Friday, March 23, 2007
It was a really fantastic experience and I feel pretty good about it. I don't know what to expect, what with the wonders of editing they might make me look like a complete fool or maybe I'll end up on the cutting room floor.
In any event, the show will air on the following dates:
April 14, 15 & 19
ALL TIMES GMT
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
I've had a few people email me about a flight I took on JetBlue last week. I talked to one person about it who said that I mention it somewhere on my blog. However up until yesterday, after I came back from said vacation, I don't mention it anywhere. Unless I am missing it.
Here's your assignment: Find on my page WHERE I have mentioned (prior to last night) my trip to LA on JetBlue and email it to me at email@example.com.
If it is not on my site, then JetBlue employees are tracking me on JetBlue flights...as if being concerned about travel isn't worrisome enough, I have to worry about my privacy and my checked in property.
If it DOES turn out to that JetBlue is sharing my information/monitoring me, it wouldn't be the first time. JetBlue has violated our privacy before when they shared our private information with the government.
Read here for more info:
(2) Background on the Sharing of Commercial Flight Passenger Data with the US Army
JetBlue has a history of sharing private information.
I'm really hoping one of you finds my post where I mention it, because this violation would cause me to graduate from participating in JetBlue Class action lawsuit (something I have to still explore before I do,) to filing personal lawsuit.
I am so sorry for neglecting you as long as I have. It's challenging when you dedicate so much of your life to something you believe in and people denigrate your character and call you out of your name and you lose friends. It can really take a lot out of even the most resilient person.
So, I’d like to address a few people who, like Neeleman, accused people like me of speaking our minds for attention and fame. I actually turned down interviews as a result of some of those comments. But now, I’m going back on CNN for a third time, because this story is not dead. It’s very much alive and relevant.
I think that Neeleman and JetBlue hoped I would just vanish with the news cycle, but all this hate mail and the continual support mail reinvigorated my sense of purpose and I remembered again what it is that got me started on this blog. It was to give you, my readers, a place to get your message out.
I’d like to confront the whole “American’s are so whiny” or “stop complaining there are worse problems in the world” stance. You know what’s American? Fighting for something you believe in. Isn’t that American? Being able to say what you want and fight for your rights? Isn’t that American? So next time you send back your steak, because it’s not medium rare, or when you return those pants, because you washed them and they got all misshapen, remember, there’s a person in Africa with no steak and no clothes. And yes, you are just as ridiculous.
I feel sorry for every single one of you who was wronged and didn’t have the guts to stand up for what you believe in, against a barrage of hateful people. What I did and will continue to do, that’s integrity. You know who doesn’t have integrity, the person who belittles a person who is strong enough to stand up for themselves and other. If you want to oppose me, come with something other than name calling. Otherwise, leave that on the school ground.
I love that your friends tell friends and tell friends and tell friends. You are the reason why my site received over 10,000 hits that first week. You are the reason my name and my site is still being talked about.
JetBlueHostage.com and JetBlue, built off the power of word of mouth. AMEN.
But before I get into that, let me say AGAIN, that yes, I took a JetBlue flight. I earned that ticket with 14.5 hours of my life, a lost Valentine’s day, lost wages and inconveniencing members of my family. So eff you, I didn’t give JetBlue my money so take that and shove it. And After I post the messages from the JetBlue employee who works in the factories that build and repair planes in South America, you won’t want to give JetBlue any money either.
OK so brilliant idea. I watched maybe 7-10 people who recorded their JetBlue story and why they love JetBlue and it was all very sweet, well-produced, kudos. You should take some of that marketing money and invest it in operations.
But I digress.
If you are a JetBlue Hostage, Victim, Stranded Passenger, ex-employee, ex-customer, email me. If you are in the NY area, I would like to film YOUR Dear JetBlue letter. I’ll put it on YouTube, I’ll even hide your face if you’d prefer. I don’t know how to do the green screen effects that they did, but I’ll find a way.
(Please note that anything that I say Neeleman said is from memory. I was not allowed to bring a video or audio recording device, but I’m sure THEY recorded it on their end. I’m more than happy to allow them to release it should they want to contest any of the things I am documenting below.)
