Thursday, February 22, 2007

JetBlue

As embarrassing and damaging JetBlue's much-publicized booboo was last week during the storm was, I think they're doing all the right things for damage control and to regain their customer's trust. For a small company with low tolerance of failure and small margin of success, that's not something they take lightly. So it's after the fact, but they're one of the very few (maybe even the first) airlines to lay out a Customer Bill of Rights.

OVERBOOKINGS

Customers who are involuntarily denied boarding shall receive $1,000.
For example, the above is one of the most generous in the industry, if it's offered at all.


I like JetBlue, but I may feel differently if I were one of those 100,000 passengers affected last week. I think they have good spirits and good business models. They have some of the cheapest fares on the market, and generally they treat their customers with respect. The jets are fast, comfortable (with as much as 36" legroom and DirectTV at every seat), and usually on time. They offer flights and connections to many major cities such as New York and San Francisco. For a small, seven-year-old company, that's rather impressive, and I would hate for an operational mishap due to bad weather to sink such a good company.

If you want bad airlines, I will give you bad airlines. Northwest is among the worst, and so is Continental. I have nothing good to say about them. Among the big ones, I like Delta and USAirways, not because they're superb, but because they're average. It's rather sad when you rate an airline by their averageness. International airlines are the best (Singapore, Japan, Cathay Pacific, British Airways, etc.). US domestic airlines are the worst. Given the choices, I find that JetBlue one of the best among them, big or small.

I've flown with JetBlue a few times and I totally enjoyed my experience. I would hate for a striving company that tries to do the right thing to tank because of a mistake that didn't involve injuries or loss of lives. In fact, I think JetBlue was too cautious about customer safety that they cornered themselves during inclement weather that grounded everyone. As a passenger, I would rather my airline be safe.

I think JetBlue is doing the right thing and I expect them to rebound rather nicely.

Now, let's see some of those $39 fares to New York!

No comments: