Monday, February 26, 2007

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.


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