As JetBlue upgrades its Mint product, the airline is donating unused and retiring flight amenities to local homeless shelters, missions, soup kitchens, and education partners. The airline is teaming up with various charities to distribute everything from headphones to blankets to toiletries kits.
“It was important to us to put our previous product to additional good use,” said Icema Gibbs, director of corporate social responsibility and diversity, equity and inclusion for JetBlue.
“Instead of sitting in a warehouse or sending these gently and unused items to the landfill, we’re giving them a second life and helping the most vulnerable.”
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JetBlue swaps out old Mint amenities for new amenities
In 2014, upstart JetBlue disrupted the domestic business class status quo when it introduced its Mint product. It was a top tier product at an accessible price point.
On this writer’s Mint flight a couple of years ago, the airline offered Hayward toiletry kits that included brand name items such as Basic Outfitters socks. They used Grado SR80e Prestige Series headphones in the cabin, and the bedding came from London Luxury. Now, JetBlue is upgrading and “refreshing” many of the amenities that came with the Mint experience.
“The airline is providing unused and gently used and cleaned items like blankets, pillows, dishes, and cutlery to those who need them most,” JetBlue says in a statement.
“JetBlue is also providing unused amenity kits and toiletries to homeless shelters, and headphones to some of the JetBlue Foundation’s education partners to assist students in virtual learning.”
Among the organizations enjoying some Christmas largesse from JetBlue are the City of New York and its Department of Social Services, Big Brothers Big Sisters and United Way of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Tacoma Rescue Mission in Seattle, Long Beach Rescue Mission in Los Angeles, and local soup kitchens in Boston.
“This program reinforces JetBlue’s commitment to the city and supporting underserved communities,” said Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City.
JetBlue targets specific charities and causes
Like many corporate entities, JetBlue makes a bit of noise about its charitable activities – and fair enough. JetBlue says it focuses on community, youth/education, and the environment. The airline also targets areas where its customers and crewmembers live and work.
Tieing in with its focus on youth and education, JetBlue’s programs include its Soar with Reading initiative, which to date has provided more than US$3.75 million worth of books to kids. The donation of headphones to Big Brothers Big Sisters continues the theme.
“We’re excited to present hundreds of kids in our program with headphones,” said Malena Mendez-Dorn, president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters in Fort Lauderdale.
“While our kids will use the headphones to listen to their favorite tunes, they’ll also plug them in to stay focused in their virtual classrooms, which is particularly important as many navigate school in an online setting.”
And you can’t fault JetBlue for extending their generosity to less fashionable causes, such as homeless shelters.
JetBlue busy rolling out upgraded Mint product
Meanwhile, for JetBlue regulars, a spruced up Mint product is now getting rolled out.
“This onboard refresh allows us to reset that high bar we set in 2014, with the very best in dining and hospitality, comfort and wellness at 35,000 feet,” said JetBlue’s Elizabeth Windram last month.
“JetBlue’s newest Mint partners will encourage discovery with high-quality food, expertly curated premium amenities and purposeful, custom-for-JetBlue products that will make travelers forget they are in the sky.”
JetBlue says the refresh of the Mint product began in mid-November, facilitating distribution of surplus amenities to the various charities by Christmas.