Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Thanks and Sorry

Hi guys,

A quick and I mean QUICK post. I'm sorry if you haven't got a response from me but I've got so many LOOONG emails to read thru. Tonight I'm preparing for my meeting with David Neeleman and I want to thank you for all the stories and questions you gave me. Keep the stories coming but at this point I've got lots of great questions to sort thru and I'm sure whatever your question is, I've got you covered.

I also want to say, if you have emailed me up to yesterday afternoon I have actually READ all your stories, emails and comments. Thanks to the subway, I'm all caught up. Today and last night's emails are another story, but I'll get to them!

I want to say again I don't have any opinions one way or another regarding a class action lawsuit. So that press release from that law firm is for the people out there who have asked me about filing a lawsuit. I am not named in ANY suits against JetBlue. I'm coming into the meeting open minded. I'm too busy trying to educate myself to make any deals with any lawyers.

Thanks again....


JetBlue Damage Control - Fox Fan

I guess i should know better than to expect something else from FOX and someone who writes for FOXFAN

JetBlue Damage Control

Tuesday , February 27, 2007
By Terry Keenan

What a difference a week makes.

A few short days ago, JetBlue was in danger of becoming widely known as "Jet Black and Blue." But a combination of nimble damage control and a quick change of tactics in reaction to a Sunday night snowstorm has helped JetBlue's regain its footing. Corporate image experts are taking notice.

How did they do it? With a blunt three-word statement: I am "humbled and mortified.”

With that confession, JetBlue CEO David Neeleman managed to turn a public relations nightmare into a second chance at brand establishment at the airline he founded. It was the start of a remarkable 5-day turnaround that has set a new standard for corporate damage control


ADWEEK - How to Save a Brand....(My own note-Insert eyeroll here)

What's with all the kudos? Thier whole "sincerely JetBlue PR strategy"? How about the JetBlue employees that are monitoring the YouTube comments that launch aggressive attacks at anti-JetBlue sentiment, some commenters are dumb enough to be transparent. If you check my own you tube video where you see passengers who are lulled into such a state of passivity that we're not even MAD. In the video we are getting off the plane with smiles on thier faces just happy to be off. It's a pretty ineffective video if you want to showcase angry . p.o.'d passengers. Anyway, a JETBLUE employee called the maker of the video (me) a (and I QUOTE) "fucking idiot."

This antagonistic approach at being on the defensive in online communities does not deserve one. single. kudo. The end.

ADDITIONALLY - For ALL the people who give me such a hard time using the word "HOSTAGE," which from here on out will no longer have quotes around it - JETBLUE CALLS THIS EVENT "THE VALENTINES DAY MASSACRE." (I call it "A Valentine's Day Hostage Crisis - Plagarise much, JetBlue?) MASSACRE is a much STRONGER word than HOSTAGE. So all those who have a problem with the word hostage, go fly a kite.


How To Save A Brand Built On Being Folksy
February 26, 2007

Some crisis communication experts have hailed JetBlue's response to "the Valentine's Day Massacre" (as the airline itself calls it) as a textbook example of how to resuscitate a damaged brand—particularly one built on customer service—that made headlines for effectively holding its passengers hostage for up to 10 hours during a snowstorm. The apologies direct from the CEO, the clearly articulated promises for change, the savvy use of the Internet, all informed by the company's signature sense of humor, have been described as a model of what to do in the first days of a crisis. But can the airline recover from its mistakes?

As experts pore over the events of the past two weeks, JetBlue is focusing on what to do now—and how its ad firm could help.

The company has confirmed to Adweek that it might have some of the affected customers tell their stories in the next round of its "Sincerely, JetBlue" campaign. Created by WPP Group's JWT, the roughly year-old animated effort features the voices of real passengers talking about positive experiences with the airline. (It has been on hiatus in favor of ads touting JetBlue's seven-year anniversary.)

Click to read more

Reuters - US investigators to review of JetBlue, AMR delays

UPDATE 1-US investigators to review of JetBlue, AMR delays
Tue Feb 27, 2007 5:44pm ET

WASHINGTON, Feb 27 (Reuters) - U.S. Transportation Department investigators will review this month's service meltdown at JetBlue Airways Corp. (JBLU.O: Quote, Profile , Research) and a similar incident at AMR Corp.'s (AMR.N: Quote, Profile , Research) American Airlines in December.

Inspector General Calvin Scovel said on Tuesday the review, requested by Transportation Secretary Mary Peters, will be thorough and objective so action can be taken to "prevent such situations from happening again."

Scovel said he will review JetBlue and American's customer service contracts and policies on ground delays. Any recommendations could extend to the industry as a whole and the air traffic system, which is run by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Peters said in a statement that she had "serious concerns" about contingency plans at airlines that permit passengers to sit on planes for long periods of time while they wait for takeoff or arrival at a gate.

"It is imperative that airlines do everything possible to ensure that situations like these do not occur again," Peters said of the JetBlue and American service setbacks.

Click for the whole story

For my readers who are feeling litigious....In other words...IF YOU WANNA SUE

Hi kids, I'll be calling these guys on my lunch break and getting more info. But I recommend if you fall into the gategoary of wanting to pursue a legal case against JetBlue, you contact these guys.


PS-Thanks David for the lead!

Press Release Source: Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C.

Weitz & Luxenberg Affirms Rights of Passengers Following Flight Debacles

Tuesday February 27, 9:45 am ET

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A recent snowstorm on the East Coast has shaped into a crisis for JetBlue. On Valentine's Day, the airline's operational shortcomings due to the storm led to 1,096 canceled flights and thousands of stranded passengers. Many fliers were confined on planes at JFK International Airport as long as 10 hours. JetBlue said it will compensate customers for the delays with vouchers ranging from $25 to the full fare. Yet for the travelers trapped onboard with scant food, and having missed vacation and business events, this may seem paltry compensation.
"The amounts being offered to these unfortunate travelers is pitiful," said Lawrence Goldhirsch, an attorney with the Negligence department at Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C. Goldhirsch, an expert in aviation law, is author of "The Warsaw Convention Annotated: A Legal Handbook," considered by the legal community a bible for international aviation.

In a bid to win back its customer-service driven image, JetBlue publicly instituted a Bill of Rights, which commits the company to compensate passengers for various kinds of flight disruptions. But that carrier isn't alone in stranding flyers during inclement weather. American Airlines experienced similar delays in December when passengers rerouted from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport during storms, sat on the tarmac at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, with no food and dirty toilets.

These recent incidents recalls a similar scenario from 1999, when Northwest Airlines stranded passengers up to nine hours, ultimately settling a lawsuit including claims of "false imprisonment" for around $7 million. Flyers of the airline had spent hours on planes sitting on the tarmac in a snowstorm in Detroit. Allowing those planes to return to terminals to drop off passengers would have helped mitigate the discomfort, an error the aviation industry continues to make.

Goldhirsch pointed out that the US Department of Transportation does not have any limitation of damages that may be claimed by passengers for delay. "Only international passengers are limited by a treaty--the Montreal Convention--when they are delayed on such flights. Even in those cases, the limitation is approximately $4,500 per passenger, depending on the length of delay and other circumstances."

Those who have been affected by an aviation incident may contact Weitz & Luxenberg by calling our Client Relations Department at 800-476-6070 or e-mailing Please also visit our website:

About Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C.

Weitz & Luxenberg, founded in 1986, is one of the leading plaintiffs' litigation law firms in America. The firm has played leading roles in national and local litigations involving asbestos, DES, and silicone breast implants, medical malpractice, and general negligence among others. A forerunner in the legal fight against environmental polluters, Weitz & Luxenberg has worked with clients harmed by MTBE and mercury, among other toxins. The firm has won numerous cases involving dangerous pharmaceuticals, including Vioxx, achieving a $13.5 million verdict against Merck & Co. (docket No. ATLL129605).

Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C.
Client Relations Department, 800-476-6070

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Your Stories

Hi All,

I got a little lost in what I've posted and what I haven't already so I'm just going to go post crazy here and put up a bunch of stuff. If some of it is redundant, I'm sorry.

You guys are also going to get a SWEET treat tomorrow. I'm putting up a BUNCH of really delicious information from the same guy who wrote the Bill of Mights and the amendment to the Passenger Bill of Rights. His name is David and an incredible source and support system.

THANK GOD FOR DAVID, RUTH, MIKE, CHARLIE, ROB and every last person who has ever written in to me.

I'm going to post up today's news articles and then wake up early tomorrow morning and give you a yummy David information feed.


