Monday, September 22, 2008

JetBlue Terminal 5 hoopla

JetBlue is determined to beat its new terminal at JFK to death. They issued a flurry of press releases today, detailing the color of the wallpaper, the wonderful dining and shopping experience that stranded passengers will enjoy, and the 40 ticket counters that will, at the least opportune moment, be staffed by three overworked and underpaid JetBlue employees.

As opined here, JetBlue might have considered trimming back the $743 million price tag and put some of that money into line-level employee raises, more planes and higher staff levels at cities they (theoretically) service. But while improving the experience that people crave most - getting from point A to point B on time - those things don't make for very sexy press releases.

The best quote in one of the press releases comes from the project director in charge of building the new terminal:

"Inspired by JetBlue's promise to return humanity to air travel, we considered every detail from the traveler's perspective and set out to remove some of the stress involved in air travel," said Gensler project director Bill Hooper.

Funny stuff!

I might have added:

"Passengers may not get anywhere near their destination in anywhere near the time they expected, but they sure will enjoy staring at the new carpeting while they stew in their juices."

Newsflash: Unless those 40 tickets counters in New York are staffed by 40 virgins, I am pretty sure nobody cares. Especially those of us stranded for three days in Portland.

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