My meeting with David Neeleman, I think Charlie said it best when he said that Neeleman was much like his airline: a nice to look at and likeable veneer, but nothing behind it to substantiate it.
My meeting happened on a day that was down pouring rain. David immediately prefaced our meeting by saying they preemptively cancelled 65 flights that day. (Here’s your gold star.) Then he asked me what I wanted and I told him nothing. Then he wanted to hear my story and I told him that in the interest of making the most out of our hour, I didn’t want to get into my story as it wasn’t something he hadn’t already heard from 1000s of other passengers. So I pulled out my 2 pages of questions. He looked tired and genuinely sorry, I sympathized and I knew I wouldn’t be able to ask him some of the hard-to-ask questions. I’m not a journo or an investigative reporter. I’m a blogger.
It went a lot like this:
It’ll never happen again
I don’t have the answer, this is who you need to talk to.
Then he hit a wall and I could actually see the change in him. From the beginning of the meeting, he was playing these passive aggressive “you’re not important” games, by taking FOUR PHONE CALLS, on his mobile at that. Not from JetBlue employees concerned about the weather cancellations. Calls from his wife. Calls from his neighbor. I’m the queen of mind games, you can’t pull that on me.
Then, I asked him how he knew about the blog.
His answer? I don’t, you were on my schedule and Jenny Dervin told me I should meet with you.
The same Jenny Dervin that told me he asked to meet with me personally.
The same Jenny Dervin who told me via email after the meeting that he DID ask to meet with me but he suffers from ADD.
Then I asked him about why he wasn’t meeting with Kat from Stranded Passengers.
He said to me off the record, getting stranded on that plane was the best thing that ever happened to her. Now she’s famous and on the news all the time.
It started getting abundantly clear WHY I was asked to not bring an audio device to our meeting.
Later on I asked him about the abuse that I’ve endured from people who have been found out to be JetBlue employees.
I used to work in PR. Media training class would tell any CEO to respond as follows:
“I am so sorry, you’ve been thru enough. I do not condone that kind of behaviour by our fans or employees and I think it’s horrible.”
His answer JetBlue has a lot of fans, and the online space is vicious. People start these blogs and want to get famous or rich and they should expect that people are going to stand up for us.
Passive aggressive much. People start these blogs? Do you mean ME?
He has almost verbatim just repeated almost every attack that has been sent to me. Where they from YOU Mr. Neeleman?
So then we can’t get a real reason for why certain things happen that day, but get a bunch more I’m sorries, we’re sorries, it’ll never happen again, we’re fixing it. Blah Blah.
So we get to the being federally regulate portion of my questions. And he’s just fired up about why on earth would he ever have someone control his relationship with his customers. They have a legally binding (carriage of) contract with us which will ensure that they pay up as they say they will.
This is a carriage of contract and 75% a bill of rights that existed BEFORE the incident happened, that didn’t prevent the incident from happening. Yet, he doesn’t understand the purpose of being federally regulated.
Try self policing yourself while you quit cigarettes, or go on a diet, or go to the gym everyday. See for yourself how effective self-policing yourself is.
As we were coming to a close, his patience had waned. I asked him if he would be willing to sit with a few people I hand picked to take their questions on a talk show.
Or if he would film an apology to the readers of my blog. (This would take MAYBE 2 minutes as I had my digital camera that films movies.
His answer. I did that already. I apologized. I’ve apologized enough. I just want to move on.
He’s sitting with TWO people who were ACTUALLY on the plane that was stuck for the longest on the tarmac at JFK (10.5 hours), MAYBE for the first time. And he’s tired of apologizing. He’s ready to move on.
I’ll glad he got all the healing done and out of the way two weeks and two days after the incident. The only person who can recover better than you, Neeleman, is Wolverine.
By the end of the meeting I had three names I was supposed to follow up with, a consumer advisory board I was supposed to assist with and an updated system ops (I think this is what it was called) room he wanted me to check out. He walked us down the hall to Jenny Dervin's empty office, with no guest chairs. And left. A few JetBlue Corporate employees walked by and ignored us.