JetBlue Flight diverted into Philly busses people to NYC

I just had lunch with someone who told me her nightmare story of being on a delayed JetBlue flight diverted to Phoenix instead of Tucson and having to be bussed. Cos of course after waiting forever for a flight to leave, you want to spend 4 hours more on a plane, and then spend an extra 2 hours on a bus to Phoenix.

Afterward they rode her on thru the streets of Tuscon on a radio flyer wagon. That was meant to be a joke.

Bus brings JetBlue passengers to NYC after flight diverted

February 27, 2007, 1:28 PM EST

NEW YORK -- A JetBlue flight on its way to New York was diverted to Philadelphia due to a mechanical problem on Tuesday, and the airline was busing some of the passengers to their final destination.

Flight 1050 from Pittsburgh to John F. Kennedy International airport landed at 8:35 a.m. at Philadelphia International Airport after flight crew discovered a problem with an indicator light, said JetBlue Airways Corp. spokesman Todd Burke.

With no JetBlue staff at the Philadelphia airport _ where the airline has no operations _ and the plane awaiting a mechanical inspection, the flight's 54 passengers were given the option to disembark, Burke said. About 15 passengers chose to wait for an airline bus that left for New York by 12:45 p.m., he said.

"Mechanical diversions are a part of the airline industry, and in this case it appears that our crew members worked very closely with the airport to make sure that our customers were looked after in a very proper and timely manner," Burke said.

The spokesman would not say whether the use of a bus is common, but he did say it was a commonsense decision consistent with the airline's ongoing policies. It was unclear how the airline's new customer bill of rights applied to the flight, but all passengers were to receive a free roundtrip voucher, he said.

The airline has been on the defensive since earlier this month, when it was heavily criticized after bad weather stranded passengers in planes at JFK, its main hub, for up to 10{ hours.

The company, which had hoped to ride out that storm without canceling flights, later admitted it took too long to call airport authorities for help in getting passengers off the grounded planes. It couldn't resume normal operations for days because flight crews weren't where they were supposed to be.

Copyright 2007 Newsday Inc.

Riddle Time Again, FAA Edition

Riddle me this?

What airline violated major FAA guidelines by opening the cockpit door (the guildelines state the cockpit door should remain closed from the time you leave the gate until you reach the arrival gate) and allowed passengers in the cockpit, in the pilot chair? The pilot even went as as to walk out of the cock pit WITH a passenger in his seat?

I'll give you one guess.

Thanks to one smart reader who filed a complaint with the FAA, this incident is under investigation.

Yet, if we somehow decided to take control of the situation and opened the door allowing us to exit, (according to the FAA "taking control of the aircraft,") we'd be categorised as hijackers and arrested, per the warning of the crew. This is accordance with the FAA. That's called the Crew preaching what they don't practice.

What makes one FAA violation more important than another? The thought that it might be inhumane to expect the pilot to stay cooped up in a cockpit for 11 hours? Go figure.

Your thoughts please.

If you have your own stories of the cockpit door being opened on your "flight" email me at


Monday, February 26, 2007

JetBlue's future rests on bill of rights

Latey, I've been having people click thru to news stories and blogs with a short of it here. However, this is an interesting read...

JetBlue's future rests on bill of rights

By RACHEL BECK, AP Business Writer
Mon Feb 26, 12:56 PM ET

NEW YORK - Two potentially loaded words may tell the tale about whether JetBlue's new "Customer Bill of Rights" truly helps to restore its reputation after an operational meltdown.

Littered throughout that proclamation are the words "controllable irregularity." That's corporate legalese at its best, giving the New York-based airline wiggle room in deciding whether it owes compensation to travelers caught in service snafus.

If JetBlue really wants this to be a reputation-saving exercise, it will have to be careful about blaming events beyond its control for refusing to make cash payments or offer free tickets to irked customers who will be expecting them.

JetBlue's competitors must have been smirking as the often-touted airline faltered in the days following a Feb. 14 storm that stranded a number of passengers in planes stuck on the tarmac at Kennedy Airport in New York. Since it was founded seven years ago, JetBlue Airways Corp. has attained a celebrated status in the battered airline industry by building perception that it was different from others especially in terms of cost and service.

Over the last year, some of its high-gloss image started to fade as its rapid expansion and higher fuel costs swung profits to losses. To combat that decline, it launched a "Return to Profitability" plan that involved raising fares, cutting back on its growth and pushing into smaller, less competitive markets.

Despite those troubles, JetBlue's solid reputation largely stayed intact — until Valentine's Day. That's when a severe ice storm struck the Northeast, freezing planes to the ground and causing passengers to be stuck inside aircraft for as long as 10 hours. Then the airline failed to recover quickly from the storm, leading to more than 1,000 flight cancelations over the busy President's Day holiday weekend.

"This was a major league breakdown," said Darryl Jenkins, an independent airline consultant in suburban Washington. "This was a self-inflicted mess ... It showed that they are mortals like everyone else in the business."

The company estimates that the disruptions, which stranded thousands of passengers in cities across the country far away from the site of the storm, will hit first-quarter earnings by about $30 million, leading to an operating loss.

The immediate financial toll, however, might not be as steep as the long-term damage to its reputation. Passengers might avoid flying the carrier after such a paralyzing mess.

David Neeleman, JetBlue's founder and CEO, has spent recent days trying to curb potential defections. Unlike many airline CEOs who faced similar crises, he quickly and publicly acknowledged the mistakes the airline made. The airline took out full-page advertisements in several East Coast newspapers to apologize for the travel headaches.

"We are sorry and embarrassed," the full-page ad began. "But most of all, we are deeply sorry."

JetBlue's new "Customer Bill of Rights" is intended to calm passengers' jitters. Now if JetBlue cancels a flight within 12 hours of its departure because of problems within its control, customers can ask for a full refund, a credit or a voucher. If the airline delays a flight in a situation within its control, passengers would receive vouchers ranging from $25 to the full amount of a round-trip ticket, depending on the length of the delay.

JetBlue also vowed to notify customers of delays prior to scheduled departures as well as not only inform them of diversions or cancellations, but also give the cause.

But embedded in the new bill of rights, the words "controllable irregularity" keep showing up. The way JetBlue describes it, that involves an event that the airline can't recover from due to its own fault. So a weather-related delay means the company doesn't have to pay up, but it would if planes were still grounded the day after a storm passed.

The devil of that provision may be in the details, since a "controllable irregularity" might be interpreted differently by different people, noted airline consultant Robert W. Mann, of Port Washington, N.Y.

"Do they walk the talk? Neeleman made his mea culpa very public, and now he has to live up to the promises," Mann said.

Neeleman said that he didn't expect payments stemming from this new program will represent "a meaningful expense," and the new bill of rights could woo new customers. But for that to happen, the company has to be overtly generous.

If it's not, it could go the way of, which promised in 2000 full refunds or rebates for certain airlines that were booked through its travel Web site. Travelers were entitled to $100 refund from the site, which was owned by the large travel agency Rosenbluth International, if flights were 30 minutes late. That shot up to $200 for hour-late flights.

But months later, the successful program was cut back — largely because it cost too much. eventually went out of business.

For JetBlue, its past reputation no longer matters. Its future has just begun.


Rachel Beck is the national business columnist for The Associated Press. Write to her at rbeck(at)

JetBlue cancels 68 flights due to storm

JetBlue cancels 68 flights due to storm

By CRISTIAN SALAZAR, Associated Press Writer
Mon Feb 26, 8:40 AM ET

NEW YORK - JetBlue canceled 68 flights because of snow Monday, nearly a week after the airline pledged to compensate customers for more than a thousand canceled flights from the Valentine's Day storm two week earlier.

The canceled flights at John F. Kennedy International Airport affected flights to or from Columbus, Ohio; Richmond, Va.; Washington, D.C., Portland, Maine; and Chicago. The company also canceled flights into and out of Chicago and the Washington, D.C., area over the weekend.

Click for the whole story

From A A - Bogus "Bill Of Rights" -- JetBlue is *really* sneaky

Hey Everyone - This is an interesting read. Check it out.

Hi AA - I actually did my due dilligence on the few prople I've trusted enough to share anything with. Thank god for friends with connections.

The "Bill Of Rights" is completely a PR move. It has almost no substance.

