Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Thoughts of Dangerous Thoughts
Thursday, February 15, 2007

Chuck Jet Blue

Maybe I am overreacting because I have had some horrible airline experiences, but this Jet Blue story is one of the most outrageous things I have ever heard.
I have been a fan of Jet Blue up to this point. But trapping people on a plane on the tarmac for 10 hours -- and then canceling the flight? There is just no excuse for that -- legal, economical, or practical. Or for Jet Blue's exceedingly lame efforts yesterday and today to compensate the passengers who were victimized for their lost time. Some guy forfeits a $3000 trip to Aruba with his wife on Valentine's Day because of your negligence, and all you are going to do is offer him a generic apology and a free flight? Please.

This is one of those cases where the only logical response actually is "there oughta be a law." I know that the trial lawyers will be all over this one, and while I usually don't favor the lawsuit solution, on this one I hope they bleed Jet Blue dry. But these tarmac hold-ups seem to be getting more common. And outside of these extreme cases, it just seems unrealistic to count on the threat of class action suits to deter the airlines from essentially imprisoning people for hours at a time. As yesterday's fiasco shows, we need a greater accountability hammer.

This cause is tailor made for New York's Chuck Schumer, who has built a great reputation as a consumer advocate and can be a relentless pain in the you know what, which is just what Jet Blue deserves at the moment. Time for an angry letter to the FAA, hearings on what kind of new standards we need to stop airlines from abusing their passengers like this, and then legislation.

# posted by dangerstein @ 3:39 PM

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