It’s was just like when we got taken off the plane and told to figure it out for ourselves.
After 10 minutes of standing around being ignored, Charlie and I walked out into the rain and went home. I half expected an apology email from Jenny Dervin. But was surprised that I didn’t hear form her until I emailed her and asked her about the whole “I don’t know who you are” bit.
And there it is.
My (not so) great meeting with a (not so) great man.
I had to step away from this blog for a few days because I was refilled with all the anger I let go while talking to you guys. Then I went to Los Angeles, on that trip with Charlie that we never got to take.
Did I take JetBlue? Yes. I paid for those tickets with 14.5 hours of my life (10.5 on plane, 3 in terminal) a missed first Valentine’s day and inconveniencing about a dozen member of my family who drove 6 hours down to LA to see me. I earned that free ticket, so you’re damned right I took it.
I’ll tell you this much. I called before I left for the airport, as I did on Valentine’s day. And Jenny (a recurring JetBlue name,) a nice little house mom in Middle America told me that “as of now, there are no flight interruptions.” When I asked to be put on a list of people to call if it DID get cancelled, she said she would try. I explained to her I was one of the people stuck on a plane for 10.5 hours and I am just worried. Her answer was a quick, too sweet and slightly surly, “you and everyone else.”
Keep on chugging JetBlue. You have a long way to go.
Thursday, March 8, 2007
On DickHeadbosses.com, Click New York. NY JetBlue Emloyee complaints date back to August 2005 and I would say 90% of the complaints are of JetBlue...Keep in mind, this site is open for ANYONE to post thier grievances. If you click on California or Massachusetts, you'll find some fairly recent complaints as well. I don't have the time to click thru all the states, but seeing is believing.
From my supportive JetBlue employee:
Well where to start. JetBlue or otherwise known as Jetblow really sucks as a company to work for. In class they make it out to be the greatest place to work when it reality it really sucks. Over worked and underpaid and under staffed that does sound like one of our 5 values of FUN not at all. Were to start I worked 22 hours on that day of hell otherwise know as Feb 14th. I feel really bad for all the people stuck on the planes for hours on end. I know they could have done something about it but they fucked themselves over this time by trying to look like the hero airline, but only this time it didn't work out as planed. Our crew members are put through hell day in and day out. Three man teams to work heavy flights that's a bunch of bullshit. The new attendance policy sucks also your allowed 5 call outs and 3 late's that's a bunch of garbage. This place is run like a kindergarten for little kids it horrible. Most of the supervisors all suck at what they do, they know how to read their email and sit at a desk all day. Why don't some of them get off their asses and help out their crewmembers that are short handed out on the ramp. We need a union bad we have nobody to stand up for US being GO crewmembers. This is the most Thank less job ever for busting your ass you get nothing for it. Its horrible pay we have to work 6 out of the seven day's to make a living. Every afternoon there is a ground stop in JFK due to something stupid. We better off having a hub in Boise Iadho.
Sunday, March 4, 2007
I don't have a problem with using the word "Hostage" because when you're being held against your will it IS a hostage situation.
Is it Daniel Pearl getting killed (God rest his soul and bless his family)?
Just like telling my friends "I love you" doesn't mean the same as telling my Mom "I love you." The same words can have varying degrees of meaning. So all of you who tell me I'm being over-sensitive regarding my experience, you're the same people being a touch over-senstive about rhetoric.
But I digress-This blog can now be found at www.JetBlueWeHaveAProblem.com.
And we're going WIKI! Well sorta. I'm allowing YOU to post your own stories, opinions and news stories. I'll be editing as I see fit. This includes deleting your story if you disrespect the community OR ME. My Blog. My Rules.
NO DISPRESPECTING PEOPLE.
If you post newstories or other blogs, please site the source by putting the link.
PUT YOUR FIRST NAME and LAST INITIAL AT THE TOP OF THE BLOG
I'm making up rules as I go along
If you want to contribute to this blog, follow the following steps:
Sign in to Blogger
Sign in a JetBlueWeHaveAProblem@gmail.com
Thanks for submitting all your questions.