1. It assumes that NORMAL OPERATIONS FOR JETBLUE includes 3 hours on a runway departing, 3 hours arriving (i.e. there are no "rights" for any runway time below 3 hours).
2. It points to language in their Contract of Carriage which says that ALL THE "RIGHTS" ARE INVALIDATED IF THE WEATHER IS BAD.
3. It says that JetBlue will only START trying to figure out how to get you off the runway after FIVE HOURS have elapsed.
4. It offers no 'CAP' at ALL on the amount of time they will leave you on a runway. (American caps you at 4 hours after they were sued for a similar incident, although for American, it was one plane, not ten planes)

Other info:

The YouTube video posted by JetBlue is filled with comments which were created by JetBlue employees masquerading as JetBlue passengers. Read the comments on:
You'll see that many "fake" YouTube IDs which were created by JetBlue employees were "outted" by the YouTube community. Search for the word "employee" in the comments.


I was one of the people who posted YouTube comments, and I received an email (via YouTube mail) offer similar to the offer you are getting from JetBlue: "Hey, come talk to me!" Given the amount of "secret" posting by JetBlue employees on YouTube, I have no confidence that their offer was a genuine attempt to help. I think they were trying to get me to "shut up". The offer I got was worded in a way that essentially challenged me to start a dialogue directly with Jetblue. I saw it simply as an attempt to get me to not post negative comments about JetBlue on their CEO's video.

To that point. You mention that you've had conversations with 'somebody' who is offering you 'free legal guidance' in your efforts. Are you certain that this 'somebody' isn't actually in the employ of JetBlue, given the rapidity with which they acknowledged your activities by buying the ".Net" domain name?

The reason I ask is that they are exhibiting some very 'sneaky' behaviour in trying to control the spin about their inhumane treatment of their passengers.

I was pretty floored that the JetBlue communications department would monitor the YouTube comments, create fake YouTube IDs, and then use those fake IDs to contradict genuine people who voiced their displeasure with JetBlue, and also post false "I'm a customer and JetBlue is just Great!" messages. It was sickening, really.

Sent: February 21, 2007
Subject: your JetBlue comments

Hi, My name is Morgan, I'm contacting you under my personal account rather than the account under which I posted the video of JetBlue CEO David Neeleman which I did as part of my roll as a member of the JetBlue corporate communications team.

I'm writing under my personal account in an effort to make it clear that I'm not interested in representing JetBlue in my correspondence with you. While colored by my employment, and my status as a JetBlue stock-holder, anything I say is not 'from JetBlue.'

You seem to have a great deal of frustration toward the airline and I'd like to have a conversation with you about it.

I'm not asking you to stop your continued comments on the video as it is entirely your right, and valid concerns are often raised, and I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt from your comments you've got an actual agenda to communicate and aren't simply "trolling" the page.

if you're interested in talking with someone who is a confirmed crewmember (I'm unaware of any other crewmembers who are currently posting in that thread, though I'll concede it's likely.) I would ask that you send a response. If you're as interested in accountability as you claim to be, I would ask that you take this opportunity to talk and perhaps I might give you some observations from my standpoint.

thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.

Jeff N - JF > STI Feb 16

Hey Jeff - Full Page Ad. AIM HIGH! If we had any readers out there with that kind of money or if people want to pool thier money together, I'd support!

Readers? How about you?

Hi Gen,

I wasn't a Valentine's Day hostage, but I did suffer from some of the residual effects of the Jet Blue crisis. I just arrived back home this morning, so I'm too tired now to go into details, but I'm thinking about taking out a full-page ad in The New York Times to respond to JetBlue's weak efforts to compensate its customers. Any thoughts?


Here's Jeff's Story

Thanks for getting back to me, and thanks for fighting the good fight! Here's my story, for your records. It's a copy of the letter I sent to David Neeleman via post and the Speak Up page. I know it pales in comparison to being stuck on the tarmac for 11 hours, but I still have been screwed over and want what I deserve.


Dear Mr. Neeleman:

I had the unfortunate experience of being stranded at JFK's Terminal 6 on Friday 16 February, my 30th birthday, due to your cancellation of flight 731 bound for Santiago. The purpose of this letter is to demand cash compensation for the additional expenses I incurred because of your airline's lack of planning and communication.

To start, I do want to give credit where credit is due. I have already received a credit in the amount of $XXX for my ticket and that of my traveling companion. Thank you for processing this in a timely manner. Unfortunately, this is where the laudatory comments end.

First off, the automated telephone system stopped receiving calls around 8pm. Once I was already en route to the airport, and therefore without Web access, I was unable to check the status of my flight. The outgoing message was rather unhelpful as it instructed passengers seeking information that no information was available and they should not call back. This was highly inconvenient.

Second, someone at JetBlue should have figured out that if there wasn't a crew available to fly the plane in the New York area or within a 4-hour radius by 8pm, then there was no point in delaying the flight until 3:30am. It should have been cancelled Friday evening so that passengers could make alternate arrangements. This was inconsiderate of your passengers' time.

Third, your company needs to re-define its flight statuses. Apparently, Thursday night's Flight 731 was cancelled prematurely, but later took off half-empty. When my flight was listed as Cancelled at 1am, your employees were reluctant to confirm the cancellation because what had happened the night before. This was irresponsible, detracting from any confidence I had in JetBlue's ability to successfully operate.

Fourth, the conditions at Terminal 6 were disgusting, at best. Dogs were relieving themselves on the floor. Garbage receptacles were overflowing. Restrooms were unsanitary. This was unhygienic and compromised the health of your passengers and employees.

Fifth, around 3:30am, a customer service representative told the hundreds of people waiting for information that JetBlue was shutting down operations for two days, no one at the desk could help anyone change travel plans, no one was getting their checked luggage back, and the best thing to do was to go home and try again on Monday. This was unreasonable and unrealistic, as I (and I assume, all other passengers) had previous engagements at my destination, including local transportation and hotel reservations.

Sixth, when I returned to JFK airport on Friday 23 February, no JetBlue employee was able to locate my luggage or that of my traveling companion. They claimed it was most likely at Santiago airport, which I found to be a breach of security. If my luggage was indeed at Santiago airport, some red flag should have been raised when I checked in at Santiago airport that morning. In fact, my luggage was delivered to my apartment building while I was still in the Dominican Republic, and one of my neighbors had signed for it. That information should have been in your luggage tracking system. Furthermore, subsequent JetBlue employees have told me that my luggage will be delivered to my house on Monday, when in fact I already have it.

Last, but certainly not least, most JetBlue employees have not been friendly or apologetic. Only two, Stacie Cole at JFK baggage and Collette from Salt Lake City customer service, have taken a sympathetic attitude towards my situation and said the word "sorry". Everyone else, namely Anna, Joan, Michelle, and Denise, have been hostile and rude. This is not a way to re-build trust and win back the business of customers whom you have failed.

Because no one from your company was available or willing to help me find suitable alternate transportation (per paragraph 26B of your November 2006 Contract of Carriage: "Carrier may, without notice, substitute alternate carriers or aircraft...") or retrieve my luggage (per paragraph 18A of the same Contract of Carriage), I had to take matters into my own hands, purchase another set of plane tickets on another carrier, and return home to scavenge whatever clothing suitable for the Dominican Republic's climate I could find.

In short, I tried to play by your rules, but JetBlue gave up and could not offer me any information. Now, we play by my rules. Therefore, I am demanding cash compensation for the following items:

* $XXX for two tickets bought on Continental flight 878 (Newark to Punta Cana airport for Saturday 17 February)
* $XXX for cab fare to Jersey City
* $XXX for cab fare to Newark airport
* $XXX for local transportation from Punta Cana to Santo Domingo via Siutratural Taxi (I had originally planned on taking the bus from Santiago to my final destination of Santo Domingo, which would have cost approximately $15 for two people)
* $XXX for the luggage that you could not return to me when my flight was cancelled (an itemized list can be sent upon request)

for a grand total of $XXX.

My traveling companion still has not received her luggage. Your company has failed to locate it, ten days after the fact. She will be asking for her cash compensation separately.

Any voucher compensation you offer I will consider reimbursement for the time I have wasted dealing with the incompetent employees of your company.

I look forward to a speedy resolution to this matter. I will not be pleased if I incur interest charges on my credit card due to a delay.


Yaminah - The Prequel

I posted her correspondences earlier, but missed her first email.

Here it is!

hi gen!

what's the word on the jetblue happenings? i tried to rebook my trip using the e-vouchers they sent. come to find out that the voucher doesn't actually exist yet. wtf? i wrote them a complaint letter with some demands (this was before i tried to use the voucher) just because i don't think we were fairly compensated for the time we were held up in that plane. let me know what's been going on and how your meeting was with mr. neeleman. why don't they get that there is a major difference between being inconvenienced by weather, having a flight canceled/delayed, and being kept captive in a plane for 10 hours? all we wanted was to get off! below is the letter that i sent to them. do you have a plan of action? are you trying to gather up folks who were on flights that were stuck on the ground for 8+ hours? are you thinking about a legal battle? or do you just want to make our voices heard? let me know if you have a plan and what i can do to help.

