In the wake of the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in June 2016, rumors circulated that the airline JetBlue was offering free air travel to the families of the victims. That claim appeared on Facebook and Twitter, where users both lauded the airline and encouraged viewers to share the information.
We contacted JetBlue to inquire whether there was any truth to the rumor, and a representative for the airline told us:
JetBlue is providing free seats on its available flights to/from Orlando for immediate family and domestic partners of victims who were killed or injured. Those family members and domestic partners requiring travel assistance can contact 1-800-JETBLUE for details.
We were unable to find any mention of JetBlue's initiative on the company's Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platforms, but the company did directly provide the statement reproduced above to us indicating that some family members and domestic partners of the victims were eligible for travel assistance to and from Orlando following the Pulse nightclub tragedy. Moreover, the company forwarded us a link to a blog post that provided details about the assistance the airline was offering to loved ones and domestic partners:
Like many of you, we continue to watch reports of the Orlando nightclub shooting with great sadness. Our thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones.
This weekend’s events are felt by all of our 19,000 crewmembers, many of whom live in, work from and travel through Orlando — one of our focus cities — at Orlando International Airport, our Orlando Support Center and JetBlue University.
We want to do our part to help the victims of this tragedy, as well as support the Orlando community through this difficult time.
o JetBlue is providing free seats on its available flights to/from Orlando for immediate family and domestic partners of victims who were killed or injured. Those family members and domestic partners requiring travel assistance can contact 1-800-JETBLUE for details.
o A fee waiver is in place for customers traveling to/from Orlando who need to make last-minute changes to their travel plans.
o For JetBlue crewmembers impacted by this event, we have activated resources to assist and are offering a donation program. Crewmembers can visit our internal website, hellojetblue, or talk to their crewleader for more details.
o JetBlue will make a charitable contribution to support the victims and their families.