Well...based on current market JetBlue is a "jet operator", but may be close (or already be...) a national.
If you want to dismiss them, fine. I chose another carrier (albeit after a LONG bit of soul searching)--FedEx.
However...JetBlue is one of 4 airlines paying more than "regional pay" that I know are hiring. They are FDX (out of a pool), Southwest (also a pool), Airtran (don't know) and JetBlue. Scoff if you like, but I think JB will be successful for several more years...then either continue to erode market share from the majors and become a healthy niche player (ala Alaska air) or get bought out (but right now I don't know any deep pocketed airbus operators.)
However...for the many dudes that have emailed since June that have interviewed and been hired or those of you that are interested...here's some of the benefits this "jet operator" offers...
JetBlue flies you to training...on their dime. Hotel paid and rental car split with sim partner (unmatched in industry) You get paid $2500 per month on top of that. By comparison, I get 2k per month at FedEx--period. Crashpad, trip to Memphis, etc. all on my dime. No big deal...but you gotta appreciate the "don't worry...trip's on us..." mentality.
$1000 buck laptop day 3 for use in academics and on the line. Also allowed for personal use.
Appox 55k first year (FO). Expect to pay 250/month for insurance benefits....like SWA they have a minority/majority plan vice 100% company paid. At 85 hours a month that's less than 3 bucks per hour off your rate...so you're still doing better than Airtran rates and SWA year one rates.
Chance to be Capt in about a year. By my math, it was around 125k per year. Goes up to around 144-150 by year 8-10.
6000 stock option. Ties your heart, soul, and retirement to company. Could be huge....could be a whimper. I don't think it will match SWA's returns, but I think those guys will all do well.
A great atmosphere....where FAs, pilots, and everyone on the line seem to like and support each other. We've all been told it will change as it grows....but right now that is irrelevant. It is good now...perhaps it might even stay good if everyone continues to be successful.
Why the digs at Blue? If UAL, DAL, and AAL were ringing people off the hook, then maybe putting the "jet ops" and "nationals" on another board might be warranted. Right now, the only companies making any money are the freight haulers and the smaller carries. Perhaps we should have a "hiring" and "furloughing" board. Several folks have made it sound like people should apologize for considering JetBlue, et. al. Well, if you want to fly 121, you have to go where the hiring is...and boys..the hiring ain't gonna happen at the Top 5 for a while, and if you aren't already in the app system for FedEx or UPS odds are you are SOL for some time. I am unique in my squadron--I'm going to work next week for an airline! All my UAL buddies and all but one of my Delta buddies at my squadron are furloughed. My DAL buddy may get bumped down a plane as well. JetBlue is hiring and training about 20 a month for a while...not huge...but DAL is furloughing 100 a month next year. So who are we going to talk about more on a wannabe board?
I just had to clarify one point with regard to FedEx not providing transportation, a room and wheels for training. Training for JB is "offsite,"i.e. not at the domicile -- JFK. Training for FedEx IS at the domicile and they expect you to live there, so that's the reason for no "ticket" to training or providing a room. If by chance you should get sent to MIA (DC-10 and 727?) or PIT (727 -- I'm not sure they are doing that anymore) for sims, FedEx will pay for your room, rental car, airline ticket and PER DIEM! Actually a better deal than JB. But $2000/month for training still sucks and they should've picked up part of the tab for the interview. Oh well, it could be worse.