Logan has a question for you.

Logan, I am not a Lawyer, nor do i have a lawyer. I'm not sure I an going down the class action route. BUT, if people email in for you or if there are people who are interested in that, I'll be happy to share your information. I'll contact you via email to make sure this is ok


To Whom it May Concern:

I was of the people that got stuck by JetBlue errors last week in JFK. I was lucky that I was not of the passengers that were on the plane for several. I feel so bad for those passengers.

I am emailing you, because I am hoping for some information. To start off with, I am not a lawyer, but am thinking of hiring a lawyer for class action lawsuit against JetBlue for last week problems. I have meet with a lawyer that might be willing to do this class action lawsuit. If this lawyer decided to the case of if I need to find one, I still need information.

The usefully information would be from Jet blue passengers from Feb 14, 2007 and the flowing days that were effect and might be interested in a civil suite against JetBlue Airways. I would need those people's first name, email address (so I can contact them about a lawyer), a short description of their experience last and approximately cost due to JetBlue (such as hotel cost, lost of wages, lost of vacation money, plane ticket, etc.). This would help information to help me to find a lawyer that would be interested in the case.

I sincerely believe Jetblue made multiply errors last week and they customer, include me deserve more than their bill of rights that they are offering. I do not believe that their Bill of Rights comes close to the amount people had suffered and spend last week due to their errors. Again please note that I am not a lawyer. All the information that I might receive via email, will not be shared with anyone except possible lawyer that might be interested in taking this case for the case. If you have any questions feel free to email me.



Barbara's Letter to JetBlue

Dear Genevieve,

I also was there on that horrific day. I want to show you the letter that I sent to JetBlue after trying to recover from one of the worst situations that I have ever been through. To say that it was beyond surreal is an understatement. I was in seat 5F and saw and heard so much that was going on in the front of the Aircraft that I am frightened that there are more pilots out there as incompetent as the gentleman that was in charge of our safety.

To: Custom Service Jet Blue Airlines
Date: February 16, 2007

I was one of your passengers on board flight 351 leaving JFK on February 14, 2007. I was held hostage along with many other people on the tarmac for 11 hours. Not only do I find this treatment inhumane but, your company as well as the pilot on this doomed flight incompetent and with a total lack of respect and common decency for the people on board that flight. I want to file a formal complaint to document what transpired on aboard flight 351 and then later that evening on flight 359. Your company should not be able to continue to service people after such horrific situations that were never handled ethnically or legally! We boarded at 6:15 am on the 14th of February. We left the gate at 6:50a.m. We were told that we would taxi to a different location to have the plane de-iced. Needless to say, de-icing didn’t take place until approximately 3:00 p.m. The pilot from the very beginning was not being honest with us and I will illustrate examples of his unethical and unprofessional behavior(s). Food was never offered except the snacks that you have on your flights (first snack was offered 3 hours after we departed the gate never again was this offered to us until the eighth hour), and water. We sat trapped in the plane and could not get out. The pilot kept telling us that we were going to go back to the terminal, that we were the next in line.....that was a lie! He said that we would be getting the de-icing process and that we would be able to fly out that day....again a lie! He said that we were going to the terminal to dump the tanks of waste and then take off...again a lie! We sat on that tarmac and were totally forgotten about, while planes on both sides of us kept coming and going either to a gate or to the terminal while we continued to sit there, trapped on this plane. And to really make matters worse, every time he got up to give us information, the captain of this flight was continually condescending and dishonest in dealing with many scared, hungry, and distressed passengers. The entire 11 hours that we were on the tarmac in the area where we were to be de-iced, the cockpit door was open, which I consulted legal counsel and was told this action and behavior of a captain is against FAA regulations. The captain had people including men, women, and children sitting in his seat, showing them the various instruments in the cockpit. This was a totally unsafe and potentially out of control situation that got even more bizarre as the horrific day of events unfolded. I felt completely unsafe and vulnerable to a potential terrorist situation. In the 8th hour of a hostage type situation I was experiencing, the air shut down and it began to become very warm in the plane (trapped in a small unit-space where air is not recyclable) so the captain informed us that his flight crew was going to open the back door to let fresh air into the cabin. The captain then shut the entire plane down and jump-started the plane, all the while telling us that we were next in line for a gate...again, and an additional lie! Planes were coming and going on both sides of us while WE SAT THERE without food, beverages, and in the safety of a professional in charge of an unfortunate situation! In the 10th hour, the tanks for the toilets were at capacity. The captain approached us from the OPEN Cockpit and (I quote), “If you have to do a Number 2 in the bathroom, you cannot for the tanks are full and will over flow." Also in that 10th hour the captain cited FAA regulations that this crew on flight 351 would exceed the legal limit flight time and that Jet blue was locating another crew to take over this flight. We sat there long enough for this captain and his crew to not make the trip. He then informed us that the flight had been officially canceled. At this time, I contacted a friend to get me on another flight as well as I contacted your 800 customer-service number. My friend couldn’t reserve my seat and I was rudely attended to and instructed to wait until we returned to the terminal for assistance. After 11 hours trapped and held hostage by your company, buses finally came to take us back to the terminal. We were told that they had no idea how long it would be before the baggage would relocate back to the terminal. At 5pm after boarding at 6:15 AM I finally was allowed off the plane. When I got to the terminal, there was no one to talk to. No direction, NOTHING! I found my way to a supervisor and was able to get on standby for the 6:15p.m. flight 359. It was 5:30 p.m. of which I was experiencing tremendous distress, exhaustion, hunger, and physical anxiety. As I started to pre-board I had to go through security (for a second time) and then had to literally race to get to gate number three to try to get on flight 359. I asked the gentleman at the gate if the plane was definitely going to take off, I was insured that it would and that this flight (359) was slightly behind the regular scheduled take-off. So I got on the flight this was after approximately 12 hours of being placed in an unsafe and unhealthy environment.

My biggest mistake in entrusting my health, safety, and overall well-being with Jet-Blue was with the severely incompetent and rude employees (specifically the captain of flight 351 and phone attendants) and was then placed on the 2nd plane (flight 359) and sat at yet another gate for 30 minutes until the door closed and we (again like flight 351) backed up approximately 15 to 20 feet and did not move for another two hours. I rang the customer bell immediately and told the steward that I wanted to get off the plane, that I had already sat 11 hours on flight 351. This Jet blue employee made a general announcement to see if anyone else wanted off flight 359 and I was instructed by the pilot that I was the only one with this request and I was refused this need. Once again I am trapped on a plane that is not moving. This again is after 13.5 hours of sitting on planes (fl 351 and 359) and now am on flight 359 for an additional 3 hours and I knew that it would be much longer until we took off or went back to the gate. Needless to say, I was trapped on the second plane for 7 hours on the ground before we were able to take off with twenty to forty mile an hour gusts (as displayed on Jetblue TV screens). It took 5.5 hours to get to Burbank so I had been on two different planes a total of 23.5 hours without food. During this duration I was refused food (except 3 snack items consisting of blue chips and animal crackers). Women with infants, toddlers, and the elderly people were under such distress that it created even greater fear for those of us during this day of horrific events.

I was never during any of this nearly 24 hour time-span asked if I needed food or a beverage, honored in my need to get off the 2ND plane, and offered any form of monetary compensation for this incompetently disorganized and unprofessionally handled day of events. In my opinion when dealing with the public, you should have never let passengers board flights that you know will never take off and then forget about them out on the tarmac for 11 hours. Secondly, a captain’s role on any flight is to ensure the safety of all passengers and crew and to alert individuals of the days events honestly and professionally. Jetblue departed on several flights on this day fully cognizant that many to most of these flights would never depart placing passengers and crew at risk of distress and safety. People are more important than money and Jetblue fully knew that the conditions of the weather on this day would not allow flights to take-off. You held people hostage on a flight that you knew wasn't going to depart and this captain and crew (flight 351) continued to lead us to believe we were going to depart. I am beyond upset by this. I am so traumatized by this that I am still physically sick and in bed and I do not want to get back on a plane on the evening of the 18th to go back home to NY. I also have attempted to meet with customer service in Burbank, contacted you by phone and was either ignored or misdirected for assistance.

I am requesting a full-refund of this flight and that you redirect me to a different or neighboring airline to return to NY on February 18, 2007.

Please contact me at xxx-xxx-xxxx at your earliest receipt of request.

