Tougher or Dumber times?
NEW YORK - JetBlue Airways, reeling from an operational stumble that has hurt its reputation, printed an apology to customers in a handful of East Coast newspapers on Wednesday.The Jet Blue incident has led some legislators to propose a Passenger Bill of Rights. I remember the last time that idea was being pushed. The legislation stalled as soon as 9-11 happened.
"We are sorry and embarrassed," the full-page ad began. "But most of all, we are deeply sorry."
The advertisement reiterated what has now become widely known about the crisis that stalled JetBlue over nearly a week following a Valentine's Day ice storm.
"Many of you were either stranded, delayed or had flights canceled following the severe winter ice storm in the Northeast," the ad continued. "The storm disrupted the movement of aircraft, and, more importantly, disrupted the movement of JetBlue's pilot and inflight crewmembers."
The advertisement appeared in newspapers in New York, Boston and Washington, D.C., said Bryan Baldwin, a spokesman for the airline. It will be repeated on Thursday in several other cities affected by canceled flights, he said. In total, it will run in 15 cities and 20 newspapers.
"From the outset we've been very upfront about how we made a mistake during the past few days," Baldwin said early Wednesday morning. "We want to make sure our customers know that."
On Tuesday, Neeleman announced a customer bill of rights that promises what the company would do in response to future service interruptions, including the use of travel vouchers to compensate for delays.
When you really come down to it, arriving safely is more important than being delayed. I say that from having the experience of flying over 400,000 miles from 1996-2001. That is flight miles not Frequent flyer miles. I was travelling cross country for cancer treatments in that period of time.
So I've got a few experiences from flying. One I'll tell takes place back in 1988.
I was in the Navy back then and on leave. Having come back to Florida to visit my father for a month, I was flying American and Philippine Airlines from West Palm Beach back to Manila. My route included stops in Dallas, LA and Honolulu. The first two also required my making connections.
It was summertime and in the summertime the midwest gets lots of thunderstorms. These storm systems aren't dangerous for the lightning but the wind shear they cause. Wind shear has been the cause of several major air disasters. Here and here are examples. Dallas Fort Worth airport was also the site of this wind shear caused crash.
Back to my flight. It was supposed to leave around 4:30 pm but we were delayed because of thunderstorms. The plane didn't push back from the gate till 5:00 or so. We then taxied out to the runway.
My plane didn't take off till 845 that evening. On takeoff passengers applauded as we lifted off the ground.
That was less than 20 years ago and I know passengers were unhappy(I made my connection so I was ok) but to my recall I can't recall anything like the anger that has been directed towards Jet Blue or American Airlines. Bad weather and shit happen, but the reason planes get diverted or flights cancelled is for passenger safety. No flight is worth risking your life.
Jet Blue mishandled the situation but what is a passenger bill of rights going to do? It is not going to prevent snow storms in winter or thunderstorms during the summer. I guess some(I'm talking a handful) people just want a handout. Ok have your bill of rights, but it isn't going to change anything.
Linked to- Basil, Jo, Woman Honor Thyself,
Labels: Airlines Hotels and Travel