Across the Aisle from JetBlue CEO Dave Barger Part 1: Keeping the Product Fresh and Long Beach Troubles

While I was at the Phoenix Symposium last week, I had the chance to sit Across the Aisle from JetBluewith Dave Barger, CEO of JetBlue to talk shop. I had planned to chat mostly about the airline’s plans to keep the product fresh, but after I mentioned I lived in Long Beach, Dave became quite vocal about the status of things around here. It appears that there’s trouble in paradise, and leaving the airport entirely is not out of the question.

We did get to the product discussion after that, and as you’ll see tomorrow in Part 2, we also talked about the state of wi-fi onboard, some serious upcoming changes to TrueBlue, the airline’s frequent flier program, and some brand new international partnerships on the way. But enough of that. Let’s get to the interview.

planeline

Cranky: It’s good to see you again Dave. I always pay particularly close attention to you guys since I live under the usual departure path out of Long Beach. I’m also probably the only guy in my neighborhood who would like to see more flights out of the airport. So, I certainly watch what happens with you and the airport in general very closely. But let’s get to my first question. Many people describe Virgin America as being the “cool” airline, and that’s something that used to be used to describe your brand. What are you guys doing to take back that title?

Dave: Let’s talk about Long Beach for a second. It has been a huge frustration for us. They need to make good on their commitment to improve the airport experience. The City of Long Beach couldn’t have a more committed partner than JetBlue, but it’s been difficult.

Cranky: So what exactly is the problem? Is it that you can’t use your E-190s in the commuter slots?

Dave: We would like to be able to use our E-190s in those commuter slots. That’s the perfect use of those slots, because these aircraft are very quiet. But the best example is that it took us 30 months to build a brand new terminal at JFK but we’re still stuck in temporary trailers in Long Beach. I don’t think communities always realize what an economic tool an airport is. You can’t take commercial air service for granted.

Cranky: How much of an issue is this? Would you consider leaving the airport?

Dave: Well, LAX is part of our LA Basin strategy, but it becomes a necessary part because of the lack of partnership with the City of Long Beach. People might have to go to LAX to use us, because we’re actually wanted there.

Cranky: So you would leave Long Beach?

Dave: I wouldn’t take any option off the table. Municipalities must make good on their commitments. That includes parking, terminals, baggage claim and every other part of the experience. The message I would give is that especially in a recession, you shouldn’t take air service for granted.

planeline

Dave: Now, to get back to your question about the product, we want to keep refreshing it. We’ve won the JD Power award 4 years in a row, and we have our Strive for Five program now, but we want to keep improving.

Cranky: What does that mean in practice? What can customers expect to see?

Dave: The question is not “how do you create a club atmosphere when people get on the plane?” We’re not talking about mood-lighting or cool-colored seats. We don’t think you have to order from your seatback. Our focus in on the whole cabin as opposed to just First Class, not just the 8 seats up front. It’s LiveTV, it’s XM Radio, but it’s building the brand for the long term.

planeline

Looking back, I wish I would have pressed a little more on this subject, but time was short, and I had a lot to discuss. Come back tomorrow and I’ll have Part 2 with his thoughts on inflight wi-fi, changes to the TrueBlue program, and new international partnership opportunities.


43 Responses to Across the Aisle from JetBlue CEO Dave Barger Part 1: Keeping the Product Fresh and Long Beach Troubles

  1. brian says:

