations.

Brian Kelly: Wow. How does one go from being a partner at a high-powered New York law firm to now essentially running day-to-day operations at a top airline?

Joanna Geraghty: Yeah, I mean, I loved being a lawyer. I always had a lot of fun. Very detail-oriented. Represented airlines and aircraft manufacturers.

Brian Kelly: Okay.

Joanna Geraghty: So, that was the space that I was in before I joined. I did litigation and regulatory work. And then I joined JetBlue in the legal department. And I was actually outside counsel for JetBlue for several years.

Brian Kelly: And so you know, the airline, especially in senior management, is very male heavy. For women who want to get into aviation, what advice could you give to someone who wants to get in and get into a position of power like you have?

Joanna Geraghty: Yeah… I think, take risks. For me I’ve had a lot of different jobs at JetBlue. I was head of our people department. I ran our customer experience department, so an operational role for four years. And all those things were new to me, and some more exciting than others, but you learn something in all of these new opportunities. And I think taking risks is really important, and applying for jobs even if you don’t have the exact set of skills required — I think it makes sense to put your hand up, because you never know what may happen. And I often think women sometimes are reluctant to put their hat in the ring, so to speak, because they don’t have all of the qualifications. And that’s something a little unique to women, and you shouldn’t shy away from doing that.

Brian Kelly: Yeah. Which of your roles were you most nervous about right before taking, when you got put in a different … a whole different division?

Joanna Geraghty: I think taking the head of HR. Taking the head of our people team. I was chief people officer for a while. And I went from managing a team of about 5 to 300.

Brian Kelly: Wow.

Joanna Geraghty: And that was a big difference because all of a sudden you start really thinking about how you lead, and how you rally that number of people around a common mission and a vision. And all those leadership books that you read become very important, and they make a lot of sense in that context. Whereas before, I had a great team of lawyers that worked with me who are very … very much self starters and individual contributors. And this changing to the people role was a big, big step for me.

Brian Kelly: And as president and COO, what does a normal day look like?

Joanna Geraghty: A normal day, there’s always a lot of emails. But yeah I think everybody has that challenge. A normal day, I spend my time looking at our operational performance. So, a lot of dashboards, a lot of metrics. Making sure that we’re performing in the ways we need to perform, and then are there opportunities that I identify, or my team identifies, that we need to address. Taking a look at our revenue, obviously, and how our daily bookings are amounting to. And then a series of meetings on different initiatives.

Joanna Geraghty: I also spend quite a bit of time out in the field. JetBlue is a very hands-on airline. When we fly we introduce ourselves to the crew. We raffle off free tickets. You know, we help our inflight crew members. Tomorrow…

Brian Kelly: Do you ever fly incognito?

Joanna Geraghty: No. Absolutely not. I think spying on people is not the culture at JetBlue.

Brian Kelly: Yeah.

Joanna Geraghty: And it’s important, and I want our crew members to feel that they can talk with me on our flights, and let us know what their problems and challenges are, so we can look for ways to solve those. So, yeah, so I’m heading out to JFK tomorrow to spend the day there. Just walking around and spending time with our ground ops team, our airports team.

Brian Kelly: Have you been to every JFK destination?

Joanna Geraghty: Not every JFK destination. I have been to about … We have 103 cities, as I mentioned, I’ve been to, I believe, 65 of them. For over two years, Robin and I are … Our CEO, he and I kind of split the network and tried to hit all 100 cities.

Brian Kelly: Transitioning back a little bit, the London news is so big for you guys. But it is also a risk. You know, there’s a lot of big competitors. I mean, are you still considered a low cost carrier? Do you still consider JetBlue…

Joanna Geraghty: Absolutely.

Brian Kelly: Yeah.

Joanna Geraghty: I mean, it’s part of our DNA. Keeping our costs low (is) one of the ways that we are able to be competitive with the legacy carriers when we go into new markets. So, the Detroits, the Atlantas, that are heavily dominated by legacy carriers, they respond by reducing fares, and try to kind of wait JetBlue out…

Brian Kelly: Cursing you guys.

