“We lost control.”
—David Neeleman, CEO, JetBlue
For customers who experience a Ground Delay for more than 5 hours, JetBlue will take necessary action so that customers may deplane. JetBlue will also provide customers experiencing a Ground Delay with food and drink, access to restrooms and, as necessary, medical treatment.
This past weekend, another major storm was predicted to strike the East Coast. A circulation consultant that I know was scheduled to fly from New York to Boston on JetBlue for a meeting. Another attendee was flying in from elsewhere in New England. They decided to reschedule rather than take a chance on cancellations or ground delays.
My friend called JetBlue and was told that he would have to pay a $25 penalty for changing the date. “But this is weather related,” my friend said. “I shouldn’t be charged an extra $25.”
“I would suggest you e-mail the customer service department with your complaint.”
“Yeah,” my friend said. “That and $2 will get me a ride on the New York City subway.”
My friend was right to change. JetBlue canceled 66 flights out of New York and left passengers in one plane stuck on the tarmac for hours.
The Long-term Effect
“Was JetBlue’s reputation hurt?” David Neeleman was asked.
“Is our good will gone?” He replied. “No, it isn’t. We fly 30 million people a year. Ten thousand were affected by this.”
Neeleman was probably right. No matter how many angry customers swore off JetBlue, if next summer they have a choice of flying U.S. Airways for a $400 round trip or JetBlue for $150, they will go JetBlue.