July 30, 2009

Crewmember suggestion becomes policy

Manager, Contracts and Negotiations Robyn Larson knew JetBlue was missing a chance to demonstrate its Caring value after attending a meeting for military spouses. In an email to the Marketing department, Robyn explained why revising JetBlue’s policy on change fees would be the right thing to do.

Robyn with her husband Captain Jon Larson at an event where the squadron's spouses taxied around the airfield in an F-15E

Robyn with her husband Captain Jon Larson at an event where the squadron's spouses taxied around the airfield in an F-15E

“I would like to suggest, or perhaps question if it’s possible, that JetBlue waive all change fees and perhaps even fare increases for active duty military personnel and their families if their travel plans are interrupted by unexpected deployment orders. I’m not suggesting a refund, but rather a change to their travel plans that will not cost them additional money (with proof of orders of course). I looked everywhere, including our Contract of Carriage, and did not see this mentioned anywhere.

“I am mentioning this because my husband is a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and his fighter squadron was just informed that their original deployment date of January was moved up to no later than August. While it does not personally affect me, many families in his squadron had vacation plans for later in the year that will now have to be changed due to the deployment. They held a meeting tonight to inform the spouses of this change and I had to watch wives grieve over the additional money the change in deployment date is going to cost them in change fees and increase in fares. I think by waving these fees, JetBlue can set itself apart from the other airlines in a huge way. …

“Just a suggestion that I wanted to make in an attempt to make our already wonderful airline even more wonderful.”

Although JetBlue’s change fee policy is an important means of running a predictable operation, in this case, Robyn’s suggestion made a lot of sense. As a result, within a couple weeks, military change fees were waived for military personnel and their immediate family. Kudos to Robyn for Being the Answer and bringing this issue to the fore. It’s another example of our Crewmembers’ commitment to living the values, and our company’s ability to be nimble and make changes that support our Customers and the greater community.

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