NEW YORK – JetBlue Airways (JBLU), reeling after hundreds of passengers were stranded and flights canceled in the wake of a New York ice storm, printed an apology to customers Wednesday in a handful of U.S. newspapers.
"We are sorry and embarrassed," the full-page ad began. "But most of all, we are deeply sorry."
The advertisement then reiterated what has become widely known about the crisis, which stalled JetBlue over nearly a week following a Feb. 14 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 in-flight crewmembers."
The advertisement appeared in newspapers in New York, Boston and Washington, D.C., airline spokesman Bryan Baldwin said. It will be repeated 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. "We want to make sure our customers know that."
He refused to say how much the advertisement would cost the company.
The ad also pointed readers to view an online video apology from JetBlue's founder and Corporate Executive Officer David Neeleman.
"This will be an aberration because we are going to make some major changes in the organization so that it doesn't happen again," he said in the video.
On Tuesday, Neeleman announced a customer bill of rights that promises what the company would do in response to future service interruptions, including compensating for delays.