Joanna Geraghty: And cursing us, yeah. And trying to wait us out. And one of the ways that we can last longer in those markets is by making sure we have low costs.

Brian Kelly: By making…

Joanna Geraghty: Yeah.

Brian Kelly: So, Wow Air just went bust. Different model. Norwegian is in a little bit of financial trouble. And you’re not worried that this is taking on … You know, biting off a little more than you can handle?

Joanna Geraghty: I think we’re definitely confident that we’ll succeed. As I mentioned, large O&D market here. We’re not reliant on partnerships to feed our network. And the play is largely around the Mint product. And with our success in transcontinental Mint, we’re confident that we can bring a reimagined experience here. And, you know, we do have more than 50 airline partners, and we can work with them and really enhance those relationships. But it’s a different … It’s different. We’ll be able to feed the network out of the United States.

Brian Kelly: A lot of our … or my fans, every time I fly Mint, they’re like, “When can I get it?” And JetBlue is very coastal. What’s holding you back from really getting that cross-section, the middle of the country, into the network? Is it slots in New York? Or just strategy?

Joanna Geraghty: I mean, we have six focused cities: Boston and New York, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, San Juan and Long Beach. And our strategy has been largely about building relevance in those cities. And we grow between 5 and 7 percent a year. And it’s important for us to maintain that level of growth around sort of that area. And what that means is we aren’t gonna bring in 40 planes a year to just add cities. We have to be controlled with how we do it and make sure that we’re building our margins at the same time.

Joanna Geraghty: If we had all the planes in the world, there would be a lot of cities that would be really exciting to fly to. But we need to be measured. We are the only airline since deregulation, 1978, that has not gone bankrupt, or merged, or been acquired. And that’s a absolutely remarkable feat when you think about 1978 and how many airlines have come and gone during those years. And part of the way you do that is by being very measured with your growth. Running a smart, strong business. Costs are a huge component of that. Delivering a great customer experience and having a different unique culture.

Brian Kelly: Now I know JetBlue, in maintaining those costs, used to include a free checked bag several years ago. That went away. Are there concerns that Wi-Fi will be charged for? And the ancillary fees is a huge way to bring in revenue. What’s your take on the future of JetBlue changing that inflight model?

Joanna Geraghty: Yeah, I mean, we have no plans to change the inflight model with inflight entertainment. Free televisions have been sort of one of the marks of JetBlue since we were founded. We know customers fly JetBlue because of our extra legroom. We have the most legroom in core of any carrier in the United States.

Brian Kelly: I will fly … My sister lives in Jacksonville. I fly JetBlue home even on an economy flight ’cause the legroom is way bigger than even first class on the regional jets at the others.

Joanna Geraghty: Yeah, in some cases. Yeah. And then free entertainment has been a big component. We have … You know I think, that mostly counts as the best … the best Wi-Fi in the sky, and then our friendly service. So, those are the three big things that differentiate JetBlue from the rest of the competition. I’ll kind of emphasize the free. you know, the friendly service because that is really we think the secret sauce behind JetBlue. But yeah, it’s been I think what’s brought us this far and what will carry us into the future.

Brian Kelly: All right. Now we’re gonna take a quick pause to hear from our sponsors.

(Commercial break)

Brian Kelly: Now this podcast is called Talking Points, so we need to talk points here a little bit.

Joanna Geraghty: Sure.

Brian Kelly: Is the TrueBlue program — are there any changes we could see to that? Or are you guys pretty set with the current setup of that program?

Joanna Geraghty: Yeah, great question. So, TrueBlue, we think, is a very rich program. Customers love it. No blackout dates. No expiration. Points don’t expire. You can earn points in all sorts of different ways. But we also think that there’s an evolution that has to take place around: How do you connect more with your customers in your loyalty programs? How do you really personalize what’s important to them? Offering opportunities for them to redeem their points, making it part of their daily life.

Joanna Geraghty: And so in terms of the program, we are looking at how do we make it more bespoke to customers, because loyalty does matter. Our co-brand card is great. It’s been amazing.

Brian Kelly: I know I get my Mosaic on every …

Joanna Geraghty: Yeah.

