March 24, 2010

Huffing and puffing could blow the house down

The sun is shining and the birds are singing — why, then, are there flight delays and cancellations today?

Pesky Northwesterly gusty winds in the New York area are causing flight delays and cancellations. The wind may not seem like an issue, but as you may know, it can be strong enough to move houses and schools, to shift landscape,  and to ruin grandma’s beauty parlor hairdo. Wind also dictates the runway configuration at airports — and at JFK where the airport’s major “Bay Runway” is under construction, today’s wind means there’s only one usable runway. Instead of handling about 80 flights per hour, the capacity comes down to about 25 per hour on a day like today.

The National Weather Service forecast for today shows winds gusting to 33 knots (up to 61mph) through 8pm tonight. Bearing in mind that it’s essential for planes to fly in a straight line to take off and land safely, strong winds are capable of rendering runways unusable. Today, that’s the case.

Because JFK is our largest focus city, delays and cancellations here may have a ripple effect on other cities across the network. Everything is connected (you’re welcome for the dose of Zen wisdom for the day).

We encourage you to check jetblue.com for updates on your flight status and call one of our Crewmembers directly at 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583) if your flight has been canceled.

Posted by in Breaking News, Customers | Permalink | 13 Comments | Share on Facebook | Share on Twitter

13 Comments on “Huffing and puffing could blow the house down”

  • Posted by CJ on March 24, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    maybe start having another minor focus city? say like buffalo?

  • Posted by Jonelle Roman on March 24, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    haha!! I’m not traveling today, but I must say that I appreciate your Zen words of wisdom for the day :-)

  • Posted by Gerald T on March 24, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Immediately after cancellations last night, you guys should have been more prepared with customer service reps fielding calls. Four hour hold times are simply not acceptable. This morning, Jetblue tweeted 40 minute hold times as a justification. Forty minutes is still not acceptable. I wanted to be in CA for my mother’s surgery–but now, earliest flight out is Friday AM.

    Folksiness in updates may be charming for non aggravated customers–but if you’re an affected one, it’s more salt to the wounds.

  • Posted by Debbie on March 24, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    I’m with Gerald T. Five hours on hold. 5 hours. That’s one hundred and fifty dollars of my time (and I’m not paid particularly well). To make matters worse, when I did get a hold of (a very kind and helpful) agent, there were no flights this week. You seriously need to start hiring more customer service reps. This whole “the new jetblue” thing is just not working.

  • Posted by uberVU - social comments on March 24, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by JetBlue: The sun’s shining, but NY winds are a challenge http://bit.ly/bC3slS Please check your flight status if you’re jetting today…

  • Posted by Leah on March 24, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Could not agree more with you, Gerald. I sat on hold for 2 hours this morning. If a large percentage of customers are affected, I would expect backup representatives to be called in to work. Folksiness is fine for the regular reservations line, but hardly appreciated on the ‘re-book flight’ line.

  • Posted by John on March 24, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    If you guys think that holds of 40 minutes or more are an acceptable level of service you have no business running a business. When calling your vendors, would you find it acceptable if they put you on hold for 40 minutes? Would you wait? I was on hold for 67 minutes last night, and only part of my issue could be solved; if I wanted my change fee refunded, I had to hold an additional 45 minutes. I’ll recover it another way.

    What an incredible attitude. All of us have choices – with this attitude, why would we choose you?

  • Posted by JetBlue on March 24, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    @CJ – Buffalo’s been with us since the beginning and who knows what the future holds. But in the short-term, we’re expanding our Boston Focus City and we may be growing in Washington, D.C., as well ( http://bit.ly/9JdRJP ).