    my co-workers in all departments work very hard to provide an excellent jetBlue experiance, its frustrating to me that someone is concerned if we are “cool” or not. when a company is only operating at a 25% some odd give or take load factor i suppose that it dont take very many people to think its cool. As to where we typically operate 89% i believe again give or take, there is bound to be a select few that bring down our “cool” status. In the next year we have incredible offerings coming and i am pleasantly pleased in what my leaders are doing for my company such as offering food.
    As far as LGB i was not aware of any issues however after reading this, it would sadden me to not be there in LGB the crew is fantastic so are the customers!!!! With that said there are many options such as orange county nearby john wayne and soon we will be in LAX and also the option of ONT again that i am sure we could jet to. I think i remember LGB being rather difficult to us for many years now and its sad, look at all we have done as a company for that community the list is very long.
    I couldnt agree with dave more about lighting and seat colors for “cool” some customers tell me its tacky and they dislike it, personally i havent had the pleasure of my own experiance.. lastly i will continue to joke smile and be ever so welcoming to all my customers new, old and even cranky.. I MAKE THEM ALL SMILE AND that is FREE.. I love my company and what it stands for in my eyes its MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN AIR TRAVEL…

  2. Graham says:

    Brett,

    Thanks for this. It’s funny because I recently flew out of BOS to LA and took Virgin going and JetBlue on the return redeye out of LGB. For a variety of reasons, the temp terminal at LGB was packed to the gills with people. To the point the deplaning became difficult because people were blocked by those waiting to board the 3 waiting outbounds. I actually had to be told which of the 3 A320s I was boarding when I walked out onto the tarmac. While it was cool to see all those birds up close, it would have been better if they weren’t all boarded at the same time. Also, one of the gate agents came over the PA and said, “If you live in Long Beach and think this is ridiculous, then let the Governor(sic) of Long Beach know!” I remarked to my seat mate that I think the residents are the wrong group to appeal to, since they’re probably fine with the restrictions.

    And I also wrote to B6 about their internet offerings, I haven’t riden on Beta Blue, but from posts and comments it sounds pretty limited. After flying Virgin, I realized not only the genius of full internet, but of AC power which is key. That allowed me to watch a movie, even when the RED system went down. I’m wondering if JetBlue’s internet will be free, which I hope it will, given how their wifi page talks about the airline not wanting to nickel and dime people.

    That’s all. Thanks for all the great work. I’m a big fan of the blog.

  3. blue says:

    As a JetBlue inflight crew, I, too, would be sad if we had to leave LGB. Our customers and crewmembers alike enjoy the convenience of the location, ease of access to/from the freeway, rental cars, parking, etc. It’s a great location and I’d be disappointed if the city didn’t realize what a gem they have in JetBlue’s presence there.

    Before JetBlue arrived at LGB, it was a sleepy, under-used, 9-commercia-departures-a-day airport. Such a waste. I appreciate Cranky’s thoughts and hope more locals voice their positive opinions about having the convenience of commercial air service in Long Beach. It’s such a great alternative! But no matter what happens, JetBlue will thrive…whether in Long Beach, LAX, or other socal locations. Because we love our company, and our customers, and serving them with respect and compassion. It’s just how we roll.

  4. CF says:

    Thanks everyone for the comments so far today. I always appreciate good, detailed thoughts.

    Brian – The point of my question about being “cool” wasn’t so much about trying to follow Virgin America but rather reclaiming the title it used to own outright. Dave made it clear that he wasn’t interested in copying Virgin America, and that seems smart, but if you aren’t taking the time to refresh the brand every so often, it can become stale. And for JetBlue, brand is a big part of the airline’s identity, unlike many other carriers. I was really just trying to get at what they will be doing to keep the brand fresh.

    Graham – The internet offerings are pretty limited, but they will be free. The key is that you can get email, but you can’t really surf the web. I’ll have more on this tomorrow.

    blue – Personally, I’d like to think that JetBlue won’t leave Long Beach, because I doubt we’d see anyone come in to fill the void. But it’s obviously quite the complicated situation here.

  5. JB Pilot says:

    A lot of people complain about airline punctuality. Oddly enough, many of those same people want to limit airlines’ accessibility to airports. They also have no desire to make their airport as operation-ready as possible. When you look up “hypocrite” in the dictionary, it probably uses this type of scenario to help describe the word.