Questions for Neeleman
What time did you wake up on Valentine’s Day? Were you able to spend Valentines Day with your wife?
Where you aware that there were 9 grounded planes at JFK some that had passengers on it for 8+ hours who had no food other than snacks? I’m curious to know if you even found out about it on Valentine’s Day. How far up the chain of command did it go? What is the "chain of command for Jet Blue Airways?
Where were you when you found out about the debacle, who told you and what was your reaction?
I was shocked that you did not make an announcement on the evening of Valentines Day or come to JFK, why didn’t you?
The corporate offices are a 9 minute drive, 5.14 miles away from JFK Airport. Did anyone from the corporate office come to give answers, bring food or lend a hand? If so, who? And what did they do?
Who was the high level executive first at the "massacre"? Mr. Barger (President, COO Director) and Mr. Owen (Exec. VP-Supply Chain and Information Technology)?
Please describe the efforts of the executive who was first on scene?
If Port Authority offered their services to get us off the plane as early as 8am, why were we still on a plane 9 hours after their offer?
Why couldn’t we get to our gate?
Why couldn’t we go to another airline’s gate?
Why wouldn’t other carriers help us rebook our flights as is the case when I fly with other airlines?
Why wouldn’t you offer to refund the cost to rebook with another carrier for people chose that option?
I’ve read somewhere that this is going to be a $30MM loss for JetBlue. What would be the loss if someone had died on your plane?
How did people checking the internet know the flight was cancelled before the crew members.
The message on the phone system asked us to go to the website for any other questions-
How do you suggest people on a plane use the website?
How does one use the advertised free wireless within the JetBlue terminal when it wasn’t working?
How do you explain to an elderly person who doesn’t understand email how to rebook their flights online?
Since Feb 14, Charlie, who has a chronic back problem and has to heavily medicate to even fly cross-country, had to get his first epidural cortisone shot in 6 months. Katty, who was recovering from shoulder surgery has since been in pain and now says she suffers panic attacks when the subway stalls between stops. How do you compensate people’s physical and emotional pain?
How do you compensate the lost opportunities that are a direct result of not being able to make alternate plans due to the breakdown in communications?
How did you hear about my blog? Why did you really call me in and not Kate Hanni from Stranded Passenger?
Whose idea was it to register the .net version of my domain and why?
Why did JetBlue decide to refer to the February 14th incident as “The Valentine’s Day Massacre?”
I was told you were interested in me consulting on the creation of a consumer advisory board. What is the status of this?
Would you agree with the following statement: "Northwest Airlines, in 1999, suffered a nearly identical delay/cancellation scenario, as the one Jet Blue Airways experienced on Valentine's Day 2007"?
The Northwest delay/cancellation scenario occurred in 1999, prior to the inception of Jet Blue Airways. It is reasonable to conclude that Jet Blue Airways was aware that such a malady could befall an airline? I heard you say on the Investor relations call on Feb 22nd that it should never happen to another airline again, but why didn’t the precedent set by Northwest be enough of a lesson?
Bill of Rights:
According to your investor relations call, you were already honoring 75% the Bill Of Rights prior to Feb 14th, however, it didn’t prevent the events on Feb 14th from happening. Why is it going to be different now?
I understand Rob Land, who helped pen the Bill Of Rights, was going to be in this meeting and that the outcome of this meeting was to help with the creation of version 2. Why are you creating a second version of the Bill of rights?
What do YOU think are its shortcomings?
Would you consider promoting the CURRENT JetBlue Bill of Rights as an industry wide incentive and allow the government to police it? What is the difference between the government regulating it and JetBlue if it is the SAME Bill Of Rights?
Are you opposed to being federally regulated? All other industries: Automotive, TV, Movie, Music, food and Drug, are.
What role should the Government have, if any, in a Passenger "Bill of Rights"?
If Government involvement is the issue, how would you feel about putting a certain amount of money into an escrow and allowing an independent entity to disperse the compensation on your behalf?