Thank you, Barbara

So far the only thing that has happened from JetBlue was on auto response that I should be hearing from them in March. I have written to every radio, TV, newspaper that I could think of. Channel 12 on Long Island were the only people who seemed to care. Not only were we treated inhumanely but, we were in the hands of someone who scared me to death. It is now a week after the siege and I still am very shaky from the whole event.

I am happy to say that I am home in NY and do not plan to fly anywhere in the near future. This is a problem for me since my job occasionally has me fly to different locations to open new stores.

I am planning on talking to someone at channel 12 News on Monday. I feel as if we were a forgotten flight out there on the tarmac at JFK. It was a total breakdown from top to bottom.......I can't let it go until I get some answers and some restitution. This is not a familiar state for me, I am genuinely a forgiving soul and tend to let things go in order to move on. Not this time, I was extremely effected by this and still have some lingering effects from that fateful day and into the evening. And still have a fierce cold from the plane.

I am a 47 year old professional woman who found herself being turned into a small child that was very frightened. I just do not know what to do with all of this at the moment.

Thank you for opening this site. It seems to be helping people deal and heal.


Why from Pinky Blister

Ask JetBlue why they use 5 hours as a guideline for being stuck on an airplane. I'm a former pilot and 1-2 hours is enough! Either take off or come back to the gate--someone needs to be in charge. When I flew as pilot in command, I always called the shots. Anything longer is unreasonable because something is going on that should not be, and the people should be back in the terminal. I consider it being held without my consent and a criminal act!!!

Pass that along--thanks.

Thanks for the kind words Andre

Hey genevieve.

Just wanted to drop you a quick note.
Your jet blue blog is amazing! You've accomplished so much in just a few days. Congrats! Your efforts could be the catalyst for a change in how airlines (or at least jet blue) treat their customers. Jetblue do a pretty good job as it is, but as travelers we're so often at the mercy of the airlines. It's nice to see someone effectively stand up and say "hey don't treat us this way."
I hope you guys get compensated appropriately, and by that I mean generously.


Michael S - My support system

From Michael S...Thanks bud!

I am very proud of your work. It is very important. This has never been about the weather. I think we all agree that we were happy not to take off during an ice storm. That was the right call. This was about the complete mismanagement on the part of the staff, crew and pilots to properly take care of their passengers. Most of you were just on Flight 351, which was somewhat and surprisingly calm. Rob and I got on Flight 357 right after 351 and that plane sat on the runway for 6 more hours. That plane's atmosphere was much more tense and hostile. The crew of 357 was beyond pathetic and undertrained.

I was not entirely surprised to hear one of your friends post on your blog the previous episodes of flight attendant, Robert Alvarez. He made the situation very tense and dangerous and should be terminated immediately. I do not know too much about this, but this could also be a union issue. I believe that Jet Blue is the only non-union airline and maybe their training procedures are less than those of a union airline. I am a big supporter of unions and that could be a major part of this problem.

Furthermore, I think the one thing that is quite troubling is the rhetoric that Mr. Neeleman is using in the press about how "expensive" this is going to be. That is quite bothersome. God forbid someone had a serious panic attack or a heart attack on one of those nine planes. It would cost Jet Blue and Mr. Neeleman a lot more than $30 million dollars.

So, this is not about free vouchers or $25/hour and more blue chips. I equate it to someone inviting you over their house for dinner, and they spit in your food (flight 351), and then they spit in your food again (flight 357). And as you are walking out the door, they say to you "Oh, please come over tomorrow night for dinner." Would you go? Of course not. The other thing I want their $238 voucher is to fly to Salt Lake City to see Mr. Neeleman myself and demand a public apology to every single one of those passengers on the nine flights at JFK. As well as the immediate termination of Mr. Alvarez and a commitment to the proper training of their staff to handle disasters. He can keep his blue chips and his $25/hour for being late. The only reason he is introducing a "passenger bill of rights" is so the public will forget about this and not push their local US representative to vote on a federal "passenger bill of rights" that will fine the airlines much more than $25/hour. Don't be fooled, Mr. Neeleman is just beating the politicians to the punch. This happened in 1999 when the American Airlines flight sat for six hours and it will happen again in 2007 if we fall for this ploy.

I applaud you efforts with a standing ovation. Anything I can do to help, let me know. Remember, power in numbers.

Best, Michael

Katty's Two Cents (On my plane too!)

One Cent-

They obviously need to revamp Jet Blue's entire infrastructure of travel agents and intra-company communication system. They also need a hard and fast rule about not being able to hold passengers on a plane longer than three hours. For instance, they will pay a penalty to travelers if they break their “three hour” flight, so people at least feel like they have some protection/compensation. I.E., for every hour passengers are kept on the plane exceeding three hours, they should reimburse the customer a $100 per hour.

I can’t believe one quick storm took down an entire company that seems to have been fine for so long. Since our “flight,” when people found out I was on the plane, everyone had some story about how they were held on the tarmac forever on their last Jet Blue flight. Like seriously...EVERYONE! The trust is gone. And they need to institute some security blanket like an airline penalty so people trust them again.

As for our flight, in particular...I honestly think we should be seriously monetarily compensated. And not just 150% of what the price of our ticket was, but thousands of dollars (10-20-40G?). It would be cheaper for him than everyone on our flight suing him. I have never thought about suing anyone in my’s not my body is still so fucked up from being all cramped up for that long, I can’t even wear my backpack. Also, I’ll never get my friend’s movie premiere back...or the meetings I had planned for that Friday. I had lots riding on both Thursday and Friday, and by the time they finally released us/officially canceled our flight...I couldn’t even get to LA till Saturday, so I scrapped my trip altogether. If they had let us off earlier, I could have at least took control and taken a train to Baltimore and flew west from there. By the time they released us, no one had flights left.

Not to mention, I’m a very chill person most of the time...but now, crowded subways are inducing fucking panic attacks when the train slows or stops between stations. It’s nuts! The costs of physical therapy, pilates sessions and a good shrink (with meds!) will cost me a butt load. Boo!!!


Two Cents

Just saw the story on the today show that Jet Blue has beaten me to a lot of the ideas I wrote you about. The Mardi Gras haze of last night is starting to lift. Other than the big payout for us...something else that would be helpful when a plane is delayed is that they should have someone waiting for people as they deplane to help them figure out what their next step should be. And at least four people on the ready to rebook that entire flight vs. us wandering around the terminal lost. ESPECIALLY when they know bad weather is heading an airport’s way.


Jon G in SUPPORT of JetBlue.

Jon G

Despite what happened in the last week with Jet Blue, they're already heads and shoulders above most airlines, the majors included. In my opinion anyways. That the CEO is talking the straight dope about their short comings and offering solutions and apologies is huge in my book and further concretes my love of the company. If I have to fly in the continental U.S. and Jet Blue flies there, I take Jet Blue.

Of course I say this without experiencing what you experienced, so take that for whatever it's worth. They're still a great company and I hope this doesn't tank them. I just wish they went more places, LAX specifically. Long Beach sucks. I'd fly to California more frequently if they landed in LAX. It'd almost be worth it to cut out 6 hours from that 13 hours to Japan.

Loretta's Story: BUR to JF

Loretta's Story

Hi Gen - nice to meet you!

I too felt the wrath of JetBlue this weekend (though not as badly as you)... I had a flight from Burbank to JFK on Friday.

To recap:
-Flight scheduled to leave at 10:55 am
-Delayed until 1:00 pm due to the inbound flight leaving JFK late
-The plane lands at BUR, and 5 min later we're told that they don't have any pilots to fly us to NY
-Scramble to find pilots
-Board plane at 2:30 pm, wait for the new pilots to finish paperwork, top off fuel (because the pilot tells us that those Airbus jets have a fuel capacity barely able to make it to NY -- I'd never heard that before! And I've flown JetBlue loads of times), push back from gate around 3:30 but by then we've lost our place in line and have to wait.
-Then the winds change and we have to dump 1000 lbs of fuel to take off in a tail wind instead of a head wind
-Finally take off at 4:20 pm
-2/3 of way through flight we're told we have to stop and refuel in Pittsburgh (aargh!)
-1:45 am land at JFK
-wait for 30 min for a gate to open up
-When we finally get to baggage claim, there is a sea of people and mounds of baggage - not only are there inbound flights/passengers to deal with, but there are hundreds of passengers who checked in baggage only to have their flights canceled are milling around (some for hours) trying to get their bags back.
-Finally got my bag at 3:30 am

The biggest issue, as I saw it, was a total communication breakdown. As the news reports have noted, JetBlue's system was completely overloaded. The staff at Burbank had no clue what was going on - the lack of pilots was a total shock to them - and there were so few staff actually at JFK that no passengers could get answers. A man with a bullhorn finally came out (because the baggage carousel board was completely inaccurate) to tell people which flights were coming out on which carousels.