Brian Kelly: ‘Cause I mean, I save a lot. My schedule is chaotic, and I love being Mosaic, and being able to change without getting nailed with those fees. You only have one tier of Mosaic. Most airlines have two, three, four. Some secret ones.

Joanna Geraghty: Yep. You’re probably in all of them.

Brian Kelly: So, do you have plans to add any more beyond Mosaic?

Joanna Geraghty: At this point, no. We do know that we need to evolve Mosaic. My hesitation, I know the team’s hesitation, is around how do we not copy what everybody else has done, and create 20 tiers within a … you know, sort of an elite tier, which then devalues everything. And so I think the thing we’re struggling with is how do we really make our Mosaics feel special? And within Mosaic we know there are categories of different Mosaic levels, but we’re hesitant to just create a second category because that’s what everybody has done, and it seems like the easy solution. And I believe there’s something different within some of the work we’re doing around loyalty that can make it uniquely different to JetBlue.

Brian Kelly: So, you can either buy Mosaic in cash or points. But the upgrades I’ve always … I’ve never quite understood, ’cause you can pay the difference in your … If there’s a seat the day of departure…

Joanna Geraghty: Pay the difference of the fare, yeah.

Brian Kelly: So, it’s the difference in the fare of like what Mint is that day versus … So, if your company is coach only to LA, and you’re at JFK, and there’s open seats in Mint, you can…

Joanna Geraghty: We’ll upsell you at the gate, yeah. We will sell…

Brian Kelly: And it’s only at the gate?

Joanna Geraghty: Yeah.

Brian Kelly: You can’t do it … So, if you wanted to try Mint, and you’re in coach, it never hurts to go up to the gate and see what…

Joanna Geraghty: Absolutely.

Brian Kelly: But you can’t use points to cover that difference at the gate?

Joanna Geraghty: Correct. Correct.

Brian Kelly: I believe. I think it’s just cash, yeah.

Joanna Geraghty: Yeah. And one of the reasons why, we’ve had … You know, we have a lot of Mosaic customers that want to be able to just upgrade into Mint.

Brian Kelly: Yeah.

Joanna Geraghty: And one of the reasons why we don’t allow that is because it enables us to offer competitive and lower fares in Mint. And if you look at some of the legacy carriers, although I know they’ve changed a lot of their practices over the years…. half of the front cabin were sort of their top frequent flyer customers. And we really want to invest in Mint. And part of the way we can do that is by making sure that everybody has paid to be in that Mint seat.

Brian Kelly: I love redeeming points on partners. You guys do partner with Hawaiian, and you can do that. It’s a little clunky.

Joanna Geraghty: Yeah.

Brian Kelly: But you have a lot of great partners. Have you thought about more integrations on the loyalty front for redeeming points?

Joanna Geraghty: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah, it’s just a matter of prioritizing our IT initiatives. And this is on the list to do with a number of our airline partners. So, you’ll see, I think more of that happening in the future.

Brian Kelly: Okay, well when you have the scoop, we respect your embargo. I’m just letting you know for sure.

Joanna Geraghty: Absolutely.

Brian Kelly: I have never taken Mint to the Caribbean. I always mean to. ‘Cause it’s only certain days of the week, right?

Joanna Geraghty: In some cases, yeah.

Brian Kelly: Yeah.

Joanna Geraghty: Yeah.

Brian Kelly: And so what has the Mint experiment to the Caribbean… Like, how has that been?

Joanna Geraghty: It’s been wonderful.

Brian Kelly: And so people are paying…

Joanna Geraghty: For a much shorter trip in some cases.

Brian Kelly: ‘Cause you want to know why I haven’t flown Mint — because every time I go it’s sold out.

Joanna Geraghty: Yeah.

Brian Kelly: And you know I usually book my flights, like, two weeks in advance. It is amazing that other airlines will have wide open cabins. So, I mean, I think it speaks to the testament of the product, that people are … They know which flights have Mint, and they book them in advance.

