Excellent question! There are many airline internship opportunities that exist for all types of positions.
JetBlue: I interned with JetBlue Airways last summer in Technical Operations. I was completing my B.S. mechanical engineering degree at UCLA and had always wanted to work for an airline. The internship was amazing! Most of my work involved engineering including avionics and systems engineering. I worked at the company's headquarters in Forest Hills, NY with about 40 other interns. JetBlue has interns in many departments including flight ops, tech ops, security, safety, marketing, customer service, finance and much more. All the interns were working on undergraduate or graduate degrees. In addition to my work in tech ops, I also did a lot of work with marketing and customer service (at JFK
). The interns were treated like royalty with tours of JFK
, a Yankees baseball game, tour of Manhattan and much more. All the interns were paid and we all had flight benefits, too! Each weekend, I traveled with other interns to various cities including LAS
. I'd highly recommend this program!
Alaska: I was also offered (but declined) an engineering internship with Alaska at Sea-Tac airport. The compensation was slightly better than JetBlue but the flight benefits didn't start until after the first 30 or 60 days. They didn't seem to have a formal and structured intern program like JetBlue but the work seemed very hands-on.
Other airlines: I also researched other airlines including Northwest that has engineering and flight ops interns. Many airlines have flight ops interns but they require commercial pilot licenses.
To apply for these positions, check out the airline websites. That's how I did it. I don't know a single person in the industry, so I just blindly applied and started getting calls back. These internships have amazing potential to full-time hire in the future. You'll meet many people in the industry so networking is key and the flight benefits are excellent. JetBlue requires all interns to be attending an accredited college/university and in good academic standing. If you meet the requirements, you should definitely apply. Last summer, I believe JetBlue received nearly 700 applications for 50 internships. It's competitive but well worth the work once you secure the position. Good luck and feel free to ask more questions!