The fact that the airline was still is such disarray by Friday was utterly ridiculous. Again, nothing that hasn't already been covered by the press or acknowledged by the airline, but after two days you think they'd at least have staffed up on the ground at their main hub to help stranded passengers, etc.

Also, the JetBlue automated system (online and via phone) was reporting that we'd actually landed at JFK (when we were still in Pittsburgh) so many family and friends were stuck waiting at JFK for hours to pick up passengers.

And I have a feeling that I won't be offered any compensation because I technically wasn't stuck on a plane on a runway for over 2 hours straight (or whatever the cut-off is)... it will suck if I have to fight for compensation when I arrived at my destination almost 7 hours late, and at such a God-awful time of night.

I have been a JetBlue booster since July of 2001 (and I personally love that they fly out of Long Beach and Burbank so I can avoid the chaos of LAX and use the rear boarding stairs!), but I have noticed a slip in service over the last year or two.

Their rapid expansion was obviously ill-planned and a major tax on their system. The "low fares" they bragged about for years, and continue to brag about, are almost non-existent at this point. I regularly find equal or cheaper fares on the other major airlines.

I do appreciate their amenities, like Direct TV and extra leg room (and am thrilled that they're rescuing the old TWA terminal at JFK from decay), but it's getting harder and harder to justify buying a JetBlue ticket.

Thanks for leading the charge, and the very best of luck with your meeting!!!! Feel free to contact me for any other support or questions.


PS - I just wanted to say that I looooove the Long Beach Airport. Anything to avoid the chaos of LAX is good by me. And there's rear boarding! Come on people!

Plus, I feel like Jackie O every time I walk down those outdoor jetway stairs. :-)

Shame on you, JetBlue - Yaminah's letter and JB Reply

I don't blog at work, but I had to throw this up real quick. Ask and you shall NOT receive. If you take the time to write in, you'll probably get somethig similar. If you do, please feel free to share. I'll leave all identifying marks off.

A letter to JetBlue from a reader:

hey gen,

just wanted to share jetblue's very lame response to my complaint letter (see attached). after 3 paragraphs of tripe they finally state that they "respectfully deny my request for additional compensation". their language speaks as though they just delayed the flight for a few hours. they completely ignore the fact that we were trapped on that plane for 10+ hours, like the whole ordeal never happened. they continue to mismanage the situation, even after the fact (damn non-existent e-vouchers). i cannot *wait* to hear about your meeting with mr. neeleman, if it ever actually happens.


David Neeleman
Chief Executive Officer
JetBlue Airways
6322 South 3000 East
Suite G10
Salt Lake City, UT 84121

Dear Mr. Neeleman:

I?m not sure that I actually have the words to express how frustrated, dismayed, and disappointed I
am in JetBlue?s service on February 14, 2007. I was a passenger on Flight 351 from JFK,
New York to Burbank, California who was falsely imprisoned in a JetBlue plane for 10 hours before being
released. My confirmation number is xxxxx. I received a refund of my ticket and an e-mail apology
that includes an ?electronic voucher equivalent to the amount which was paid when booking your
reservation.? The admission of your guilt and your attempt at amends is unsatisfactory and I am
requesting 2 round-trip travel vouchers with no price restrictions as well as $220.00 to compensate
for lost wages (proof of wages can be provided upon request).

As I am trying to re-plan my travel, I am finding that the flights that best fit my schedule exceed
the price of my original ticket. I refuse to pay the difference for a new trip, especially after
the horrific ordeal of being held against my will on that plane for 10 hours. Also, one
price-restricted travel voucher does not begin to address the emotional distress of being trapped
for 10 hours, nor does it address the wages lost that business day. The ticket refund and
price-equivalent voucher was a gesture that you made to all passengers that were held on a runway
for 3 or more hours. You are not addressing the tremendous difference between being forcibly held
in a small space with insufficient food and facilities for 10 hours versus being inconvenienced for
only 3 hours. There is an incredibly significant difference.

I cannot and do not blame you, JetBlue, for the weather conditions of the day, but I do blame you
for your mismanaged, bungled, and disgustingly inconsiderate response. The JetBlue promise is ?to
continue to bring humanity back to air travel,? but the treatment we passengers received on February
14 was inhumane and irresponsible. I would like a response about this situation within 7 business
days of receipt of this request. I am willing to take this matter to several media outlets (both
domestic and international) if I do not get a response. I can be reached at or
(917) xxx-xxxx to discuss the matter further.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dear JetBlue
Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2007 06:41:26 -0700 (MST)
Subject: JetBlue Airways Response
Re: email received Tuesday,02/20/07 10:13 AM, Speak Up 1537692

Dear Ms. M,

Thank you for taking time to let us know of your disappointment in our performance recently. We value your feedback, especially as a long-time JetBlue customer. It saddens us that you have lost your faith in us. Please accept our sincere apologies that we have not met your expectations in our service this weekend. We appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns.

From our
CEO, David Neeleman, and our President, Dave Barger, we get the following:

We have failed you, and we are embarrassed. This wasn't the first time our system couldn't recover quickly from irregular operations. However, when those other events happened, we were a much smaller company, and the disruption was on a much smaller scale. We didn't prioritize our overall plan as a result of those failures, and that was just plain wrong.

We are recovering, and we are all focused on moving past this event and getting back to normal. When we face severe weather or other external events that disrupt our operations - and it's a question of when, not if we face these challenges again - we will be better prepared in advance.

Our systems, communications and response plan are, as of now, under immediate review. Our top administrative officers have met and laid out a comprehensive plan to identify the weaknesses in our company, and every officer is in charge of getting to the core of what happened, why it happened, and how we can do better. The session yielded some immediate actions we will take that will make us better prepared, even if we face a weather event in the coming days. You deserve better and will get it.

We are taking immediate steps to earn back the trust and love our customers still have for us. We never want anyone connected with JetBlue, as a customer or crewmember, to go through anything like what we just experienced again. The problems we face in the future will not be of our own creation, and when challenged in the future, we will be the airline, with an industry-leading program, the fastest response, and the most caring customer policies, with the best crewmembers ready and able to make a difference. This promise comes from our top leadership and we are all committed to it.

Despite this failure, a great number of JetBlue crewmembers exhibited moments of heroism over the past five days in their efforts to repair our company in the eyes of our customers. Some examples are Theresa, an "unbelievable" Flight Attendant; Debbie, who was on the phone for 18 hours getting a customer and her husband across the country to see her dying father; and many others, on the phone and at the airports, making every effort to find space on flights in a calm, helpful and kind manner. We are receiving compliments by email, phone and fax from customers thanking us for the way we have attempted to handle this situation, expressing their appreciation and continued loyalty to JetBlue.

Although we strive for the highest level of customer service, that does not always constitute a refund, compensation, or fare adjustment. We must respectfully deny your request for further compensation.

We genuinely value your choosing JetBlue in the past. Thank you for your patience with us. We look forward to future opportunities to share a positive "JetBlue Experience"!

Customer Commitment Crew
JetBlue Airways
Crewmember 25784

Lesson Learned? CNN-JetBlue Cancels flights

Because of last night's snow, JetBlue cancels 70 flights preemptively.

JetBlue moves quickly to cancel flights this storm

Low fare carrier cuts 40% of JFK flights nearly two weeks after stranding passengers there on the tarmac for hours.

NEW YORK ( -- JetBlue, which took a hit to earnings and a worse hit to its reputation when passengers were stranded for hours at its New York hub on Feb. 14, moved quickly to cancel 40 percent of its flights to and from John F. Kennedy International Airport as a new storm hit the area Monday.

The discount carrier said flights not going to or from its main hub at JFK were not yet being cancelled early Monday due to the storm.

JetBlue (Charts) also flies out of Newark Liberty International Airport and LaGuardia Airport in the New York area, but it has only limited service at those locations.

The airline has 170 arrivals and departures a day scheduled at JFK. As of 6:30 a.m. ET, the low-fare airline had cancelled 68 of those flights through early afternoon.

The airline admitted that much of the problem on Feb. 14 came from not cancelling flights as quickly as it should, leaving passengers on planes that could not take off due to weather and could not return to occupied gates to discharge passengers.

It took almost a full week for the airline to recover from the fiasco, and it estimates that the problem cost it $30 million.

