Americans leave an average of 11 vacation days on the table each year

We’ve spent the past two weekends trying to plan a last-minute pre-holiday getaway and keep coming to the same conclusion … it’s just too busy at the office to take time off right now. Turns out, we’re not alone – a recent Harris Interactive study conducted on behalf of JetBlue Airways found that 57% of working Americans will have unused vacation time at the end of the year, and most of them will leave an average of 11 days on the table – or nearly 70% of their allotted time off.

The survey also showed that while more than 60% of those with vacation days believe they deserve to take their time off, 39% report having reservations about asking their boss for a vacation.

It’s difficult, as numerous studies show that employees who don’t use vacation time have lower levels of productivity and satisfaction with their job, as well as higher rates of health problems.

To assist, JetBlue launched a “Getaways Granter,” a new custom Facebook application that serenades bosses with a custom video request for vacation approval.

“We were surprised to learn that almost a third of American workers feel guilty, nervous or stressed when asking for a day off of work,” said Grant McCarthy, director of JetBlue Getaways. “Whether outdoor wrangling, island hopping, or romantic retreating, JetBlue Getaways wants to help people make the most out of their unused vacation days. We believe people deserve their vacations, so much so that we will go out and ask their boss for them.”

With the new Getaways Granter, JetBlue will take the edge off of requesting vacation days by allowing fans to plug in their desired number of days off before choosing from four destination themes to suit their getaway needs. They can even upload a photo of their supervisor to be featured in the video, crooning bosses everywhere into letting employees take their much-needed getaway.

Hmm. We’re pretty sure that our boss would prefer a politely-worded email. The program, while creative and an interesting way to use social media to get the world out about Jet Blue, seems like a gimmicky promotion that won’t go over well in the workplace. Still, we hope you remember to take advantage of your vacation time.