NEW YORK, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) recognized JetBlue's (Nasdaq: JBLU) Terminal 5, also known as T5, as the Richard A. Griesbach Award of Excellence winner in the 2009 Airport Concessions Contest, which judged T5's overall concession program best out of fifteen worthy nominees for its tenant mix, quality, brands, sales performance, and build-out across the categories of food service, news and gift, specialty retail, and consumer services. MUJI to GO, part of the T5 program and the first airport location in the US for the Japanese housewares and apparel retailer, won Second Prize for Best New Retail Concept. Shortly after JetBlue's T5 completed its first year of operations, the concession program gets its first major award from an international organization while it continues to break traditional airport paradigms and outperform expectations.
"JetBlue is extremely honored and proud to receive this award from ACI-NA for the T5 concession program, which would not have been possible without the tireless efforts and support of numerous individuals and business partners who helped us realize our dream of creating an exciting and innovative airport experience for our customers," said Mitch Nadler, Director of Concession Management at JetBlue Airways, who received the award on behalf of the company. "We sincerely thank all those who played a role in the T5 program, with special thanks to Rich Smyth and George Sauer, co-Vice Presidents of JetBlue's Corporate Real Estate department from 2004 to 2009 (Rich remains a VP today), AirProjects, Inc., The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the individual concessionaires, who deliver a great experience in a vibrant retail and food service environment to the thousands of JetBlue customers they serve each day."
JetBlue's T5 at JFK was inaugurated in October, 2008. T5 has the ability to handle up to 20 security lanes, 26 gates, free Wi-Fi, 22 restaurants and food outlets, 25 retail stores, and a large children's play area. The 635,000-square-foot building was designed to handle up to 20 million passengers per year.
The awards were announced during the 2009 ACI-NA Airport Concessions Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, at which roughly 200 representatives of the North American airport concessions industry were in attendance. The purpose of the ACI-NA Excellence in Airport Concessions Contest is to inspire creativity in the industry and to recognize innovative and outstanding airport concessions. These awards help to demonstrate the growing importance of concessions to the total airport experience. This year's contest received more than 160 nominations from airports of all sizes throughout the U.S. and Canada. ACI-NA represents local, regional and state governing bodies that own and operate commercial airports in the United States and Canada. Entries were judged by an independent panel comprised of high-level professionals representing the various disciplines reflected in this contest (i.e., food and beverage, retail mall development, consumer groups, architecture, and academic communities). In addition to the independent panel, a minimum of one representative from the previous years' overall winner was involved in the judging process.
ACI-NA members enplane more than 95 percent of the domestic and virtually all the international airline passenger and cargo traffic in North America. The mission of ACI-NA is to advocate policies and provide services that strengthen the ability of commercial airports to serve their passengers, customers and communities.
About JetBlue Airways
New York-based JetBlue Airways has created a new airline category based on value, service and style. In 2009, the carrier ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Low-Cost Carriers in North America" by J.D. Power and Associates, a customer satisfaction recognition received for the fifth year in a row. Known for its award-winning service and free TV as much as its low fares, JetBlue is now pleased to offer customers Lots of Legroom and super-spacious Even More Legroom seats (a). JetBlue introduced complimentary in-flight e-mail and instant messaging services on aircraft "BetaBlue," a first among U.S. domestic airlines. JetBlue is also America's first and only airline to offer its own Customer Bill of Rights, with meaningful and specific compensation for customers inconvenienced by service disruptions within JetBlue's control. Visit www.jetblue.com/promise for details. JetBlue serves 60 cities with 650 daily flights. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all travel is ticketless, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. For information or reservations call 1-800-JET-BLUE (1-800-538-2583), TTY/TDD 1-800-336-5530 or visit www.jetblue.com.
(a) JetBlue offers the most legroom in coach, based on average fleet-wide seat pitch for U.S. airlines, excluding premium coach products.
SOURCE JetBlue Airways