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Flying Blues

By - July 13, 2005

My. God. Jet. Blue. S*cks.

Light posting today, I’m, er, in the airport.

Update: I should elaborate. I usually like flying Jet Blue, but when I got to JFK yesterday, my flight was literally not on the board. It had…disappeared. Odd. I tried using the computerized cheeck in, and got a slip of paper that said something like “Oops! We can’t complete your transaction, go see any agent.” Well, the place was a zoo, and no agent I saw had any clue why my flight was no longer in the realm of the living. I called my office and was told the flight was still shown on the JetBlue website. I kept asking around, and after being directed to the wrong place three times, was finally put in a line for lost souls (at least they had one). That line was 30 minutes long, and in it I learned – from my fellow travelers – that not only was my flight cancelled, but so were about eight others. Why? Weather. I looked outside. It had been raining in the morning, but it was clear as could be at 3.30 pm, when the cancellation news rippled through the line . What gives? (Oh, and why didn’t they tell us?I mean, they have my cel phone, my email, and my office number.)

Anyway, I won’t bore you with the details of the surly and unhelpful person at the head of the line, or JetBlue’s inability to recognize that if they put me on one flight that was already two hours delayed, I’d miss my connection, etc. etc.etc. I left the terminal and bought a ticket on Delta. JetBlue may be great when it’s working, but when a bug gets into the system, it breaks big, and it breaks hard.

I asked the Delta agent why it was that JetBlue cancelled 8 flights due to weather that had happened 8 hours beforehand, and Delta was barely affected. He told me it had to do with FAA pecking order. Huh. Interesting.

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12 thoughts on “Flying Blues

  1. brian says:

    Another Dell moment a la Jeff Jarvis?

  2. mrf says:

    It wasn’t just Jet Blue today, everything in the NY area was hosed all day.

  3. seth godin says:

    foul!

    was it a system?
    a person?
    a policy?

    in an industry full of complete suckiness, Jet Blue very much does not suck. And it’s not fair to impugn them like that.

    No doubt there are sucky moments. We’ve all had em. But I’d rather fly Jet Blue coach than American or United or NWA first class. Any day.

    Sorry you had a lousy flight, John.

  4. paul dlug says:

    Weather issues in NY, I was flying Jetblue at the same time. Typically they’re wonderful but for all their hype about customer service they definitely handled the cancellations terribly. Only three agents working the cancellation desk, line wrapped around the terminal and no one communicating anything. Definitely not a “purple cow” moment, Seth.

    At least I was the the front of the line and got moved to a flight today, I can’t imagine what happened to the people behind us, they told me the only other flight was two days away.

  5. jim winstead says:

    something people tend to forget when ‘weather’ is cited as the issue for flights being cancelled and such is that it may not be the local weather that is the issue — bad weather elsewhere can screw things up because planes aren’t in the right place at the right time.

  6. Jetblue is a really good one. I really enjoyed travelling in that one .. It has pretty good seats and good affordable prices..I prefer it when compared to its competitors

  7. JetBlues says:

    JetBlue is great except if you like your privacy.

    They’ve turned over passenger records secretly to the gov’mint three times, but will only publicly fess up to that one time when it turned over its whole database to a defense contractor.

    (And when it did fess up, it lied by saying it was the only time.)

    I’m interested to see how much y’all’s principles hold up against the promise of wide seats once JetBlue becomes the test vehicle for Secure Flight.

  8. ren says:

    Jet Blue takes a turn . . . . for the WORSE. Usually love the experience but certainly not this time. On 2/14/07 coming out of ft. lauderdale to JFK. Automated system kept saying on schedule. Online said cancelled. Representative said screen showed will depart. How is that for the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. Went to the airport. Told cancelled and nothing is flying into JFK. NOT TRUE! They are contending that their flights were cancelled due to weather but only seemed to apply to them. Apparently they didn’t have any clout to have their planes land. Hung passengers out to dry! Their once friendly demeanor rapidly deteriorated. They played the weather card and wouldn’t offer compensation got the extra day stay or car rental. This is what they call service NOT!
    Wake up jet blue!!!!!!!!!!

  9. 333 says:

    I sat on a Jet-Blue airport for nine hours on February 14th. Flight 153 from JFK to Orlando.

    Plane left the gate, stood on the runway, then went to be de-iced. This took four hours. By the time the plane was done de-icing, the pilot’s time had “logged out” and he was not allowed to fly. Went back to the gate, where they changed crews (this took an hour) and then experienced the same thing again..left the gate, stood on the runway, went to be de-iced and then once again, after four hours, pilot time had “logged out.”

    For nine hours we sat on the plane. Jet-Blue served one small bottle of water.

    Plane was packed with kids (including mine) looking forward to a week’s break from school.

    Jet-Blue wants to play the weather card on this one too. Weather is one thing…but where is management to allow an airline to sit for nine hours.

    I will never fly it again.

  10. mjr615 says:

    I was also on a NyetFlew flight, 177 to Phoenix on Feb. 14.
    We sat on the tarmac for 9 hours also, but we never moved. Our bathrooms filled up, the auxiliary power went out, so there was no lights, air, TV. I must admit, you can only watch so many hours of ESPN Classic. After the power was out for an hour it got really hot, so the totally apathetic attendants flung open the doors in the front and back. The poor senior citizens in the rows right near the doors were freezing. They closed the doors after about 20 minutes and everybody cheered. The clueless woman yelled “you better not complain you’re hot now”. Thanks for the compassion. The somewhat dim co-pilot would never have even given us a status if we didn’t complain to the attendants that we wanted to know what’s going on. He kept saying “this is no fun for us either.” They took us by buses to the terminal and didn’t give us any information on what to do. My wife was on line at customer service for over 2 hours. While on line a guy next to her had some sort of hemmorage and died, sad to say. No other flights to Phoenix for 2 weeks. Vacation canceled. As we left the plane for the buses, one attendant said “Happy Valentines Day” over the microphone. My feelings exactly.

  11. jz says:

    I too used to love flying Jet Blue – heck I’m an jet Blue – american express card holder. I’ve racked up many a free flight (round trip) from Jet Blue. But today I’m feeling a little Jet Screwed. I arrived for my flight on time (and hour and change early) only to be told my flight was leaving 2 hours later…then 3…then 4…then…CANCELED. But wait – I had checked my baggage. The storm was three days old…No apologies, no reciprocity…nothing. Sorry Jet Blue, I’m going back to Delta – and to be honest with you, I’m not happy about it. All you would have had to do was say “sorry”, “here’s a round trip for your trouble”, “we’ll have your bags delivered”…but noooo – you gave me 40 minute wait lines on the phone and form letter e-mail responses….As much as I hate to do it…I’m going to have to forGet You Jet Blue…..

  12. tom craweford says:

    I just wanted to remind everyone that you get what you pay for. We as consumers want the cheapest ticket everytime which is great but we forget that if you pay your gate agents and normal non skilled personnel $10.00/hr in NYC you can’t expect them to be compassionate or resourceful when they get overwhelmed by crowds. Welcome to the 21st century version of greyhound.

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