When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

20 February 2007

Excerpts from a love letter to a CEO

To: Mr. David G. Neeleman, Chief Executive Officer, JetBlue Airways Corporation

...I was one of the passengers affected by your system failure last week on the East Coast. Thank God, I wasn’t one of the passengers stuck on the tarmac in the snow, but I was booked on a flight that you cancelled several days after the bad weather had passed...

...Your notification e-mail invited me to call an 800 number for assistance with cancellation and rebooking. OK, I called. And called. There was no one there to answer the telephone when I called (repeatedly, and often) on Saturday. Or Sunday. There wasn’t even an Interactive Voice Response system to “interact” with... just a deadpan recording advising me that you were experiencing high call volume, couldn’t take my call right now and please call back later. If you want to “bring humanity back to air travel,” may I suggest that a good place to start would be to have a sufficient quantity of actual human beings manning the telephones to assist your customers?

...So, let’s sum up. Flight cancelled, no help of any kind available from JetBlue to rebook, no sign of my $298 from the cancelled flight, a few hours of work ahead of me restructuring two weeks’ worth of planned meetings and appointments, and a bad, bad taste left in my mouth...

...Back to Continental and American for a while, I guess. I’ve got hundreds of thousands of miles flying on those two airlines, and I know from experience that they won’t offer JetBlue’s customary level of service and comfort, but I also know, from experience, that when there are system disruptions on one of those airlines, they figure out a way—and have the resources available—to help me get where I’m going.

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