    @Gerald T/Debbie/Leah/John – We have forwarded your comments to our Customer Commitment team and apologize for your hold times. Our team is working through the phone queue as quickly as possible and we appreciate your patience. Please also submit your feedback via our Speak Up site: http://bit.ly/JBspeakup

  • Posted by Ian Cull on March 24, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    I was stuck in JFK Monday night between Las Vegas and Boston; I understand that weather caused delays – but I was shocked how poor the supposed brand new and wonderful “T5″ was; limited space for the many people waiting, stores closed even though loads of people still around; at least the WiFi was working!

  • Posted by ankaj on March 24, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    we received a phone call this morning at 2:30 am telling us my husband’s flight was cancelled with no explanation. 45 min later, he still was on hold when he finally just hung up. Then this morning at 8, he was put on hold for another 45 min before he could speak to an agent. It was totally unacceptable. Apparently jetblue knew last night around 8:30pm about the cancellations, so why the 2:30am phone call?

  • Posted by Margaret P. on March 25, 2010 at 3:43 am

    We arrived at the airport on Wednesday for our 7:08PM flight with no previous notification that our flight had been cancelled, nor had anyone else in line. If we had known that the flight was cancelled, we would not have wasted our time and money to take a car into the airport. We aren’t able to get a flight out until Saturday. We are lucky that we had a place to stay, but the customer service was not up to par – most other airlines notify for flight delays and cancellations. Not a fan!

  • Posted by TerribleService on March 29, 2010 at 5:08 am

    The other day I had to wait over 2 hours to speak to a representative to book travel using a TruePass.

    Now I try to reach JetBlue and they have instituted a policy where they say due to high call volumes they are not able to help you at this time, they tell you the call will disconnect and then the call disconnects.

    I’m not an attorney but given the following fact pattern I’m willing to bet there is something seriously fraudulent and deceptive that should be investigated.

    JetBlue induced me and many others to sign up for the JetBlue American Express card with the goal being access to JetBlue flights as a reward for spending on the card. I and many others spend (tens of, hundreds of) thousands of dollars per month earning JetBlue TruePasses (the old rewards). I and many others now have dozens of TruePasses which JetBlue offered us as part of our contract to spend on the JetBlue American Express card. Here’s what I believe to be of questionable legality.

    First, Jetblue makes it nearly impossible to book a flight using TruePasses say that the allotment for nearly every flight has been booked. I have been told by insiders at JetBlue that in some instances that the allotment was never fully booked and/or never made available to TruePass holding customers. Not allowing customers to book higher priced flights using TruePasses would allow JetBlue to add more revenue passengers.

    Second, JetBlue removes the customer’s ability to book their TruePasses online and requires the customer to call in to 1-800-JET-BLUE. This seemingly isn’t a problem until the third fact below.

    Third, the customer now calls in and is told that they are unable to speak with a representative, leave a message or by ANY means attempt to honor the bargain and legal contract that JetBlue and the customer entered into when JetBlue sold the American Express JetBlue card to the customer.

    As before, I’m not a lawyer but it’s time to start investigating deceptive trade practices by JetBlue and I’m about to take the lead on it.

  • Posted by maryduffypelzer on May 18, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Worst flight experience ever on Jet Blue on Sunday May 2
    out of JFK. Desperately needed to be home after family wedding for
    crucial career dependent work meeting. Arrived 3 hours early to avoid
    overbook problems and were told by curt receptionist, “sorry guys,
    flight cancelled, no reason, tough luck”. Weather in NY and Chicago
    great. We begged for help booking with another airline and told no way,
    but you can have your 99 bucks back or fly standby tomorrow please move
    on. Called relative in Chicago with computer and ended up getting 2 of
    last three tickets available on Comair out of JFK that night paying over
    800 EACH one way. Had no choice. I could of booked any airline for our
    trip to NY but thought we’d try Jet Blue because I fell for the hooey
    from their PR firm. Never again. We have two kids in college and paying
    this amount of money due to Jet Blue’s lousy customer service and or
    disorganization was a huge financial hit to our family. I have
    documentation of all expenses, if JB gives a damn. Mary Duffy Pelzer
    River Forest IL pelzers@aol.com

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