Friday, February 16, 2007

ABC Local News

JetBlue continues to try and get passengers home

For a third day, the carrier is struggling to get planes in the air

- JetBlue travelers continued to experience delays and cancelations Friday as the airline struggled for a third day to recover from an operational meltdown at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Earlier this morning, the 7-year-old air carrier had called off 71 of its 570 planned flights. Other flights were delayed and more cancelations were likely, said JetBlue spokesman Bryan Baldwin.

The airline, he said, was having trouble getting enough planes and crews to JFK to handle to handle the flights, in part because of federal regulations limiting pilot work hours.

JetBlue says that without meaning to put a spin on their problems, part of the reason they took risks trying to launch flights during narrow weather windows on Wednesday is because their system was booked to 100 percent of capacity, and the busy President's Week vacation period was approaching, also with bookings at 100 percent of capacity.

There was hesitance to cancel flights unless absolutely necessary. Some routes to popular cold-weather destinations like the Caribbean have only one flight a day.

To help clear the backlog, JetBlue has purchased charter capacity from other airlines, which has given them extra seats to places like Las Vegas and Florida.

As for how long it will take to get everyone booked on a JetBlue flight to where they want to be, the airline's senior managers will be on an 11 a.m. conference call to discuss operational issues.

The airline has also expanded its rebooking policy for customers booked to trave through Monday. This means customers scheduled to fly through Monday, can voluntarily rebook their travel without penalty or fare difference through May 22nd.

Customers need only contact JetBlue before May 22 to rebook their travel. Rebooked travel must be completed by May 22.

If customers choose to rebook the same routing for different days, JetBlue will waive all change fees and fare differences. If customers choose to rebook to another destination, JetBlue will waive the change fee, but fare differences will not be waived.

To rebook, customers are asked to call JetBlue at 800-JETBLUE (800-538-2583). JetBlue Reservations is experiencing enormous call volume, and customers may not be able to get through today.

If customers prefer, JetBlue will convert the full value of their travel into a JetBlue credit good for future JetBlue travel. Customers may convert the value of their travel into a JetBlue credit online by clicking here.

Customers whose JetBlue flight has been cancelled may opt for a full refund by clicking here.

No comments: