For JetBlue Crewmembers

The Transition Gateway

JetBlue crewmembers who have a passion for flying can use the Transition Gateway. The Transition Gateway is designed for current JetBlue crewmembers who do not possess the requisite satisfactory experience requirements to become First Officers at JetBlue, but would like to pursue a career as a JetBlue pilot.

The Transition Gateway creates a pathway for crewmembers to work with the JetBlue Talent and Flight Ops leadership teams in designing a training and experience plan. A crewmember then has the option to either remain with JetBlue while completing the plan or separate from JetBlue to gain the necessary qualifications and experience. Once the training and experience plan is completed, the candidate is guaranteed the ability to return and join in the JetBlue pilot interview process. 



Eligibility Requirements and How It Works

  • The crewmember must possess a minimum of a Private Pilot License
  • The crewmember must have at least one year of employment with JetBlue
  • The crewmember must not be on progressive guidance
  • The crewmember must write a letter of intent to enter the program
  • The crewmember will be assigned a mentor for the duration of the program
  • The crewmember and mentor will devise a training/experience plan which will allow the crewmember to achieve the satisfactory qualifications and experience to become a JetBlue First Officer
  • The crewmember will present the plan to the Pilot Hiring Committee for approval
  • Once the plan has been approved, the crewmember will follow the plan and report to the mentor for the duration of the program
  • Once the crewmember has achieved the qualifications and experience necessary to become a JetBlue First Officer, the crewmember will be asked back to take part in the interview process at JetBlue


Crewmember Profile

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    Meet Alex Arellano, a JFK-based First Officer since March 2, 2016 who recently completed the Transition Gateway.

Meet Alex Arellano, a JFK-based First Officer since March 2, 2016 who recently completed the Transition Gateway.

What interested you in becoming a pilot?

My interest in becoming a pilot started when I was an inflight crewmember for JetBlue. The pilots at JetBlue encouraged me to pursue my interest.

Why did you choose JetBlue?

I chose JetBlue because I wanted to be a pilot for the best airline in the world. 

What kind of relationships did you build during your Gateway training?

Throughout the years I have built long-lasting relationships.  I value all the people I have interacted with, many of whom have helped me reach my goals. Now I want to help those who are interested in a career as a pilot.

What’s your advice to anyone interested in joining the JetBlue Gateway Programs?

I would advise anyone who is interested in the Gateway Program to seek out as much information as possible.  Research and education are key in planning the best course in beginning a career as a pilot. There are many people who have been in your shoes and are ready to help you achieve your career goals.

What did you find most challenging about the program; most rewarding?

The most challenging thing about the program is fear of the unknown.  There were many unforeseen obstacles that came along but I was determined to continue my hard work and meet the qualifications to become a JetBlue pilot. The most rewarding thing for me is the tremendous amount of knowledge and experience I have gained.

Was there anyone from the JetBlue team who stood out to you as a strong mentor or was of excellent assistance during your Gateway Program experience?

There were a couple of JetBlue pilots that were of great assistance. Capt. Eric Poole and FO Doug Rease were both great mentors. I appreciated all the information they provided to me, the positive feedback, and the hard work they put in to the program.

When was your first official day as a JetBlue pilot and were there any memorable moments from your first flight as a First Officer?

My first official day as a JetBlue pilot was March 2, 2016 and it was a great day for me.  My most memorable day as a First Officer was my very first trip after OE. I ran into my IOE inflight service coach, Sandy Schulze who signed me off in August of 2000 as a JetBlue inflight crewmember.  She was so surprised to see me in my pilot uniform. I had to take a picture with her to capture the moment!

Tell us what it’s like being a pilot at JetBlue? What do you enjoy most?

My ultimate career goal was to become a JetBlue pilot. I feel humbled and privileged to be able to do the work that I love with such an extraordinary group of people.  What I enjoy the most is the happy faces and gratitude that customers express when they walk out of the airplane I fly.