I love the site! I didn't fly until Friday so I missed the Valentine's Day mess, but it's still a disaster, here's my posting on it.
February 16, 2007
So by this point, Jet Blue's disastrous handling of this week's snowstorms has been well documented. But it stopped snowing 2 days ago, so when it came time to head to JFK to catch our Jet Blue flights to Cancun, we weren't worried. I mean, 2 days is plenty of time to get the mess cleaned up - even the sidewalks in Manhattan were all shoveled by this morning. We checked Jet Blue's web site just to be sure, and they said the flight is confirmed, no delays, so we settled in to the ride to the airport thinking no prob, we'll have a smooth time.
When we got to the terminal it looked like a natural disaster had just hit somewhere nearby - people everywhere, in every seat, sitting in clusters in the middle of the floor, curled up in corners sleeping. Our flight was suddenly delayed by 90 minutes so we decided to grab a bite while waiting - the Jet Blue terminal has some surprisingly decent sushi. After 30 minutes of hovering next to tables we spotted a group getting ready to leave and swooped in. As we munched on our rolls, we chatted with people at neighboring tables and got all the horror stories - they had all been in the terminal for at least 10 hours trying to get home. One was getting ready to DRIVE to Charlotte (10 hours away) to catch a flight to Florida.
Around us there was constant chaos - wherever there was a flight that was actually leaving, desperate crowds at the gate waving boarding passes begging to be allowed on. Gate attendants regularly came over the PA alternating between pleading for order - "Everybody PLEASE form a single line!" and threatening customers "If you don't form a line NOW we're going to cancel this flight!". Customer service at its finest.
By the time we got to the gate, we were expecting chaos of our own, and we weren't disappointed. Our gate was in an annex to the main terminal, so we take the shuttle bus over. Get to the gate, and the flight there is going to Puerto Rico. Our flight is no longer listed on the monitors at all. After 15 minutes of confusion, an attendant shouts out that we need to go to gate 2, they're changing the gate. Back on the shuttle bus. We get to gate 2, no flight posted, no gate attendant, attendants at neighboring gates have no idea what's going on.
Finally an attendant shows up, posts the flight, and announces that while the plane is there, they "cannot locate" the crew. They don't know where they are? Don't they track which of their staff is on which flight? Then he comes on and says (thinking this will inspire hope) that the crew "has been spotted in the building" but that they still haven't managed to locate them. WTF? They don't have cellphones? Can't they page them?
To make a much longer story short.. we finally left 5 hours late, and considered ourselves very lucky. It's hard to feel self-pity when you're surrounded by people in the terminal giving you envious (or jealous, or hateful) stares because you're getting on a plane and they're not. It felt like a refugee camp.
And then, the icing on the cake - when we landed in Cancun, they couldn't find one of my bags. Must be with the crew, maybe it's been spotted in the building? They didn't get the joke.. luckily it was the one with my clothes and not my scuba gear - I'll be wearing nothing but a swimsuit all week, but at least I still get to go diving. Counting my blessings.. and vowing to never ever buy a ticket from Jet Blue again.