Summary of Flying High

jetBlue Founder and CEO David Neeleman's Rules for Beating the Competition...Even in the World's Most Turbulent Industry

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Flying High book summary
How David Neelman built jetBlue, the most valuable airline in the history of aviation.


8 Overall

9 Applicability

9 Innovation

7 Style


James Wynbrandt has penned a well-researched, colorful account of the life and guiding principles of commercial aviation pioneer David Neeleman. The book is written in a clear, straightforward style, and offers insights into what made discount carrier jetBlue an unlikely success. The book appears, however, to reflect Neeleman’s artful capacity for generating positive publicity for himself. While this is not exactly a hagiography, once you have read it, you may well envision a halo floating above Neeleman’s portrait on the book’s jacket. Then again, as Muhammad Ali once said, "If you can do it, it ain’t braggin’." Certainly, Neeleman’s accomplishments rocked the commercial aviation industry, encouraging the major carriers to launch value-based alternatives such as Ted and Song. recommends this book to professionals seeking useful ideas to help their businesses gain altitude.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What guiding principles helped jetBlue founder David Neeleman succeed
  • How he overcame a learning disability to become an outstanding business success
  • How he built jetBlue
  • What 14 rules he recommends for business success


Taking Off
On February 11, 2000, at exactly 8:55 a.m., onlookers cheered as the first jetBlue aircraft pushed back from JFK's terminal six for the airline's inaugural flight to Fort Lauderdale. That maiden voyage marked jetBlue's entry into one of the world's most competitive businesses...
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About the Author

James Wynbrandt is a New York aviation and business reporter, and a regular contributor to major aviation magazines. He is a licensed pilot whose articles on business and aviation have appeared in The New York Times, Forbes and Aspen Magazine, among others.

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