JetBlue fulfills fan's request for Jets plane
August, 31, 2012
By Darren Rovell | ESPNNewYork.com
David Baghdassarian JetBlue sent its Jets-themed plane after a fan requested it on Twitter for a flight to New York.David Baghdassarian is a huge Jets fan.
His Florida license plate is JTSFN, his tailgating grill is green and white and he dressed as Rex Ryan for Christmas. No, not Halloween. Christmas.
So when Baghdassarian was getting ready for a trip back to New York, where he was born and raised, he thought he'd give it a try: Get JetBlue to fly him home in its Jets plane.
As part of its partnership with the Jets, the company has been flying around a plane wrapped with a Jets logo since October 2010. Where it flies to and from is usually random, but this Jets fan wanted to change that.
On Aug. 23, a week before his flight, Baghdassarian (@bags) tweeted to JetBlue executives, who have been particularly active on Twitter.
The Tweet reached its intended targets: Marty St. George, the airline's vice president of marketing, David Barger, JetBlue's CEO, and COO Rob Maruster.
The next morning, Barger sent the tweet along with the comment "Love it!" to his vice president of airport and system operations, Alex Battaglia, known on Twitter as @B6AirportGuy.
A few hours later, the main @JetBlue account tweeted to Baghdassarian:
"I was super excited," Baghdassarian, a 40-year-old health care attorney, told ESPN.com. "I didn't tell too many people because I didn't want to jinx it."
On Thursday, he showed up at the airport in a Jets T-shirt for the flight and sure enough, when he checked in, there was the plane in its green and white glory.
Courtesy of David BaghdassarianDavid Baghdassarian in his Rex Ryan costume.
"I think it's so great that CEOs and executives are making themselves accessible to the public and responding to things like this," Baghdassarian said. "It really helps people connect with a company."
For its part, JetBlue spokesman Morgan Johnston says it was the first time the airline ever got a request from a passenger to specifically have the Jets plane fly him home, though Johnston said it has happened before with some of the company's other sports planes -- a Red Sox one and one draped in Real Salt Lake logos.
"We saw his tweet and it wasn't hard to schedule the plane to fly him home," Johnston said. "Now we obviously can't have our customers dictating their routes all the time, but when we can listen to our customers, react quickly and do something cool, we obviously make the effort to do so."
After several high-profile public relations disasters, JetBlue has devoted more attention to reaching out to its customers. At more than 1.6 million followers, JetBlue is not only the most-followed airline, it is also among the most-followed companies on Twitter.