Friday, August 8, 2008

The plot thickens...

I received a call from c/net yesterday, inquiring about my little spat with JetBlue. I spoke with Senior Editor Charlie Cooper, who wrote an excellent article. Charlie was less concerned with my plight per se and more interested in how, in this day of blogs and YouTube and instant citizen "journalism", how companies like JetBlue can expect to get away with anything.

I agree. I think.

For the JetBlues of the world, it really comes down to an actuarial calculation that I am sure goes something like this:

"For every loudmouth like Bill Baker, who is just smart (or dumb) enough to set up his own blog and bitch, there are millions of people who will just sit back and take whatever bad service we can get away with."

The thing is, as I said to Charlie, my wife and anyone who asks - JetBlue had several opportunities to do the right thing during this process and each time they blew it.

Also, I have been totally up front with JetBlue all along. I told them that I was going to blog about it. I told them I was in PR and and knew how to reach the media.

Funny how within an hour of posting his story, Charlie heard from the PR guys at JetBlue. (Us PR guys - we always know precisely when to get into the game!)

Someone said to me "You're going to be the guy to bring down JetBlue." If only. Were I that powerful, I would get myself elected president or embarrass an automobile manufacturer into giving me a free car. Or something.

And, honestly - I don't want to bring down JetBlue. I want to bring "up" JetBlue and the rest of the airlines. If this whole episode results in a friend, family member or a complete stranger being treated humanely and with a modicum of compassion then job well done.

It will be interesting to see if I hear from JetBlue again. I have spoken to them four times and so far, all they have done is recite from the Contract of Carriage, which says that they don't have to do anything remotely resembling the "right thing."

Advice to JetBlue: If you plan to call me, think first. It's no longer about the money I had to spend and the time I lost getting home. It's bigger than that. Think about what might be the right thing here and then do it. Be creative. Be smart. Or just be humane.

By the way, just in case anyone reading this thinks I am some crank who just likes to complain: On my personal blog, a few weeks ago I wrote about a company that treats its customers right - Steelcase. I encourage you to read it. Needless to say - I am a lifetime Steelcase customer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thursday August 7th 7:25pm Flight 216 from Long Beach to NY cancelled early morning Friday...leaving hundreds stranded.

Flight 216 originally delayed due to crew scheduling issues. Jetblue re-routed Boston(?) to Burbank flight to land at Long Beach at around 11am, for that Boston crew to staff flight 216 to NY that had been waiting since 7:25pm.

Boston crew refuses to take NY flight, as they were over-scheduled. Too many hours. Burbank passengers stranded in Long Beach. Needed to catch bus to Burbank. Flight 216 passengers stranded at 12:30am in Long Beach. Next flight at 11am. Sorry...

I missed an important business meeting at noon on Friday in Manhattan due to this. I asked for upper managers... the staff responds "this is what you got", they sent us. No desire to provide accommodations to get me on an early 9am flight.

Jetblue originally differentiated itself from the other airlines...It was new, clean...different...oh and the TV!!! It has been showing signs of acting just like the others. One trick pony...Direct long will that remain a competitive edge or how they differentiate themselves.

The polish is coming off. Really..take a look. Just thought you should know...they are still having the same issues as you had with them.

So sad...I was such a Jetblue you, besides all my frustrations, I express my frustrations as I want my old (NEW) Jetblue black. What happened to them? So sad...