The airline, which announced what it called a "Passengers Bill of Rights" in the wake of the Feb. 14 storm, announced Saturday that passengers booked Sunday into or out of Richmond, Va; Washington, Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio may rebook without fee or fare difference through Thursday.

There were 32 JetBlue flights to and from Dulles International Airport outside of Washington cancelled Sunday, along with two to and from Pittsburgh.

Sunday it extended the same rebooking without penalty offer to passengers flying to or from the three New York area airports, Newburgh, N.Y., Chicago and Boston, as well as the four airports affected Sunday.

Shares of JetBlue took a hit on Feb. 20 after reports that the problems continued through the President's Day holiday and the company's statement about the cost of the problem.

Still, its shares are up about 20 percent over the last 12 months. They've outperformed leading low-fare competitor Southwest (Charts) and matched gains at United Airlines parent UAL Corp. (Charts), but badly trail most old-line hub-and-spoke airlines such as American Airlines parent AMR (Charts), Continental Airlines (Charts) and US Airways Group (Charts).

JetBlue's $30 million fiasco Top of page

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Podango - Podcast and Blog!

Podango Podcasts Station.

The Latest on Myspace

I'm sure you heard about the Jet Blue debacle last week, due to inclement weather, where some passengers were forced to stay on a grounded plane for 11 hours, waiting for the weather to clear...

Well, yes you guessed it. A MySpace page has popped up by an angry victim of the terrible, no good, very bad day of some Jet Blue customers.

The page reads, "My Name is Genevieve and I was a passenger on JetBlue #351 on Valentines day along with my boyfriend Charlie. We were en route to LA for Valentine's day before we ended being held hostage for 11 hours on the frozen tarmac at JFK."

Genevieve is looking for other angry customers to commiserate with her. In her "Who I'd Like To Meet" section, it reads, "People who were JetBlue hostages on Feb 14.

People inconvenienced by the poor decision making and planning of JetBlue Coporate. People abused and neglected by JetBlue employees."

Download Podcast. -

Inspiring solo and small firm lawyers

Even after practicing law for 18 years, underneath my general air of confidence and my excess precaution with much of what I do lies a deep fear that at any minute, I could screw up in a major, big time way. But now, courtesy of Jet Blue, there's a lesson from the school of real life marketing on how to you can begin to deal with the fallout from those inevitable gaffes (or not).

This article, Jet Blue's Survival School offers a run down on some of whatJet Blue's done right since everything went so terribly wrong with its Valentines' Day Meltdown. Most significantly, Jet Blue's CEO, David Neeleman has stepped up to the plate to take responsibility and apologize:

But rather than hide behind his desk and speak through a flunky, Neeleman stepped up. He assessed the situation early on and spoke to the press. He explained exactly what went wrong and apologized. He said he felt "mortified" and "humiliated." That culminated Tuesday when he appeared on CNN's American Morning, Today, Fox and Friends and Squawk Box before most people arrived at work. He's been so visible, appearing live on so many media outlets, that it's a quasi-miracle he's been able to traverse New York City traffic to make the appointments.

I've read that good bedside matter often spares doctors, and other professionals from malpractice. So Neeleman's apology, as well as the compensation (free flights and refunds) and a Passenger Bill of Rights put him on the right track to making amends. Still, Jet Blue's efforts may not suffice to win back the affections of customers such as the one who started the blog, Jet Blue Hostage and has collected at least 150 stories from other passengers seriously inconvenienced by Jet Blue.

Click for the whole article

Feb 23 David Neeleman's FlightLog

Hi everyone,

I can’t thank you enough for the letters, emails and phone calls to our company expressing your support and graciously accepting my apology. We are making good progress on the necessary changes we have to make to ensure you never go through again what happened last week.

I’m also hearing from a lot of customers who we may have confused with our Bill of Rights. Below are some Q&A that our team put together to answer your most frequently asked questions. I will also post an easier-to-read compensation chart by Friday (Mar. 2) so check back here.

Thank you again for giving us another chance to earn your business and loyalty.


Most Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the effective date of the Bill of Rights?

A: The JetBlue Customer Bill of Rights is retroactive to Feb. 14, 2007. The customers stranded on aircraft on Feb. 14, and customers in the 11 JetBlue destinations where we suspended service for the weekend will be compensated under additional provisions.

Q: What should I do if I was affected by the weather or your inability to recover from the weather?

A: JetBlue is automatically reviewing all customers records booked for travel between Feb. 14-19, 2007 and we will issue you the compensation appropriate to the disruption we caused you.

Q: Why did you choose five hours as the maximum time you will allow planes to sit on the group, either waiting for departure or waiting to arrive at a gate?

A: When a plane arrives at an airport and there is no gate available, we feel that there is really no excuse for this and we take full responsibility. Therefore you see that our compensation for arrival delays begins after 30 minutes from the time the airplane is positioned to pull into a gate. With departures, however, delays once onboard are typically due to air traffic control, weather, or ground delays, which are known as long taxi-out times. At some of our nation’s largest airports, such as New York’s JFK, taxi-out times on a “normal" day can easily approach 60-90 minutes with dozens of aircraft lined-up for take-off due to air traffic control. Our customers overwhelmingly tell us they just want to get to their destination and are willing to endure a few hours of waiting whether it be traffic or weather. Most have vacations, hotels, family or friends awaiting them upon arrival in their destination. This is the reason why our compensation begins after three hours for ground-delay departures. We instruct our pilots to return to the gate after five hours, unless take-off is imminent, and communication with the customers onboard has been clear.

Blog Write for CEOs mentions!

Blog Write For CEOs
By Debbie Weil

A phone call from JetBlue CEO David Neeleman's office
No, not because I was one of the unlucky passengers to be stranded at JFK last week (or detained on a plane on the tarmac for 10 hours... my idea of hell). But because I FedExed overnight a signed copy of The Corporate Blogging Book to CEO David Neeleman at JetBlue's headquarters in Forest Hills, NY.

I enclosed a note, commending Chapter 5 (with tips on CEO blogging) and suggested a number of ways JetBlue could improve Neeleman's blog.

Quick fixes for JetBlue CEO...

Click to read the whole thing.

Craigslist Rants and Rave-The discussion lives

I've put some excerpts of some good stuff

New Yorkers:

Feb-22 "THURSDAY CHUCKLE' (otter) pic

Q. Why did the rooster cross the water on a log across the stream?
A. Because they can't fly and he was being chased by chickens and he was afriad to be stuck on a Jet Blue plane.

Feb-21 re: Jet Blue Stock up,, +4.00% (Upper East Side)
Feb-20 jet blue, flight delays (Financial District)
Feb-20 Agree about Jet Blue (Financial District)
Feb-20 I fly jet blue, you shouldn't (Financial District)

"Hello, Jet Blue. May I help you?"
"Yeah, hi. How much is a one way ticket to THE FUCKING RUNWAY?!?"

Feb-20 re: Jet Blue takes full responsibility (Financial District) (Upper East Side)

The time for Jet Blue to have taken full responsibility was last Wednesday, when it left hundreds of passengers sitting on planes for many hours; or at any point from last Wednesday until yesterday when it left thousands of passengers stranded at airports around the country because it couldn't get its fleet in operation.

Feb-20 Jet Blue takes full responsibility (Financial District)
Feb-20 re: buy jet blue (Financial District)
Feb-20 True stories about Jet Blue (Financial District)
Feb-20 re: Buy Jet Blue (Upper East Side)
Feb-20 Buy Jet Blue
Feb-19 jet blue free roundtrips (screwed)


Feb-22 i support jetblue
Feb-22 Re: Support Jet Blue
Feb-22 Re: Support Jet Blue

CallCenter Magazine - Shouts

Thanks guys!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Learn From JetBlue's Mistakes

I found a nice illustration of Keith's super-empowered angry customer idea in the whole JetBlue debacle. After sitting in an airplane that was frozen to the runway at JFK on Valentine's Day for 11 hours, angry customer Genevieve started the blog JetBlue Hostage.

She writes:

Obviously I had a bad experience on with Jetblue, compounded by the many elements like my desire to go home, see my family and have a romantic first Valentine’s Day with Charlie. I started this blog because I needed to do SOMETHING.

That's the key to the super empowered angry customer, as I see it: it's a customer that feels powerless in their relationship with a large and faceless company. Blogging and connecting with others who were wronged by the company is a way to take back some control. In her profile, she says:

I'm looking for other hostages of Jet Blue. I don't feel that a round trip ticket is enough compensation for people who were held hostage for 11 hours. I don't believe that 11 hour hostages should be treated the same as 3 hour hostages. I don't believe they apologized enough. I believe in the power of the people and power in numbers.
For the rest of the story


Hi guys,

Lots of you have been writing in predicting Neeleman is going to CANCEL our meeting.

