Monday, February 26, 2007

Shame on you, JetBlue - Yaminah's letter and JB Reply

I don't blog at work, but I had to throw this up real quick. Ask and you shall NOT receive. If you take the time to write in, you'll probably get somethig similar. If you do, please feel free to share. I'll leave all identifying marks off.

A letter to JetBlue from a reader:

hey gen,

just wanted to share jetblue's very lame response to my complaint letter (see attached). after 3 paragraphs of tripe they finally state that they "respectfully deny my request for additional compensation". their language speaks as though they just delayed the flight for a few hours. they completely ignore the fact that we were trapped on that plane for 10+ hours, like the whole ordeal never happened. they continue to mismanage the situation, even after the fact (damn non-existent e-vouchers). i cannot *wait* to hear about your meeting with mr. neeleman, if it ever actually happens.


David Neeleman
Chief Executive Officer
JetBlue Airways
6322 South 3000 East
Suite G10
Salt Lake City, UT 84121

Dear Mr. Neeleman:

I?m not sure that I actually have the words to express how frustrated, dismayed, and disappointed I
am in JetBlue?s service on February 14, 2007. I was a passenger on Flight 351 from JFK,
New York to Burbank, California who was falsely imprisoned in a JetBlue plane for 10 hours before being
released. My confirmation number is xxxxx. I received a refund of my ticket and an e-mail apology
that includes an ?electronic voucher equivalent to the amount which was paid when booking your
reservation.? The admission of your guilt and your attempt at amends is unsatisfactory and I am
requesting 2 round-trip travel vouchers with no price restrictions as well as $220.00 to compensate
for lost wages (proof of wages can be provided upon request).

As I am trying to re-plan my travel, I am finding that the flights that best fit my schedule exceed
the price of my original ticket. I refuse to pay the difference for a new trip, especially after
the horrific ordeal of being held against my will on that plane for 10 hours. Also, one
price-restricted travel voucher does not begin to address the emotional distress of being trapped
for 10 hours, nor does it address the wages lost that business day. The ticket refund and
price-equivalent voucher was a gesture that you made to all passengers that were held on a runway
for 3 or more hours. You are not addressing the tremendous difference between being forcibly held
in a small space with insufficient food and facilities for 10 hours versus being inconvenienced for
only 3 hours. There is an incredibly significant difference.

I cannot and do not blame you, JetBlue, for the weather conditions of the day, but I do blame you
for your mismanaged, bungled, and disgustingly inconsiderate response. The JetBlue promise is ?to
continue to bring humanity back to air travel,? but the treatment we passengers received on February
14 was inhumane and irresponsible. I would like a response about this situation within 7 business
days of receipt of this request. I am willing to take this matter to several media outlets (both
domestic and international) if I do not get a response. I can be reached at or
(917) xxx-xxxx to discuss the matter further.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dear JetBlue
Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2007 06:41:26 -0700 (MST)
Subject: JetBlue Airways Response
Re: email received Tuesday,02/20/07 10:13 AM, Speak Up 1537692

Dear Ms. M,

Thank you for taking time to let us know of your disappointment in our performance recently. We value your feedback, especially as a long-time JetBlue customer. It saddens us that you have lost your faith in us. Please accept our sincere apologies that we have not met your expectations in our service this weekend. We appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns.

From our
CEO, David Neeleman, and our President, Dave Barger, we get the following:

We have failed you, and we are embarrassed. This wasn't the first time our system couldn't recover quickly from irregular operations. However, when those other events happened, we were a much smaller company, and the disruption was on a much smaller scale. We didn't prioritize our overall plan as a result of those failures, and that was just plain wrong.

We are recovering, and we are all focused on moving past this event and getting back to normal. When we face severe weather or other external events that disrupt our operations - and it's a question of when, not if we face these challenges again - we will be better prepared in advance.

Our systems, communications and response plan are, as of now, under immediate review. Our top administrative officers have met and laid out a comprehensive plan to identify the weaknesses in our company, and every officer is in charge of getting to the core of what happened, why it happened, and how we can do better. The session yielded some immediate actions we will take that will make us better prepared, even if we face a weather event in the coming days. You deserve better and will get it.

We are taking immediate steps to earn back the trust and love our customers still have for us. We never want anyone connected with JetBlue, as a customer or crewmember, to go through anything like what we just experienced again. The problems we face in the future will not be of our own creation, and when challenged in the future, we will be the airline, with an industry-leading program, the fastest response, and the most caring customer policies, with the best crewmembers ready and able to make a difference. This promise comes from our top leadership and we are all committed to it.

Despite this failure, a great number of JetBlue crewmembers exhibited moments of heroism over the past five days in their efforts to repair our company in the eyes of our customers. Some examples are Theresa, an "unbelievable" Flight Attendant; Debbie, who was on the phone for 18 hours getting a customer and her husband across the country to see her dying father; and many others, on the phone and at the airports, making every effort to find space on flights in a calm, helpful and kind manner. We are receiving compliments by email, phone and fax from customers thanking us for the way we have attempted to handle this situation, expressing their appreciation and continued loyalty to JetBlue.

Although we strive for the highest level of customer service, that does not always constitute a refund, compensation, or fare adjustment. We must respectfully deny your request for further compensation.

We genuinely value your choosing JetBlue in the past. Thank you for your patience with us. We look forward to future opportunities to share a positive "JetBlue Experience"!

Customer Commitment Crew
JetBlue Airways
Crewmember 25784

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