JetBlue Revamps Its Main Terminal At JFK
PHOTO: JetBlue Airways and John F. Kennedy International Airport officials cut the ribbon on the new T5 terminal. (Courtesy JetBlue)
NEW YORK – What passengers first began to notice back in early June was officially unveiled to the media on Thursday morning – JetBlue Airways has re-designed its main terminal at its home base.
JetBlue has given Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York a whole new look, creating what it says is 75 percent more room in an open, airy new lobby area with a definite bent on self-service – 70 new kiosks to check in, re-packing tables (and scales) for when you need to adjust luggage that goes over 50 pounds, self-serve bag-tagging locations and a dozen new bag drop areas.
“This was a huge undertaking for us and it really has transformed the ground experience, not only for our customers here at JFK but for JetBlue as a whole,” said Don Uselman, JetBlue’s general manager for airport operations at JFK.
JetBlue officials described the overhaul as the intersection of a great public space with technology. The terminal itself is certainly still a baby in many respects – as the airline grew, it opened up T5 as its own terminal only back in 2008 – but the advancements in how passengers approach the airline experience.
And in a summer when lengthy lines at both the ticket counter and security checkpoints have been the bane of airlines’ existence, JetBlue said the new Terminal 5 should help eliminate much of that.
“Customers arrive at T5 oftentimes with boarding passes on their smartphones. Now they can stop at a kiosk and print a bag tag and drop it at the bag drop. Or they can go directly to security and bypass all of that,” said Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue’s Executive Vice President, Customer Experience. “By making the check-in process more self-service, the need to queue is virtually eliminated which is so exciting because there’s nothing worse than taking that escalator down (to the terminal) and seeing a lobby full of lines. The heart sort of sinks. In the last four weeks since we’ve opened, that experience has gone away.”
Geraghty said that doesn’t mean JetBlue staff will leave customers hanging.
“We want crew members to bring the experience to life for our customers,” she said. “Whether you’re a mother or father traveling with young children, a customer with special needs, or someone who just needs a little extra help, you’ll see our crew members out and about willing to help and looking for ways to wow your experience because they’re not stuck behind counters printing bag tags and boarding passes, which frankly doesn’t add a lot of value to the whole experience.”
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