    Check out LGB Airport on a Friday or Sunday or most any holiday. It is it over-crowded to the point of being a safety hazard. The city of Long Beach relies on the ignorance of JetBlue customers who blame JetBlue for the uncomfortable and inefficient conditions at the airport. We lease gates folks … we don’t build them! Time for Long Beach to either do the right thing or kick JetBlue out (which almost equates to the same buffoonery as Berkeley wanting to kick out the Marine Corps).

    And if Long Beach kicks JetBlue out or continues to drag their feet on airport improvements, out of all of their options, that’s certainly a couple of ‘em. But please don’t then be a hypocrite and complain about airline performance. That would be like smoking two packs of cigs a day, eating to obesity, and then complaining about America’s health care system. Hopefully the political leaders of Long Beach are smarter than that.

  6. LGBFA says:

    How disheartening to hear that pulling out of LGB isn’t out of the realm of possibility for Jetblue. More disheartening is having to hear about it through this article. Let the panic begin for all of the crew members that work out of that base. The comments, casual or not, are the equivalent to pulling the fire alarm in a crowded movie theater. I love the company and the people that I work with but having been with the company for 7 1/2 years, I would expect a little more tact and responsibility when making remarks that can have a huge ripple effect in company moral. It’s great if the city leaders that make the decisions regarding the airport read this article and realize the severity of Jetblue’s situation but if not the only thing accomplished was making a bunch of hardworking employees nervous about keeping their jobs or transferring to LAX.

  7. James says:

    I hope we leave Long Beach and go to LAX. Long Beach has been so disappointing with too many restrictions. With LAX we could grow immensely. Thank You!!

  8. brian says:

    CONGRATS to all of us that love our company! i also have been employed over 7 years and love everything as previously stated. i will again say that longbeach should SMARTEN up and do the right thing, we as a company have brought more cash flow, projects and donations to organizations not to mention all the fees associated with take off and landing there either being ontime or late.. SERIOUSLY get a grip longbeach dont kick a cash horse in the mouth.. we are in a recession here and JetBlue brings many many dollars to that city not only in jobs but also everything listed above. THANK YOU TO THE JB PILOT who had the best comment as of yet.. customers dont always know the in and out of an operation. And i know if i was a resident there i would boot my elected officials that CLEARLY are like everyone else in govt CROOKED and not thinking of hard working individuals and the area that they represent.. p.s. isnt california in a huge budget crisis right now.. think clearly longbeach. long and hard here is a great lil saying for you ” someone with one foot in the past and one foot in the future is pis**ng on the present”
    i am grateful to our leaders that are doing the best they can not to screw thier hard working employees that love thier job. DONT take any bologna Dave from these lgb people we are better than that

  9. David SF east bay says:

    Maybe I missed something, but why isn’t Long Beach doing something to make the airport better? It’s been many years since I’ve been to that airport and it was a tiny closet of a place back then when airlines only had a few flights a day. Can’t think what it is like now, temp trailers don’t sound good.

  10. jetbluecrew says:

    I can only hope that we pull out of Long Beach,This airline has existed for over 9 years and has bent over backwards trying to please the Long Beach City council members,who have only blocked and blocked at the insistence of those living in the immediate area,including a council member who is a flight attendant with the competition.This airline has spent a lot of money with plans and offers to please the council only to be fed with the last newspaper article that i read that made me so disgusted was,”if Jetblue wants to leave let them we don’t need them”That was from one of the council memebers.I say how much time and monet do you spend before you go,ok,we will leave.Lets leave Dave really this airport has nothing to offer anymore,let VA take it and soend the money on a losing battle.If the people of LGB really want us maybe they will show up and fight the city council who seems to hat us with a vengance.That is what i told a check out person in LGB at Trader Joes who stated how much we were loved,i told him ,tell your city council that.I say lets blow this joint,it is over rated and we are unwelcome.

