18 February 2007


An email conversation between me and JetBlue (in the form of me reading the email and talking back at my iBook):

As a result of system disruptions impacting flights to/from the Northeast, we are unable to complete your travel as scheduled. Your flight #1076 on Monday, February 19, 2007 for travel from Richmond, VA (RIC) has been canceled.


You may receive a full refund* or travel credit on JetBlue which is good for one year. If you would like to rebook your itinerary without fee, please call 1-800-JETBLUE (1-800-538-2583) by May 22, 2007.

me: May 22nd?! I want to GO HOME!

I am not pleased. I was about to write that I wish I had more operations management knowledge, to be able to legitetmately say that I am angry with JetBlue. But then I read this and decided that yes, I am angry.

They handled my Tuesday night pretty well. They constantly kept us updated and set up a table full of snacks and drinks. My flight ended up landing at 3.00am instead of the scheduled 11.00pm, but that is much, much better than the 10 hours at JFK of people sitting in JetBlue airplanes on the runway. But I just wish they had known their limitations and had more of a contingency plan since this inclement weather was announced with several days' warning.

Wanna know the best part?

Please be advised that we are currently experiencing extremely high call volumes and may be difficult to get through to a Reservation Agent. We'll do our best to answer your call as soon as we can. If you can, we recommend you wait to until a later date to call and rebook.

I decided to take the risk of being on hold for hours. So I called. Because I see online that there is a flight on Tuesday leaving Richmond at 7.00am, "arriving" to JFK at 8.15am. If it was on time (ha, ha, ha), I would only be a teensy bit late to work. Well, guess what happened. There was a recording saying that due to extremely high call volume, my call could NOT be taken, and to call back later. "This is the end of this call" was even spoken by the recording. Now what. I wonder if I can just buy this ticket (flights were cancelled through tomorrow (Monday) only) and just sort out the money stuff later (of being reimbursed for the difference). I can see that as escalating into an eight month overcomplicated ordeal, like the stuff I read on Consumerist. I don't know what to do. What is "later" to them? Later today? Tomorrow? May 22nd?

There are direct parallels between JetBlue and my biggest weakness. I have been told this a couple of times by different people: I get so excited about brands and what they can do, that I get lost in that bounciness and forget about the businessy stuff. One of the most resonating things said at my end-of-year review was "You have to remember that clients aren't as excited about brands as you are." Sounds similar to when the New York Times said "The cancellations raise new questions about whether JetBlue’s management is equal to its ambitions."

I am angry. Very, very angry. So angry that I am about to walk almost a mile in the freezing cold just to go to the aforementioned World Cup. I expect that it will calm me down because the atmosphere will be comforting, reminding me of a nice summer 2006 in which none of my flights were delayed.
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