Joanna Geraghty: Absolutely. The load factors in Mint are unbelievably high. So, we encourage customers to book early. Particularly if you want the single seat. The Mint suite is…

Brian Kelly: Oh, yeah.

Joanna Geraghty: Yeah.

Brian Kelly: I’ve been telling the TrueBlue program heads, every single one, “Make it for Mosaics only up until 72 hours.” I think one time somebody told me that it was an ADA compliance thing. We couldn’t do that because of the door.

Joanna Geraghty: So, that’s why we don’t charge differently for it.

Brian Kelly: Yeah.

Joanna Geraghty: Yeah, yeah. We’ve looked at charging more for the suite.

Brian Kelly: Come on.

Joanna Geraghty: But we have to make sure that we’re accommodating all of our customers, and some of our customers with special needs, we had some challenges with that particular suite. So, we offer the same level of pricing across the board for all seats. But yeah, I have friends that call all the time, “Can you just get me … I booked my ticket. Can you just get me the single suite?” I’m like, “I really can’t unless I move Brian Kelly out of it.”

Brian Kelly: Well, I will tell people to always monitor … ‘Cause I was flying Palm … I love how there’s Mint on Palm Springs…

Joanna Geraghty: Yeah.

Brian Kelly: …my friends have a house. And all the Mint suites were taken, so I actually set expert flyer alerts on the seat maps. And actually, and even the day of departure, people don’t show up, so I always ask the gate, “Oh, is there a suite left?”

Joanna Geraghty: You never know.

Brian Kelly: And someone didn’t show up and I took it from them.

Joanna Geraghty: It’s amazing how many people don’t show up for flights, yeah.

Brian Kelly: I know. So, where do you love to travel? Off … You know, not for work. Where do you go to really get away from it all?

Joanna Geraghty: Oh, that’s a great question. I love Nantucket. It’s one of my special places, so I try to go out there every summer.

Brian Kelly: I flew JetBlue there the first time I went.

Joanna Geraghty: Yeah, it’s a great market for us. The city has been great. I love Nantucket. I also am a big … I studied in England for a year, so I’m really looking forward to…

Brian Kelly: So, that’s why London was the first destination.

Joanna Geraghty: Yeah, that and we have a CEO that’s British, but yeah. But yeah I’m really looking forward to flying to London and getting to see my friends over there more often.

Brian Kelly: My most … So, I’ve been to London a million times. I’ve flown through Manchester. I am excited to see the whole United Kingdom, and I’ve never been to Northern Ireland. We were just in Scotland recently with my team. They were doing a retreat at Gleneagles. It was so fascinating.

Joanna Geraghty: Ooh, that sounds fun. Can I join your team? Wow.

Brian Kelly: Yeah, seriously, I would love that. No, you have too much more important stuff to do. Window or aisle seats? And you can’t cop out and say Mint suite.

Joanna Geraghty: Window. I’m a window person. However, asterisk, when I’m flying on JetBlue flights, because I spend time talking with our crew, I always sit in the aisle because I don’t want to disrupt the customer next to me. Getting up and down and heading back to the galley, and chatting with them. So, if I’m flying on other carriers because JetBlue does not fly there, I will take a window seat. But when I fly JetBlue I take an aisle.

Brian Kelly: And do (you) fly competitively with other airlines just to see what they’re offering? Or…

Joanna Geraghty: Absolutely, yeah. I definitely do. I mean, I think it’s important to know what’s out there. And I think it reaffirms certain things that you’re doing right. And it also identifies things other carriers are doing. ‘Cause I think we all can learn from the competition.

Brian Kelly: What are the biggest trends you see? Like, biometrics, in 10 years do you think we’ll be walking through the airport totally without … You know, going through security that isn’t run by people looking at an ID badge, or boarding planes … I know JetBlue has had a bunch of tests in biometrics.

Joanna Geraghty: Yeah.

Brian Kelly: What are your thoughts on biometrics? And then, just, open trends that you’re seeing?

Joanna Geraghty: Yeah, I think biometrics is one of the biggest ones. We currently are doing biometric-enabled boarding in Boston, Fort Lauderdale, and JFK. On our … a segment of our international flights. We’re trialing a number of different products for biometric boarding, which is very cool. We’ll also be trialing a biometric bag drop.

