Like most airlines today, providing a positive customer experience is at the forefront of JetBlue’s priorities. However, the New York-based carrier seeks to take travel to a higher level with its mission to “inspire humanity.”

JetBlue began service on Feb. 11, 2000, with the founding mission of “bringing humanity back to air travel.” Its product offering aimed to set the airline ahead of the competition and consisted of leather seats with more legroom, unlimited snacks and drinks, and television screens on every seatback.

Fast forward 17 years, the “JetBlue Experience” still offers the features that made the airline a success in its early days. However, today, customers also enjoy free Wi-Fi and can select seats with additional legroom through the airline’s Even More Space seating option. The airline also offers business class, called Mint, on some routes.

On the ground, as in the air, the airline always seeks to improve the customer experience and has recently rolled out self-service “lobbies” in some airports. A trial in Boston, Massachusetts, is also underway to test a biometric self-boarding program that permits customers to board just by having their picture taken.

The airline’s mission of inspiring humanity isn’t limited to its customers. It also extends to its 21,000 employees (referred to as crewmembers) and also the communities it serves. A visit to the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) section of the airline’s website gives a glimmer of how dedicated the airline is to the concept of giving back.

JetBlue crewmembers can work on the farm on Fridays to “decompress” from the stresses of work and life in general, as well as give back to their community. Moreover, children are encouraged to visit the farm and learn about gardening and growing fresh produce.

In a recent interview with Ascend, JetBlue President and Chief Executive Officer Robin Hayes shared his views on how enhancing the customer and crew member experience is at the heart of the airline’s success.

Read the interview with Ascend Magazine here.