Some JetBlue pilots are outraged after the airline hired a violent felon to fly planes even as it refuses to hire people who haven’t taken the COVID vaccine, citing safety.
Two pilots told The Daily Wire that JetBlue has hired John Perrys, who served nine years in prison for breaking into the home of a judge and attacking his daughter as she left the shower. Perrys was released from prison in 2014 and is on felony probation until 2044, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.
“Apparently JetBlue won’t hire unvaccinated pilots, but they will hire violent convicted felons to fly their airplanes,” one pilot said, speaking on condition of anonymity to protect his job.
In 2005, The Associated Press reported that Perrys, then an Air Force captain, was charged in Louisiana with burglary and assault with a deadly weapon while wearing a mask, and that he faced up to life in prison. Perrys allegedly entered the home of a judge and beat the judge’s daughter, who was his former fiancée, with a metal baton as she left the shower. Police said that when he was arrested, he was wearing a bulletproof vest and his vehicle contained knives, handcuffs, parachute cord, a shovel, and a mask, according to the AP.
JetBlue’s job applications say, “Every decision JetBlue has made throughout the pandemic has been with our safety value front and center. Whether it’s requiring masks, or many of the other health and safety protocols we’ve had to navigate during the pandemic, all of these efforts have been focused on making the workplace and air travel safer for you and our Customers. As part of our commitment to health and safety, COVID-19 vaccines are required for all JetBlue employees. New hire employees must be fully vaccinated prior to the start of training.”
In November 2021, JetBlue said it was requiring nearly all of its 21,000 crew members to take the COVID vaccine, saying it had no choice because it qualified as a federal contractor and was therefore obligated to abide by a Biden administration rule.
But the government never actually enforced that rule. It was delayed, then blocked by an injunction from a judge. Last month, the injunction was lifted, but the following day, the government said, “Despite the lifting of the nationwide bar to enforcement on October 18, 2022, at this time agencies should not: (1) take any steps to require covered contractors and subcontractors to come into compliance with previously issued Task Force guidance; or (2) enforce any contract clauses implementing Executive Order 14042.”
JetBlue did not respond to requests from The Daily Wire about its vaccine policies or the hiring of Perrys.
A screenshot of an internal JetBlue web page reviewed by The Daily Wire listed Perrys as a “Pilot Trainee” and a “Crewmember since July 20, 2022.” Another picture showed him beneath a banner that said “Congratulations Class 34-22,” referring to his training. Perrys did not return a request for comment.
The first pilot who spoke with The Daily Wire said that the airline was training Perrys to fly the Airbus A320, and that “several instructors have refused to train him. Many captains have told management they’ll refuse to fly with him.”
A second pilot said he is “on the line as a flying pilot in control of a plane with up to two hundred paying and oblivious souls on board.”