Ask anyone who has flown JetBlue and they usually have good things to say. There’s something about those crisp blue uniforms and that DirectTV that makes people fans. I found another reason to like JetBlue last night when I read a story by Scott McCarthy in the WSJ. They like hiring former NYC cops and firemen.
It’s a natural that I’m surprised more airlines haven’t picked up on. They retire at about age 50, they’re used to working weekends and long shifts, and they know how to deal with crowds, anxiety and nervousness. The story included a photo of a young-looking 70 year old former NYFD’er named Leonard Spivey, who now mans the microphone just before take off. Instead of reading from a card, he looks his passengers in the eyes, and then cracks jokes. The crowd loves him.
The former cops and firemen say that it’s all in the way you talk to people, not what you say. A former detective named Laura Romer had to disarm two men who were fighting after one jerked back his seat too quickly. Those old cop skills of keeping two people from each other came in very handy.
The story explains that even the mundane tasks that flight attendants have to do are things that FDNY staff are used to, like cleaning trash from the cabin, serving coffee and soft drinks. Hey, they have to do that at the firehouse too.