Looking over the Bill of Rights, it seems hardly fair that customers who experience a ground delay on arrival of 3 hours or more or on departure of 4 hours or more would get a free round trip ticket equal to the amount spent for their round trip. If I were on an overbooked flight on another carrier and volunteered to give up my seat, I would get a free ticket anywhere in the country and likely get an upgrade on my next flight out. It seems hardly fair that someone would get better compensation for voluntarily “inconveniencing” themselves as opposed to someone who is held against their will.
Another loophole that exists is what I like to call being penalized for planning ahead. Please indulge the following scenario. I am stuck on a plane for 4 hours. I, who planned ahead and bought a ticket 21 days in advance, paid $119 each way. The person next to me, who had to take this flight last minute and bought a ticket that day, purchased his ticket for $575 each way. We are both on the same flight, experiencing the same delay, however, he now has a voucher for $1150 and I have one for $238.
Consider this a freebie. A loophole I found in Overbookings is that it is common practice to over book a flight, say, 15 people (I’m just pulling this number out of a hat.) In these cases, the gate agents ask for volunteers to give up their seats in return for a free round trip ticket anywhere they fly in the US. Your current Bill of Rights, as it is written, incentivizes people to NOT give up seats because there will be 15 people getting $1000. As such no one would voluntarily give up a seat.
Do you think it’s humane to keep people on a plane for 5 hours?
Let’s talk about Robert Alvarez. Are you aware that two separate people wrote in to complain about Robert Alvarez?
Have you ever stated that you would "resign as CEO" if the Pilots of Jet Blue Airways were to join or form a union?
How many other airlines are not unionized?
According to your investor relations call, Mid-level management was at fault for keeping us on the plane among other things. Given that statement, how are you not firing anyone?
As CEO, how could you not be aware that so a large percentage of your staff are insufficiently trained?
I have a few concerns about crew time.
Did Jet Blue Airways ever engage in an initiative to extend the "duty time" of flight deck crew members without the approval of FAA officials in Washington D.C.?
Do you know the number of commercial aviation accidents, where fatalities occurred, that the National Transportation and Safety Board cited "crew fatigue" as either a "contributing" or "primary" factor?
Does Jet Blue Airways have any interest in extending pilot duty time?
Other Mea Culpas:
In September 2003 did JetBlue apologize for participating in highly confidential personal data sharing?
Why can I not find a press release with the apology on the JetBlue corporate site?
Was Jet Blue in any way compensated for sharing this confidential information?
Did Jet Blue Airways "counsel" know that the information was been shared?
Did you compensate passengers whose personal information was shared?
Would you be willing to sit with people on Flight 351 on a national talk show?
Can you make a video addressing the readers the blog?
What are your plans for tonight? Don’t leave your desk for 11 hours.
Hi Brent - Thanks for your letter, it's disappointing to know that this is still happening. We are in the SAME boat with the cab. Charlie and I are out $100 on cabs, our first Valentine's day together and a trip to see my whole family who came down to LA to meet me. Does anyone know how hard it is to get 12 adults and 4 children to take a 6 hours drive to LA from San Francisco.
The good news is, I'm not giving up. I'm with you for the fight.
PLS HELP ME
Sun, Mar 4, 2007 at 2:12 AM
Hi I saw your blog and I need help - the issues at JetBlue have not gone away and I was hoping that you would post my e-mail to JetBlue to your blog for others to see. Thank you sooooo much.
I certainly hope that this e-mail has reached it's intended recipients. I have literally tried every other avenue to find any resolution to my horrendous issues with your airline. I know its long but - here are the unbelievable details . . .
