Friday, February 16, 2007

Ellipses Elliot Blog: Travel bloggers have their 'Rathergate' moment

Travel bloggers have their 'Rathergate' moment
February 16, 2007

Feb. 15 will go down in the history of travel blogging as an historic day. It was our long-awaited "Rathergate" moment -- a time when travel bloggers finally realized the power of their medium. Nothing will ever be the same.

Just a day before, as I noted on this blog, JetBlue had kept passengers on a Cancun-bound flight trapped on the JFK tarmac ... er, sorry Joe, I mean runway ... for at least nine hours.

The next day, the travel blogosphere pointed all of its metaphorical guns -- every last one of 'em -- at JetBlue and squeezed the trigger. And kept squeezing until the ammo was all gone.

"Here we go again," quipped Mark Ashley of Upgrade: Travel Better.

Airline blogger Jared Blank described JetBlue's response as "completely inadequate."

"I'm not sure what happened with JetBlue's JFK operation Wednesday," wrote PlaneBuzz blogger Holly Hegeman, in what is probably the understatement of the day. "But it was not a positive."

"Awful," declared the guys over at IAG blog, suggesting that airlines should start referring to their customers as "hostages."

Perhaps the funniest post came from Gridskipper, which drew parallels to the film Alive, in which airline passengers ate one another. As in, you know, cannibalism.

So how was this a "Rathergate" moment?

Just wait. Each blogger, in addition to being deeply critical of JetBlue, also predicted that this event would catapult the proposed passenger rights rules into law.

If it does, then travel bloggers will have played an important (maybe even a key) role in shaping public opinion and advocating for the new standards.

And there's no telling what could be next ...

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