JetBlue announced this morning that the airline will spend $20 million to $30 million in an effort to remedy the public relations nightmare it faced last week.
The once hip airline is trying to regain its popularity with a Customer Bill of Rights and new procedures for handling operations disruptions; both pledge to compensate passengers for JetBlue's mistakes in the past week.
JetBlue founder and CEO David Neeleman said today that he was "horrified" by the inconveniences people faced on Valentine's Day at JFK International Airport and other airports throughout the country — events that left passengers on a docked plane for 10 hours, and others stranded in airports due to canceled flights. READ MORE
Do you think JetBlue's new Customer Bill of Rights will fix their public relations blunder? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what you think!
Here's What FOX Fans Are Saying:
"I am a loyal JetBlue flyer and will continue to fly on that airline, but I do think that an air passenger bill of rights is needed. A bill giving rights to air passengers was dropped in 1999 with assurance from the industry to self regulate. And, where are we today?" — Frank
"Jet Blue is not just mismanaged, inept and disorganized, but also callous, uncaring, heartless, cruel and mean spirited. Obviously, their cheerful, customer oriented culture turned out to be a self serving sham. Notwithstanding their apologies and promises, I will never EVER book with them and will strongly urge friends, family, business associates and strangers in the elevator to do the same." — James
"The record shows that the government spent billions of taxpayer dollars ensuring that airline employees would be the best paid, and most responsive of any travel organizations ever, and, just to show they meant business, destroyed rail passenger service by refusing to subsidize that means of transportation. Now, when it snows, or rains, or the sun shines, we have only one way to go long distance, except by phone, that is." — Richard
"About time that someone took the lead and just may give the flying public a few more rights than they had before." — Paul
"It looks like too little, too late, at least for me. Even if it does satisfy those who were actually affected, how long will it last? We've all been there before and, despite repeated promises of changes, it always reverts to chaos and indifference to the traveling public. Personally, I'm looking into alternatives to air travel for my vacation plans. Between the airlines and TSA, every vacation involving air travel starts and ends with aggravation, delays, harassment, and missing or misplaced luggage. Who needs that? " — Phil
"This management should be replaced for their errors, not punishing all the airlines for Jet Blues mistakes. Fine the companies if they screw up, not the ones that don't! " — Phillip
"JetBlue is now starting to experience the SAME problems that the "big" airlines have had for decades, as it NOW gets as large. That would be high maintenance and fuel costs, as well as takeoff / landing fees and overlapping or shifting routing backlogs and customer demands. They're trying to keep passengers filling up their seats, while minimizing the costs of getting those flights in the air. They wanted to physically keep the passengers in those seats, as returning to a jetway gate would mean dealing with refunds and losing money. That day, they were HOPING the delays would 'work themselves out.' When they didn't, they had NO choice but to take the action they did; if they wanted to remain financially SOLVENT as a company ! " — Mike
"Giving travel vouchers to abused passengers on the same airline that already screwed you is an insult. There ought to be a law that any airline company that holds passengers for more than three hours on the ground, the federal government is mandated to seize the aircraft and the airline company forfeits the ownership of the aircraft to the federal government … which within 90 days of the event the government is mandated to auction off the aircraft and equally distribute the proceeds immediately to those ticketed passengers, less holding, administrative and auction costs. Being a former airline executive, I know after just one auction the Airline Industry will get the message and this problem will automatically disappear." — Joseph
"I used to work for JetBlue and I think this is just a PR ploy. The airline already gives vouchers for certain situations. The problem with JetBlue is their huge employee turn over. The airline is an employee revolving door, they are never up to staff resulting in inexperienced personal. The facility at Kennedy is outdated and cannot keep up with the flight schedule, even on a day with great weather. What happened on Valentine's Day was a perfect storm. A shortage of staff, inexperienced staff a grossly overburdened facility an extremely tight flight schedule and a very bad storm. If this weather came around tomorrow the situation would be exactly the same. These vouchers are a joke; they will not change a thing. Remember, JetBlue is a discount airline, so they give their employees discount paychecks. A person working at J.F.K in customer service starts at just over ten dollars an hour not much considering the cost of living in New York. The airline has grown to fast, but Neeleman does not listen to anyone. Could you ever imagine what it would have been like if the New York winter was not as warm has it has been, and it is not over yet. I hope Virgin America puts them out of business." — Herb
"The Bill of Rights adopted by Jet Blue will do little to appease customers such as myself. The vouchers are a 'token' and don't meet minimal expectations. I can see now the future will be denial by JetBlue that any delay isn't their problem, just as they do for cancellations today to deny meals or hotels. It would also seem that JetBlue finds that more than five hours on a plane is acceptable since that much time must pass before they take action to deplane passengers.." — J.P.
"How can they think that they have the right to hold passengers hostage for five hours on the ground before taking steps to release them? No amount of vouchers will replace the time lost, and the uncomfortable feeling of being held in a cramped space for so long with no options." — Roger
"Legislation must be passed. We can't believe that airlines are keeping our best interests in mind — it's obvious from multiple hours on-plane delays from several airlines that they don't care about passengers at all. Somebody must take action to prevent this in the future." — Mike