  11. jetbluecrew says:

    I can only hope that we pull out of Long Beach,This airline has existed for over 9 years and has bent over backwards trying to please the Long Beach City council members,who have only blocked and blocked at the insistence of those living in the immediate area,including a council member who is a flight attendant with the competition.This airline has spent a lot of money with plans and offers to please the council only to be fed with the last newspaper article that i read that made me so disgusted was,”if Jetblue wants to leave let them we don’t need them”That was from one of the council members.I say how much time and monet do you spend before you go,ok,we will leave.Lets leave Dave really this airport has nothing to offer anymore,let VA take it and soend the money on a losing battle.If the people of LGB really want us maybe they will show up and fight the city council who seems to hat us with a vengance.That is what i told a check out person in LGB at Trader Joes who stated how much we were loved,i told him ,tell your city council that.I say lets blow this joint,it is over rated and we are unwelcome.

  12. Cleia says:

    In response to LGBFA:

    I’d like to note that Dave may have said what he said for an audience called “Long Beach City Council” and “LGB Airport Employees”. The council needs a jab to get them moving and if the LGB city employees (who are likely to lose their jobs if JetBlue bails out) can provide it so much the better. JetBlue LGB employees have attended many council meetings in support of facility improvement to no avail.

    The squeaky wheels who bought their homes at a discount off either end of the runway just want to benefit from a quieter environment (i.e. higher home values) at the expense of the rest of the community. I think the airport beat them to the “property rights argument” early in the 20th century.

    While I understand that any B6 LGB employee can look at this as a “bombshell” by Dave (me included) I think it was more of a pressure play on the LGB powers that be. I ain’t goin’ to LAX, much as I love my job at B6 LGB.

  13. magz says:

    I truly love Long

  14. magz says:

    I truly love Long

  15. FLLBJ says:

    Long Beach (LGB) is not the first community not to know what it will be losing until it too late through inaction, out of date zoning and thinking. It has taken more than 21 years for Fort Lauderdale (FLL) (that gold mine in the east) to extend the commuter runway on the south side of the airport and it still not completed. Broward County and the FAA are still dealing with law suits, but the project continues to inch forward. The Broward County Commission’s indecision and buckling under year after year to a couple hundred of individuals who bought their homes at a discount in the footprint of the airport, who also just want to benefit from a quieter environment (i.e. higher home values) at the expense of the millions in the rest of the community. After nine years at FLL, JetBlue (B6) has become one of the only two growth airlines at FLL, supporting the all important Port Everglades cruise industry and the Florida tourism industry in general. With this and the loss of JetBlue University and the Live TV Hanger to Orlando (MCO) the county commission is just waking up to JetBlue’s needs. The Terminal 3, Concourse F (T3) agreement between Broward County Aviation (BCAD) will postion B6 to become an even larger, major contributor to the community’s economic health. LGB, the Long Beach commission and the Long Beach community as a whole would be wise to pay attention.

  16. FLLBJ says:

    “The Broward County Commission’s indecision and buckling under year after year to a couple hundred of individuals who bought their homes at a discount in the footprint of the airport, who also just want to benefit from a quieter environment (i.e. higher home values) at the expense of the millions in the rest of the community. SHOULD HAVE READ “The Broward County Commission’s indecision and buckling under year after year to a couple hundred of individuals who bought their homes at a discount in the footprint of the airport and who also just want to benefit from a quieter environment (i.e. higher home values) at the expense of the millions in the rest of the community, has only made the problem worse.” Sorry, sometimes my Hyde Park soapbox just rambles on and on and on.

  17. LAX Mark says:

    Cranky,

    This traffic was at LAX prior to JetBlue launching service at LGB anyway, so if B6 brings it back to LAX, it will just be a return to the way things were prior to 2000.

