New York-based JetBlue has made two key leadership changes involving two familiar figures from the passenger experience sector. Don Uselmann has been appointed vice president of inflight experience, while Chris Buckner has been promoted to the role of vice president, loyalty programmes and partnerships.
Uselmann, who will report to Ed Baklor, JetBlue’s head of customer care and programmes, will lead and support JetBlue’s inflight team, ensuring that new and current crewmembers (currently numbering more than 6,000) have the tools and training to safely deliver and advance JetBlue’s onboard hospitality.
Since joining JetBlue in 2006, Uselmann has held a variety of roles across sales, marketing, business development, customer experience and operations, including as director of JFK airport operations. He most recently served as the airline’s vice president of loyalty, personalisation, and marketing communications, where he led the TrueBlue loyalty programme and cobranded credit card portfolio. Previously, he was a leader in some of JetBlue’s highest-profile innovations, including the development of Even More Space products, the refresh of JetBlue’s aircraft interiors and onboard product, the creation of Mint, the design of self-tagging airport lobbies, and the launch of Fly-Fi broadband.
“We are very excited to welcome Don to inflight. Since joining JetBlue in 2006, Don has developed a deep understanding of the customer journey and his focus on delivering powerful human interactions is noticeable throughout his own journey with JetBlue,” said Ed Baklor. “After meeting him several years ago while he was leading JetBlue’s JFK airport operation, I knew immediately that he was a great leader by how involved he was with his crewmembers, active in the operation, and always working on new ways to drive a better customer and crewmember experience.”
Meanwhile, Chris Buckner has been promoted to the role of vice president of loyalty programmes and partnerships, responsible for continuing to evolve JetBlue’s TrueBlue loyalty programme and cobranded credit card portfolio.
Buckner joined JetBlue in 2020 as director of customer loyalty and partnerships, a role in which he has played a key role in rolling out enhanced TrueBlue®benefits, including Mosaic and the launch of JetBlue’ Mosaic+ in 2021. Before joining JetBlue, Buckner spent 16 years in commercial roles across the aviation industry.
“This role is strategically important to JetBlue’s success as we work to better know our customers and deliver the experiences and interactions they want,” said Jayne O’Brien, the airline’s head of marketing and loyalty. “With Chris’s experience in aviation, he brings an invaluable wealth of industry knowledge with him that will benefit our customers and JetBlue. He’s been an incredible leader since joining the team and is the natural choice to help us continue building on the success of our loyalty team.”
Buckner added, “Since joining the team, we have developed an ambitious roadmap that will redefine the loyalty space for our customers and for JetBlue. I look forward to bringing this plan to life over the coming months and years.”