Last night (03/02) at JFK in NY due to JetBlue problems, the 7:45 flight to DC – flt 1315 ended up getting pushed back and back and back and back somehow - got to the gate 7:15 freaking out because I couldn't even see the flight on a depature board; only to find out that it was leaving at 12am… then 1am… then 2am… then 3am…
Anyway over and over again, JetBlue staff claim that due to the fact that the delay is weather related I have no reason to complain. However there are no weather advisories in the areas that I am departing or arriving from; and also in terms of Federal Advisories there were none anywhere near the time period that I was supposed to even fly or didn't fly because of delay at this point. (7:15PM) the only weather delays were at 11am for rain.
meanwhile in between all of these "weather delay" excuses, your staff was literally freaking out about the angry people, a shift freeze, and eventually they know that this is getting so ridiculous that they may as well appear like they realize it too. then it turns into them not knowing where the plane is, the plane is coming from an area affected by weather... etc
I went to go find this customer service desk that you supposedly have at JFK however there was a HUGE line of upset customers. Lots more passengers were sleeping on the floors. People were supposed to be ALL over the place and having the SAME EXACT ISSUES as me. Anyway I refuse to even touch the floor in my italian designer suit - perhaps it's ok to some people to lay on the floor of the airport for cheap airfare but not to me.
finally, being as that there was no option for me to get there in any way shape form, I decided that it would be easier to switch to a morning flight rather then wait in the airport. I had exhausted my customer service options. I switched to an early morning 7A flight and gave up and took a taxi all the way home (and I had taken one to the airport too, at $50 each way from Brooklyn) versus waiting in the airport. At this point I have literally spent $100 on a cab fare to the airport and back for no reason whatsoever, and my ticket cost the exact same so we're talking $200 trip now vs $100.
I was degraded by not one, but many JetBlue employees via about 7 attempts to allow your company to care about its service during my many attempts to let them do something about this ridiculous issue. In particular - a man named Arnold at the JFK terminal infuriated me by being particularly uncaring - he should be fired - and he also specified that security stall me for no apparent reason other than the fact that he was making me disproportionally upset.
It is not fair to claim that it is weather related and uncontrollable when all they had to do was get a plane that wasn’t coming from an area affected by weather issues – why should I have to waste my time with problems that ARE solveable? Also the other people that were stranded were going to other locations nowhere near me. Other airplanes leaving JFK took off during this time.
So eventually, I went back to JFK, left myself time to complain for about the 10th time that evening, eventually gave up again, and sat at the waiting area at JFK Airport, already dealing finding that there are new delays on the new flight that was supposed to board 10.. 20.. 45 minutes ago…. if JetBlue is still in business tomorrow I would be shocked at this point really… I am waiting for some kind of announcement saying this literally I do not understand what is going on here at this point. People who were on other flights trying to get on this one too start swarming the desk. The lady starts freaking out and saying to whomever that she is communicating with that the customers are getting mad and she doesn't know what to do. They keep telling us that they are short a crew member and therefore we have to all wait for one? Eventually this poor frazzled woman who just got off some double shift arrived, and we finally boarded this flight.
By this point all of your staff cannot hold themselves together. I learn that one of your flight crew has never even flown on the type of aircraft we are on. They are visibly exhausted and trying to cope with your companies issues but the overall effect creates absolute fear for me - I get the impression none of these people, however kind they are - have any idea whats going on - and I start to feel like I am in the movie Airplane. At this point I decided that there is NO WAY that I will be taking my return flight back to NY 03/03. I do not trust JetBlue at this point. If your company is this bungled it is only a matter of time before you loose a plane.
I don’t care about the travel voucher that I should be entitled to under the bill of rights – the flight was $50 each way… it’s the principle of the situation and the horrible responses from the employees when all I tried to do was find some resolution - I just wanted to see my 86 year old grandmother for what might be the last time.
I absolutely refuse to give up re: this issue until someone proves me to me that JetBlue does care about me, a long term passenger. I gave your airline the benefit of the doubt and you let me down. If you have to charge me DOUBLE for your ticket that would have been fine if the service had been better at this point - its cost me an extra $200 in taxis. I will do absolutely everything to not let this issue rest until it has been resolved. I appreciate any response re: this issue.
Bush: I'll bring troops home on JetBlue
Under increased pressure to announce an exit strategy from Iraq, President George W. Bush revealed plans to bring U.S. troops home on the budget airlines JetBlue.
Bush received praise for his decision to withdraw American troops, but his choice of JetBlue to transport them raised more than a few eyebrows
Click for the rest of this hilarious story.