  18. Zack Rules says:

    What about general aviation? There were 398,433 aircraft movements in 2008 making Long Beach the 25TH busiest airports by traffic movements in the ENTIRE WORLD! That works out to by 1091 movements per day compared to around 43 daily flights per day on Alaska Airlines, jetBlue Airways and US Airways Express. Also, add in a couple of ABX Air, Fed Ex and UPS flights per day. Why pick on commercial aviation? It seems that overwhelmingly, charter flights, private aviation, flight schools, law enforcement flights, helicopters, advertising blimps and planes towing advertising banners are really the ones making all the noise, not commercial aviation. If these folks are really worried about noise, why not out aircraft by noise? 727’s, DC-9’s and older jets shouldn’t be allowed to use the airport. Perhaps jetBlue should back some opposing candidates in the next Long Beach City Council election.

  19. CF says:

    Zack – I don’t want to see us lose any of our operations here at Long Beach, but commercial aviation is unfairly singled out. We have military C-17 operations (this is where they’re built). We see Gulfstream’s service center push out many private jets. And there’s even an incredibly awesome DC-3 cargo operation on the airport. Even more interesting is the noise regulation here that is, in fact, not noise-based. There are 25 commuter slots but they are only offered to aircraft under a certain weight. The CRJ-700s fall under that weight, so they are able to use them. JetBlue’s Embraer 190s do not, but they are quieter aircraft. So how does that make sense? The worst part is that of the 25 commuter slots, only 5 are used right now, so JetBlue doesn’t even need to have more slots added – they just need to have the existing slots become noise-based as they should be.

  20. Carl says:

    If JetBlue were to leave LGB, would you see Alaska, US Air, and Delta leave as well?

    On to the 41 slot issue, why don’t we start a campaign with (or ask B6 to ask) WN, DL, CO, and UA to file a complaint with the FAA that 16.43 violates Federal access rules and is a barrier to entry???

    http://www.lbreport.com/news/may03/lgbfaafi.htm (<- idea taken from here)
    .
    The FAA pretty much spelled it out when they approved the 2003 Airline Agreement between AA, B6, AS and Long Beach.

  21. Ron says:

    Zack, Cranky — commercial aviation is the noisiest component in LGB, based on my own subjective perception (I live under the southeastern approach of runway 30/12). Individual C-17 movements are the loudest but they’re rare, I don’t think I encounter them more than once every few weeks. Occasionally (a few times a day) a loud business jet flies by. But in most cases, when an airplane is loud enough to make me turn my head, it turns out to be a commercial jet. Personally this doesn’t bother me much and I would be happy to see some more service, but we should admit that commercial aviation is a very substantial contributor to the noise at LGB.

  22. CF says:

    Ron – Since you live under 30/12, I don’t doubt that’s the case. But if you lived west or east of the airport under the 7/25 runways, then you might have a different opinion.

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  24. Hopeful desert flyer says:

    How about moving to a community who would do just about anything to have “Jet Blue”. Think hangar for aircraft storage… lots of office space…having a city who is pro business by supporting businesses that re-locate or expand in area by tax credits…foreign trade zone… military & aerospace flight market…think aircraft storage & maintenance facility…a flight shuttle to LAX (sister airport) while building up international at LAX.
    Anyone ever hear of Palmdale?

  25. Kimberlee says:

    NOOO!!! I fly into Long Beach from JFK all the time, at least 3 times a year. I love the small airport. It is also the closest airport to Orange County. San Diego and LAX are both 1 hour with plenty of traffic. Don’t leave Long Beach unless you move to the John Wayne Airport. The parking at JFK is not great by the Jetblue terminal either so I wouldn’t really weigh that against the small Long Beach airport. I find it nostalgic that we have to walk outside to the board, southern California is one of the few places that would be able to work year round. I have been a loyal Jetblue customer but if they drop Long Beach with no service to Orange County, then they will lose my loyalty because I’m not driving an hour to where I need to go, especially from LAX (the traffic!!!)

