Apology from JetBlue

I have an email account that I use for things like online purchases and memberships to online services, including JetBlue.
I am a huge fan of JetBlue as a consumer and as a model for how to run a "next generation" business.

Despite the unfortunate events that transpired for JetBlue on February 14, 2006 and the unfortunate events that have continued to bump JetBlue and other airlines this winter, I am most impressed by the efficiency and openness of the customer communication that came directly from David Neeleman, Founder and CEO of JetBlue Airways.  As a customer of JetBlue I received a wonderfully honest and sincere apology email (below) From David.  Further, I was able to view what seemed like a "home made" video clip of what seemed like an unrehearsed David Neeleman delivering a personal apology.  And as if that was not enough, JetBlue has published a Bill of Rights for me, their customer, that outlines exactly what the consequences are for them if they fail to meet their promise to me.

It is almost unbelievable! I have NEVER seen anything like this in my life.  And it’s AWESOME!
I’ve seen the rehearsed address on television or even a produced television commercial.  But I have NEVER seen such an open and honest and unrehearsed display come from anyone.  It just shows when you take the honesty of someone like David Neeleman and combine it with something a raw as YouTube – you get interactions that are humane (ironically through technology – don’t even get me started on that).

I feel very strongly that our society has lost site of what it means to be honest with ourselves and this is amplified when you start to look at organizations.  People run organizations.  And people and societies who don’t know how to be honest with themselves set up processes and marketing campaigns in business that perpetuate the denial – the denial of what we don’t like about ourselves and the denial that it’s our job to step up and do something about it: I can litter, that’s what street cleaners are for; I don’t need to diet, Oprah is fat too and she’s happy and she’s a good person; I donate money to the organizations that help people.  This same nonsense permeates throughout our business and into our marketing that goes on our televisions, our magazines, and our Internet.  It’s tiring.

Thank you David Neeleman for remembering that honesty goes a long way.  It does with me.
I will be flying JetBlue on my next trip across the country and I plan to be pleased once again.

JetBlue Airways

An Apology from JetBlue Airways.

Dear JetBlue Customers,
We are sorry and embarrassed. But most of all, we are deeply sorry.
Last week was the worst operational week in JetBlue’s seven year history. Following the severe winter ice storm in the Northeast, we subjected our customers to unacceptable delays, flight cancellations, lost baggage, and other major inconveniences. The storm disrupted the movement of aircraft, and, more importantly, disrupted the movement of JetBlue’s pilot and inflight crewmembers who were depending on those planes to get them to the airports where they were scheduled to serve you. With the busy President’s Day weekend upon us, rebooking opportunities were scarce and hold times at 1-800-JETBLUE were unacceptably long or not even available, further hindering our recovery efforts.
Words cannot express how truly sorry we are for the anxiety, frustration and inconvenience that we caused. This is especially saddening because JetBlue was founded on the promise of bringing humanity back to air travel and making the experience of flying happier and easier for everyone who chooses to fly with us. We know we failed to deliver on this promise last week.
We are committed to you, our valued customers, and are taking immediate corrective steps to regain your confidence in us. We have begun putting a comprehensive plan in place to provide better and more timely information to you, more tools and resources for our crewmembers and improved procedures for handling operational difficulties in the future. We are confident, as a result of these actions, that JetBlue will emerge as a more reliable and even more customer responsive airline than ever before.
Most importantly, we have published the JetBlue Airways Customer Bill of Rights—our official commitment to you of how we will handle operational interruptions going forward—including details of compensation. I have a video message to share with you about this industry leading action.
You deserved better—a lot better—from us last week. Nothing is more important than regaining your trust and all of us here hope you will give us the opportunity to welcome you onboard again soon and provide you the positive JetBlue Experience you have come to expect from us.


David Neeleman
Founder and CEO
JetBlue Airways


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