JetBlue Nightmare: The Cure for Bad Service
There are just some sorts of companies, such as airlines, I would never want to own, no matter how lucrative they could potentially be. And in spite of the golden parachutes the CEOs typically get when they lead an airline to bankruptcy, I wouldn't want to run one, either. It's not the responsibility or the workload I shun. It's not even my lack of qualifications. I could just as efficiently, if not more efficiently, lead an airline to bankruptcy as those guys.
No... It's the hassle. By that I mean subjecting my decisions to meddling people who have no interest in my business, but who will use their authority to make rules that negatively affect my business nonetheless, because doing so serves their interests.
Yes, I mean Congress.
Don't get me wrong... Making people wait for eleven hours on stationary planes, like JetBlue reportedly did, is inexcusable. Were I on one of those long-delayed planes, I might not fly JetBlue again. I've never flown on JetBlue, and I might not ever do so -- just on the strength of the criticisms of those who were subjected to the forced incarceration.
But am I to believe Congress is going to come to my rescue? Please. It's because of Congress that we've been subjected to the long delays and overall incompetence of the TSA. No, thank you, Congress. Just keep your "Passenger Bill of Rights" to yourself.
Of course it's popular, because we are all for "rights," aren't we? But here's the problem: We already have passengers' rights.
I don't have to fly, and because of the long delays associated with flying these days (although the automated ticketing agents really have sped things up on the airline side), if I can avoid it, I will. No one is forcing me to ride on a plane except for my employer from time to time, but I still have the freedom to refuse if I no longer wish to be employed by them.
JetBlue will pay a price for its behavior, but the only ones who should feel inclined to punish them for this particular transgression are the consumers, not Congress. Bankruptcy, if Congress will allow it to occur naturally without forcing bailouts on the taxpayers, will ensure companies pay a sufficient price for their behavior.
For JetBlue's part, they did at least try to make it up. They admitted the mistake, they attempted to give fair compensation to those who were subjected to holdup (even though the weather itself wasn't their fault), and they promised to do better next time. What more can we expect of them? If their service doesn't improve, the marketplace will punish them.
And much to the chagrin of people who want to politically benefit from the airline's bad publicity, the punishment will happen all by its lonesome, without any nudging from Congressional busybodies. - Cam Beck