  26. Nancy says:

    JetBlue should resume service at LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT). People who resides in San Bernardino County must now either drive to Burbank, Long Beach or LAX for JetBlue service. Drive time to BUR or LGB is 1 hour; LAX is 2 hours or more. Ontario is a small, modern, clean, beautiful airport. Burbank is old, dirty with 1950s decor. You have to walk outside on the tarmac and climb these steep steps in order to board a plane! So antiquated. More importantly, when JetBlue abandoned ONT in Sept. 2008, it left the entire County without direct flight access to large cities (in particular NYC). I sincerely hope that Dave Barger reconsiders bringing JetBlue back to ONT.

  27. Kim says:

    DON’T LEAVE LONG BEACH!!!

    Long Beach is always our first choice when picking an airport. We fly once or twice a month on business. That’s the main reason we fly JetBlue.
    What makes LGB great? Endless reasons…
    It’s small. There is always parking. Affordable parking. Short security lines. Short check-in lines. Efficient boarding beacuse of being able to load the planes from front and back doors. Quick baggage claim. Old Fashioned charm and simplicity.
    Who cares if you have to wait in a temporary terminal? It’s just a place to sit for a few minutes. It’s not like you’re doing lots of long layovers there. Besides, we’re in a recession, remember? There’s no money for a marble and glass palace, that’s so last decade.
    BOTTOM LINE: If we had to go to LAX or J Wayne, we could choose from hundreds of other flight options, and many would be cheaper. There would be no reason to stay loyal to JetBlue, especially if they had chosen to ditch Long Beach.

  28. Dan says:

    If JB is such a great company, airline, friend of community…why are youy a $4 stock.

    If you want to threaten to leave Long Beach. Feel free, as Long Beach is only a gateway for other communities citizens. It will be more a lost for those folks.

    Get your stock up, do an offering to raise money, figure our a proper fuel hedge program and stop whinning.

  29. Jayman says:

    I live in Long Beach. I have a thriving business in Long Beach, and I fly from Long Beach Airport almost weekly. I take Jet Blue as much as possible and I will even take other flights to destinations that Jet Blue does not fly to (such as Houston, Dallas, etc.) from LGB via a connection elsewhere so that I can avoid going to LAX or SNA. I love Long Beach Airport, and having the airport and Jet Blue enhancing my quality of life in the City of Long Beach. I am saddened and embarrassed by our city officials and all of the NIMBYs who make this noise about the airport. Its a huge generator of pride and quality of life for us in Long Beach, and I will support changes and enhancements at Long Beach for the benefit of all of us who use the airport and are proud of our B6. But threatening to pull out of Long Beach would be a mistake for Jet Blue. If Jet Blue pulled out of Long Beach, after threatening or holding hostage the city (and its residents)….it would be reminscent of what happened with the Walt Disney Company when they bought the Queen Mary lease and built up the idea of DisneySea, in Long Beach only to pit Long Beach against Anaheim to get what they wanted in the first place. In the end, there is a lot of bitterness around Long Beach, and I took would feel angry at Jet Blue for pulling out, when in fact so many Long Beach residents LOVE Jet Blue, and support Jet Blue, and are Jet Blue customers. I would imagine a jilting would cause the question of why would we go to LAX or SNA for Jet Blue, when in fact, the reason we fly on Jet Blue, primarily is because it is our hometown airline and we get the benefit of using LGB.

  30. jetbluecrew says:

    Because B6 is a nationwide company and LGB is our west coast hub,duh.If you actually knew about our company you would not offer such an ignorant opinion,you have no clue.

  31. Frequentflyer says:

    As a regular Jet Blue customer, I’d like to make one thing very clear to Dave Barger, jetbluecrew, et al. I fly Jet Blue by preference. I also fly out of Long Beach by preference. But if you to force me to choose between the two, I will choose Long Beach. Sure, LGB has its shortcomings, and sure, it gets a little crowded at times. But these are trivial when compared to the hassle of flying out of that cesspit known as LAX. And no, I don’t reside in Long Beach or even anywhere near it.

