See You at jetBlue T5 this Saturday!


A couple of weeks ago, I got an invitation from jetBlue to participate in a “kick the tires” day at JFK Terminal 5. If you’ve flown out of JFK, you have probably seen the mysterious, Eero Saarinen-designed Terminal 5 peeking at you from your seat on the Air Train. It’s been out of use since TWA went out of business in the mid-90s and sitting there, empty, since.

jetBlue purchased Terminal 5 a few years ago, spiffed it up, and built a new terminal directly behind it. And this Saturday at 9am, I’ll be one of a few hundred (thousand?) people pretending to fly somewhere to make sure all the kinks are worked out before the official opening. YEAH!

I can’t describe how psyched I am to participate — as an airline and design buff, a jetBlue lover, and also as a PR pro. I haven’t seen jetBlue make any noise from a PR perspective about this tryout day, though I’m sure they’re doing it because they’re eager to avoid the catastrophe that British Airways Terminal 5 experienced on its opening day at Heathrow. (Note that BA also held a tryout day.)

I’ll give you an update next week on how the day went. My shift starts at 9am. Parking is free, and barbecue will be served for lunch. Now, the important question: should I attend “in character?” I wonder where my fake ticket says I’m headed.

Related Links
Vintage photos of T5 in service
TWA in PBS documentary Chasing the Sun

Gothamist: Saarinen’s TWA Terminal to Reopen?

3 Comments See You at jetBlue T5 this Saturday!

  1. Sandra Fathi

    Too funny! Yesterday I was in a restaurant in Israel and they had some nice National Geographic magazines for patrons to read while they wait for their meal. Mine was the latest issue from 1965! Featuring, the new and glorious Terminal 5 at JFK with ladies and gents all dressed in their travel best sauntering down the red carpeted steps of this architectural wonder!

  2. elo

    I hope that this new terminal will be the beginning of a better rather than worse track record for the airline. I’ve read so many negative reviews of them, but personally, y experience has mostly been very good…They’re definitely my first choice of airline to fly – if price is the same or close to the same as what another carrier is offering.

    Dr. Tantillo (‘the marketing doctor’) who has a branding blog ( ) did two posts a while back criticizing JetBlue for their sneaky/deceptive frequent flyer program (miles expire – but this isn’t made clear up-front) and well-publicized gaffes.

    Links to JetBlue posts on Tantillo blog:

  3. Leslie


    First off, thanks for the links to the Marketing Doctor website — great stuff, just added him to my RSS feeds.

    I’m a TrueBlue member, and though I agree it stinks that miles expire, I’ve known from the get-go that they would. Their program may be the only one that operates this way, but I wouldn’t call that sneaky.

    I will say that it is nearly impossible for a non-business traveler to get to 100, though! I’ve gotten up to 48, now I’m down to 20. I’m thinking of rolling over some Amex membership reward points to top off my TrueBlue account, probably for holiday travel.

    Thanks for commenting, and keep in touch!

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