Joanna Geraghty: I definitely think in less than 10 years you will have airports biometrically enabled for check-in, bag drop and gates. I’m not sure about the TSA checkpoint. That’s a more challenging area. There are jurisdictional issues. There’s not a database of licenses that you can validate the biometric image off of. So, there’s some significant challenges on, I think, making biometrics…

Brian Kelly: Widespread…

Joanna Geraghty: Widespread across the checkpoint.

Brian Kelly: ‘Cause they do have it for passports, but then not everyone has a passport.

Joanna Geraghty: So, yeah, customs is great. I mean, they’ve been very innovative in this space. You will have customs doing biometric face scanning very shortly. So, I do think that will redefine the airport experience. You know, customers show up and the emotion that they feel when they step into the lobby is anxiety. Particularly if you’re a leisure customer. And so our focus has been: How do you reduce that anxiety and make the experience more seamless? Biometrics absolutely does that. And, you know, we need to be mindful of the privacy considerations, and they’re real. And, you know, working with some of the advocacy groups out there. But yeah, I think biometrics is gonna be one of those fantastic things.

Joanna Geraghty: Personalization, that’s the other area I think the airline industry is behind in. If you look at some of the other…  Starbucks, Amazon, what they’re doing around personalization…

Brian Kelly: Or even the hotel rooms now where you can go and watch a Netflix in one hotel (and) finish it in the other.

Joanna Geraghty: Yeah.

Brian Kelly: And have it all … Your lighting set. And your beds. And…

Joanna Geraghty: Yeah. And these are becoming tables stakes now. Customers expect you to know them. Customers expect you to anticipate their needs.

Brian Kelly: I know I do, kind of … I know they have to say, “Have you flown Mint before?” And I’m like, “Oh, of course I have. 100 times.”

Joanna Geraghty: I know. And we actually … We get that feedback. So, as we’re building our personalization strategy, that’s actually one of the top items that we need to fix. Because our crew members tell us, “I’m embarrassed that I asked Brian if he flew Mint, when I know he was here two weeks ago and he flew it.”

Brian Kelly: And I know JetBlue has plans beyond London. And I know you don’t have any other announcements to share today. You’ve shared enough. But do you think in 2019, we’ll hear about those other cities? Or the Mints … You know, the new Mint suite that is gonna come out hopefully? Is that…

Joanna Geraghty: I don’t … So, I don’t think we’ll be announcing much around sort of the product in 2019. I think from a competitive standpoint we really want to keep it under wraps. You know, obviously there’s been other announcements around more international flying from other carriers. And these are very competitive times, and we want to make sure that when we roll this out that we control the message here because I think it’s gonna be exciting, and very, very uniquely JetBlue.

Brian Kelly: Well, I know I can speak for myself and a lot of other people that we’re excited for airfare, especially in a premium cabin, to come down. And friendly service across the pond. So, best of luck to you guys.

Joanna Geraghty: Thank you. Thanks.

Brian Kelly: Congratulations on the announcements.

Joanna Geraghty: Thanks so much.

Brian Kelly: And thanks for being on Talking Points.

Joanna Geraghty: Thanks for having me.

Brian Kelly: That’s it for this episode of Talking Points. A huge thanks to Joanna Geraghty from JetBlue Airways. Congrats again on all of your announcements. Again, I’m your host, Brian Kelly, and this episode was produced by Margaret Kelly and Caroline Schagrin, with editing by Ryan Gabbos. Our theme music is by Breakmaster Cylinder. Special thanks to Christie Matsui, my legendary assistant. And if you’ve been enjoying Talking Points so far, thank you, and please leave us a good review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Brian Kelly: This episode may feature offers that are subject to change, and are offered by our advertising partners. ThePointsGuy.com is a free website, so we do advertise in order to generate revenue. For a full listing of our advertising policy, go to ThePointsGuy.com/advertising.

2018 TPG Award Winner: Mid-Tier Card of the Year
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.99% - 24.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.