Monday, January 19, 2009

My win against JetBlue is getting noticed

Take a look at Tom Johansmeyer's blog post about my win against JetBlue in court. Seems that Tom also had a beef with JetBlue.

My friend and creative branding agency guru Darryl Ohrt also took notice on his popular blog

I have to say that even people I know who LOVE JetBlue (and I know a few -like Darryl, for example. In fact, I used to be one of them) are sending me kudos. It is indicative of a public that is fed up with an airline industry that has utterly abdicated its commitment to customer service.

The airline industry lobbies Congress so that the FAA can approve their Contracts of Carriage that let them (the airlines) get away with... anything the airlines want to get away with and then argue "...but you AGREED to that when you bought the ticket."

Well, guess what? A court disagrees with you JetBlue.

By the way - I am well aware that I am not the first person to sue an airline in small claims court and win. I am not breaking any ground here. Stories abound of people winning and then trying to collect their claim from the airlines.

The difference is - I chose to blog about it.

As I said in my previous post - I am confident that JetBlue will promptly send what it now LEGALLY owes me. (Since JetBlue is all about obeying the law regarding timed-out flight crews and its Contract of Carriage, I am sure it understands its legal obligation here.)

JetBlue has until March 15, 2009 to pay up. When they do, I will be sure to post it here.


Tom said...

Nice going on the win!
Just to clarify something. The contract of carriage began when the airlines were regulated by the federal government and standardized passenger protections were incorporated after negotiations between the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) and the airlines. When that ended in 1984, the airlines kept the contract of carriage title but modified in very unfavorable ways the terms so that passengers had effectively no rights. This sham unnegotiated "contract" is always sited by the airlines as controlling the respective rights of the parties, giving aggrieved passengers none. In any future court case you would be wise to point this out should the airline attempt to prove your damages are limited to "any compensation of the airline's choosing or none" as most of these new COC now read.

Jan van Eck (CT) said...

You indicated that 150 persons were stranded for 3days in Portland before being provided with a fresh aircraft and crew. Keep in mind that this situation flows from an "economics issue:" the tickets were sold "cheap," so there is no extra cash cushion to "buy services." If there were, then the carrier "could" have hired three buses under Rule 117, "Emergency substituted Services," and ferried the passengers to another airport for furtherance by air. this is assuming that the carrier could not interline 150 pax with parallel carriers at Portland (probably not, as there are no surplus seats these days, not in those numbers). Incidentally they can also do the reverse with buses if your destination airport is socked in and you are diverted to another State. But all that assumes that the passengers, in the aggregate, are prepared to pay enough to provide the funds from which buses can be hired for "some" passengers, out of the total surplus. In effect, if your flight is NOT diverted or cancelled, that extra is set aside for those who end up in the soup.

But here is the problem: the passengers are all buying their tickets on the Internet trying to squeeze the last dollar out of the price, so where is the "cushion" funds going to come from? And since there is no cushion, then if matters go South, you end up sitting for three days, staring at your adhesion contract, the "Contract of Carriage."

I think all of you traveler folks should realize that if each person paid an extra twenty bucks on each ticket, the airlines would have no money problems - and you would get that exemplary service you long for.

Do you really care about that extra twenty? Maybe not, but the other pax out there sure do. And that makes it tough.

I offer no solution to this. With the Internet, the genie is out of the bottle, and the fight is to the lowest dollar.

Bill Baker said...

Jan van Eck: I agree with you 100%. See my post from August where I get into the price issue a bit more -