  32. Ken says:

    I and many others that live in Huntington Beach would love to see Jet Blue leave. Our once quiet neighborhoods are now ruined with screaming , low flying Jet Blue aircraft all day long. Jet Blue has been a terrible neighbor, good riddance.

  33. Mary says:

    NOOOOO!! Don’t leave Long Beach!! I live in Orange County, about 5 minutes from John Wayne Airport, but I have been going up to Long Beach, a mere 20 minutes, for over 6 years now. I am one of the true blue loyal JetBlue fliers; there is no better flying experience out there, but I will NOT GO TO LAX for Jetblue. LAX is an overwhelming, expensive, rude nightmare.

    Long Beach is a lovely airport; the terminal is charming, easy to get around, the staff are friendly, and parking has never been a problem.

  34. Joe says:

    Lets get the hell out of LGB! Stop wasting our time & money there. They love taking our money but don’t make good on promises. Lets go to an city where we are wanted, can deliver our great product and this WILL help our bottom line. I can only imagine how much better off we’d be if we didn’t pay the 2+ million a year in landing fees to LGB. I wonder what will happen when the city no longer has that money to spend on their local projects? The certainly don’t put it back into the airport? They never think of that. Bet they will still want us to pay even if we stop flying there. Funny, I flew into LGB 15 years ago, It was a very busy airport then with everything from C-17’s to flight training 152’s. True, there was nothing in the way of commercial traffic, but those old Gulfstreams certainly are loud! And a small piston twin roaring overhead is LOUDER than our planes by far, and they operated from 6 am to almost midnight. The locals can say what they want, the truth is JetBlue is not the noise maker there. They have scammed us long enough,a nd are nothing but sticking their noses in the air to us. Its not paradise, its not Huntington Beach. Its not Malibu. Its not Rancho Palos Verdes! Its friggin LONG BEACH! Hell, its gangbanger central there. When was the last time you ducked for cover when you heard jet noise? Locked your car door cause “oh crap its a JetBlue plane next to me.” Yeah, ok. Take a poll… see how many locals wear either blue or red? ’nuff said? The customers will go to where ever the deal is. Period. Lets just do the obviously smart thing. End the nightmare and free-for-all grabbing of our money. End the lies. End the nightmare. Just end it. Lets go to LA, they have the infrastructure, have the customs, have the facilities and best of all – they want us. The customers will follow. Its seems bluntly obvious to me? Why continue the debate over LGB? We can have the same wonderful staff in LA, better experience for our customers, expand service and even international ops with customs and improve the bottom line. Then LGB can return to what it was, a little airport in a crappy little city.

  35. Jayman says:

    I am glad to know now that some of the people who apparently work for Jet Blue hate Long Beach. Do you know that a very large portion of the people who work at Jet Blue at Long Beach airport are Long Beach residents? Long Beach is NOT a “crappy little city”…compared to his examples…Malibu, Huntington Beach, and Rancho Palos Verdes… none of them are true cities at all… but simply suburbs of “real” cities. Long Beach is a real city, with real corporate headquarters, real industry, a powerful port, a true downtown, extraordinary neighborhoods, a real airport (which most people love) and most importantly, almost 400,000 diverse residents who are some of the most city-proud friendly people I know. I love Jet Blue, but its not a philanthropic organization handing money to Long Beach, its a business… and remember, Long Beach residents and businesses support Jet Blue, otherwise they would not be here.

  36. CF says:

    Joe – FYI, airport revenues are required to stay on-airport. So it’s not going into city coffers unless they’re breaking the law, and I have never seen any proof or even accusation of that with Long Beach. Also, you clearly don’t spend much time in Long Beach, because there are several very nice neighborhoods here.

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  41. LGBresident says:

    Note to Bob Foster: Please remove your self aggrandizing lighted photo from the LGB passenger departure lounge. You have no right whatsoever to perch yourself in the middle of the airport you have worked so dilligently to impede.

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