Friday, August 8, 2008

JetBlue customer committment: Putting lipstick on a pig

Take a moment to read some of the comments on this blog. It's clear that my experience was not an isolated one.

Here's the thing that really rips me about JetBlue: It wants to market itself as a better kind of airline. And how does it do that?

- TV at every seat
- a customer "Bill of Rights"
- Handing out cookies, water and earplugs to passengers they stranded
- Free snacks on flights
- Leather seats
- A slick marketing campaign with the tagline "Happy Jetting"

The problem is: I and almost every traveler alive would happily, willingly, give up ALL those things if they would just get us where we need to go. Get us where we have PRE-PAID them to take us. Do it in way that is respectful and appreciative of our business.

All the stuff listed above is at the margins. In the end, it is meaningless if you don't actually get where you need to go. It is a cynical attempt to convince customers that JetBlue is somehow different, better. Imagine if a car company said "Well, your engine doesn't work, but how 'bout that stereo system!" You get the point.

I'll admit: I sort of bought into it. But trust is quickly lost and not easily earned. JetBlue clearly believes in putting a veneer of quality service on top of what we all now know to be true: that it is just another airline that can not adequately staff and support the product it sells.

Stop trying to sell us on being good and actually BE good. That's all we ask.

1 comment:

elo said...

Personally, most of my experiences with JetBlue have been quite good--and much better than my experiences with other major carriers--in terms of flight time, staff helpfulness/friendliness, and overall service/experience.

Dr. Tantillo ('the marketing doctor') did two posts on his branding blog ( a while back, criticizing JetBlue for their frequent flyer program, which is a bit of a dirty trick (I coughed up the $40/year to get their credit card and be able
to keep the miles I accumulate):

I hope the airlines continues to smooth out rough edges and can overcome widely publicized gaffes, because they're still definitely my first choice of airline to fly!