Here's a little background. I was told that Neeleman was available to meet me at MY convenience. Obviously it's a delicate balancing act; meet before the story is cold but give me enough time to educate myself.

I gave a date.

They called back within the hour to tell me Neeleman was out of town and it was pushed back a few days. (So much for MY convenience.)

I was specifically asked to NOT post the date for security reasons and I won't. But it IS this week.

If the meeting does not happen this week, you know that they not only applied the "Charm Offensive" but the stall tactic.

I have too much invested, too many people behind me, too many media contacts, too much information and too much pride to forget.

I will not let the story be forgotten.
Plus I have something they want.

Let's hope that Neeleman and the JetBlue flacks aren't trying to pacify me, cos I am a stubborn woman of mettle. Ask Charlie, I don't back down.


Business Week - One Extraordinary Stumble

Customer Service Champs
BW's first-ever ranking of 25 client-pleasing brands included JetBlue, until it got stuck on the runway

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Held Hostage Upon A Jet Blue Aircraft for 1 Year, 4 Months, and 16 Days

Another Post From David - My favorite JetBlueHostage Crew Member.
It's 3:00am.
time to sleep. Love, G

Held Hostage Upon A Jet Blue Aircraft for 1 Year, 4 Months, and 16 Days

How much do you value 1 minute of your LIFE?
How much do you value 1 hour of your LIFE?
How much do you value 1 month of your LIFE?
How much do you value 1 year of your LIFE???

Debate has, rightfully, grown out the "naming" associated with the web site. Yet, the question "what's in a name?" is often of great societal merit. Language that is termed by some as being "harsh rhetoric" is often the stimulus for creating valued debate. To all of those whom believe, , is either unfair or too harsh in regards to assimilating the word "hostage" with "Jet Blue", I would suggest rereading---The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America...specifically...."...or abridging the freedom of speech...". Fortunately we reside in a Country wherein entities such as Jet Blue can endeavor to censor our respective "freedom of speech" by rapidly securing the rights to domain names that may bode unfavorably upon it's actions, service, or reputation. Yet, Jet Blue do NOT possess the power to impinge upon the freedom of an advocate "for the people" such as Gen, who rightfully and legally has provided us a forum within which to express our respective opinions, and in doing so she does not have to fear any possibility of being illegally muted. Before, anybody participating upon the dares to consider Gen, or anybody else associated with the site as twisted or evil, all they need to do is reference their daily newspaper and "uncover" the name of a United States Soldier killed upon the battlefield. One of the fundamental requisites of such a sacrifice is to "uphold" the Constitution, the very same one that allows for a site entitled to exist.

Anybody and everybody has the right to be in absolute disagreement with the paragraph above, yet the following data is irrefutable and pertains directly to both the title of this posting, and the four "time" questions referred to thereafter.

*January 2007, Jet Blue reports an average of 76.1% capacity upon it's aircraft.
*Jet Blue Airbus A-320 aircraft are configured to seat 150 passengers (NOTE: I do not know if any EMB-190 aircraft were deployed by Jet Blue during the Valentine's Day 2007 debacle. All of the numbers below are based wholly upon Airbus A-320 aircraft. Furthermore, the 76.1% capacity total above for the month of January was inclusive of passengers flying aboard EMB-190 aircraft)
*Utilizing the January 2007 capacity figures released by Jet Blue of 76.1%, and the seating capacity of Jet Blue Airbus A-320 aircraft, a logical/reasonable assumption can be calculated that each of the Jet Blue aircraft that were left stranded upon the JFK apron carried approximately 114.15 passengers.
*No absolute number of aircraft "impacted" has been cited, thus an approximation has been utilized based upon 10 Jet Blue A-320 aircraft holding their respective passengers hostage for an average of 10.5 hours.
* 10 Jet Blue Aircraft holding 114.15 passengers hostage for an average of 10.5 hours, results in a total of 12,032.55 total "man hours" of being held captive by Jet Blue.
*12,032.55 total "man hours" of being held hostage by Jet Blue results in a total of 501 days of captivity.
*501 days of being held hostage by Jet Blue equates to 41.75 months of captivity.
*41.75 months of being held hostage by Jet Blue equates to 1 YEAR 4 MONTHS & 16 DAYS of being a hostage.

Unfortunately for Mr. Neeleman, numbers don't lie, and a $300 voucher to fly upon "his" airline again is rather hollow reimbursement for "stealing" a cumulative 1 year, 4 months, and 16 days of human life...not much "humanity" in that Dave!

Thank you on behalf of your...friendly Jet Blue Hostage Crew Members

Flight Wisdom blog mentions

FlightWisdom Blog
News, Advice and Thoughts on improving your flight experience and Saving you Money

Jetblue Will Lose Millions from Winter Incident

“I don’t blame our customers for being upset with this,” David Neeleman, CEO of Jetblue commented about the recent events plaguing the airline. For Saturday and Sunday, it pre-cancelled 23 percent of its schedule in order to reset their operation. That includes all flights to and from: Austin, Bermuda, Charlotte, Columbus, Houston, Jacksonville, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Portland, Raleigh/Durham, and Richmond.

One flyer has created a blog for the “Jetblue Valentine’s Day Hostage Crisis” at Jetblue has, either way, certainly not made anything better. Although other airlines have cancelled many flights, Jetblue’s response to this weather crisis is proving to have been a massive disaster. On Thursday night, Jetblue closed out all flights, no longer accepting check-ins and actually had the police close the counters for them.

If they don’t fix this problem soon, no one will be flying them. Despite the fact that other airlines have and did delay passengers and cancel flights, only Jetblue’s situation is getting an intense level of press.

David Report Blog and

David Report
A creative hub with a humanistic approach at the intersection of design, innovation and brand communication.

Viva consumer power!
David Carlson, 23 February, 2007

Jet Blue

What do you do if you feel that you have been treated really bad by a company? You start a blog - telling the world what kind of bad people they are!

“Nothing says “I love you” like being held hostage on a frozen plane with the man you love, 99 strangers, 4 other people you happen to know, 4 screaming babies and 3 rambunctious kids running about, nothing but chips and soda for sustenance, faulty power, unreliable direct TV and overfilled sewage system for 11 hours.”

The above is the headline from the blog Jetblue hostage. It’s run by Genevieve and she was a passenger on JetBlue #351 on Valentines day along with her boyfriend Charlie. They were en route to LA for Valentine’s day before they ended being held hostage for 11 hours on the frozen tarmac at JFK. She is now looking for other hostages of Jet Blue.

Click for the whole story

Business Week - Customer Service Champs. Not.

Pickup tomorrow's issue of Business Week. Apparently the cover story was about Custome Service Champs which included JetBlue. The cover, which was printed BEFORE the snafu has been changed to have an "X" across JetBlue. Ow. Smarts don't it?

MARCH 5, 2007

Customer Service Champs
BW's first-ever ranking of 25 client-pleasing brands included JetBlue, until it got stuck on the runway

Bob Emig was flying home from St. Louis on Southwest Airlines this past December when an all-too-familiar travel nightmare began to unfold. After his airplane backed away from the gate, he and his fellow passengers were told the plane would need to be de-iced. When the aircraft was ready to fly two and a half hours later, the pilot had reached the hour limit set by the Federal Aviation Administration, and a new pilot was required. By that time, the plane had to be de-iced again. Five hours after the scheduled departure time, Emig's flight was finally ready for takeoff.

Click for the whole story

Cover story podcast

This is another part of BusinessWeek's story on Customer Service.

Satisfaction (not always) Guaranteed
Customer Service

Bloomberg News

JetBlue’s Blues

JetBlue, the airline with a once squeaky-clean customer-service record, fell hard this Valentine’s Day when an ice storm left passengers stranded on runways in New York for up to ten hours. But the downward spiral didn’t stop there: JetBlue had to cancel hundreds of flights over the next several days to ease its backlog. Intense media coverage combined with passenger outrage has left the company scrambling to offer full refunds, free flights, promises of major operational changes, and even a passenger bill of rights.

JetBlue joins the dubious ranks of other airline mishaps, including a legendary 1999 Northwest Airlines flight when passengers were trapped on board for seven hours after landing nearly a day late in Detroit. Recently American Airlines made headlines when hundreds of passengers were kept on planes at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport after New Year’s weekend thunderstorms hovered longer than expected.