January 4, 2014

Repositioning

For most people, digging out after a snow storm is about brushing off the car, clearing the driveway, and making sure the roads are clear. For a 24/7 operation like an airline though, it can be a little more involved, and digging out is only the first step.

Operating a scheduled flight requires a delicate handoff of planes to rested pilots and inflight crewmembers able to work the flight. Delays or cancellations disrupt those handoffs placing crews or planes “out of position” for their flights. A flight from Fort Lauderdale to Austin becomes difficult to operate after a storm when the scheduled plane is in New York, a rested Inflight crew is ready to start their trip in Fort Lauderdale, and the pilots are delayed trying to get in from Rochester.

Getting those crews and planes into position without disrupting other crews and their scheduled flights is no easy task. We often need to cancel flights to “thin” the operation around an irregular operations day to make sure planes and crews are ‘reset’ just so we can start the next day fresh.

Fresh is the key word there. It may seem counter-intuitive to cancel a flight that seems able to operate, but our crews need to be rested in order to operate flights. When a pilot or inflight crewmember leaves for the airport, they’re on a timer. Once they time out, they need to leave and get some rest, whether they’re where they’re supposed to be or not. While disappointing, we’d rather cancel a flight before all the customers have gathered in the airport, and where we can be sure our crew can be ready to start fresh and rested.

Today, even in the midst of us repairing those schedules disrupted by this week’s winter storms, we’re facing an additional complication as new FAA rules go into effect for crew rest. These rules further impact our ability to operate an already disrupted schedule, causing our pilots to “time out” even sooner. As a result, additional cancellations are likely to occur as we work to reset the operation.

We understand the frustration this causes for our customers and will do everything we can to minimize the impact. Many travelers similarly find themselves “out of position” as already full holiday flights make it difficult to find immediate reaccommodation of canceled flights, and limited spare aircraft and crews make extra sections few and far between. If you’re scheduled to fly out on a trip today, we’d encourage you to look at our weather advisory for current information on our fee waivers, and if you still opt to travel, please check the status of your flight online prior to leaving for the airport.

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36 Comments on “Repositioning”

  • Posted by Ed Manning on January 4, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    All that said – hard to believe that our family of four has no way to get home until Wednesday. A huge expense – missed meetings at work, missed school, etc.

    We have talked to a number of Jet Blue folk. Some were terrific. Several were absolutely horrible. We were always civil. In a situation like this, a kind word always plays best. For your employees who don’t seem to care – that’s salt in a wound.

    It sure seems you could have planned around this one.

    Ed

  • Posted by Joanthan siegel on January 4, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    Flight 661 was cancelled yesterday. The crew never left. They are very rested. You excuse is full of crap!

  • Posted by Joanthan siegel on January 4, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    FYI the American Airlines flight was only delayed an hour! You bunch of liars! I would rather you be honest. For the last 5hrs you have been changing the time of departure. Get your act to gather! You are not prepared! Do not blame it on the weather, you look stupider and incompetent!

  • Posted by Ed garabedian on January 4, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    why is this an anonymous posting ? i truly get and understand there is some serious challenges for you. But where is the face of jetblue ?
    to me this is a career / brand moment . the pres/coo/cmo should all be
    personally sharing messages. this is like the BP president all over again.
    i dont blame you for weather or new rules, i blame you for
    not getting in front of it with communication and planning.

  • Posted by TK Ortiz on January 4, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Same here have been at lga since 12 noon yesterday flight 1117 was cancelled almost 5 hrs after etd…passengers were told because 1 attendant was missing…1 lady complained and ” Frank” called the by and they walked her out…today the same pattern is repeating except this a flight full of elderly people…no one is giving us information something as simple as at what point do they make the decision to cancel the flight…This is unbelievable!!! Now the brought chips and water I feel like a turkey being fed before Thanksgiving dinner (cancel flight)…I called NY1 but I guess a flight full of senior citizens being stranded and treated like this is not enough news for them…so sad

  • Posted by TK Ortiz on January 4, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Correction: Frank, a Jet Blue employee called the NY police

  • Posted by TK Ortiz on January 4, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Correction: Frank called the NY police

  • Posted by TK Ortiz on January 4, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    The above is happening right now at gate A4 @ LGA

  • Posted by Aaron on January 4, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    Seriously? You’re trying to spin this onto FAA regulations you knew were coming and should have planned for? The issue isn’t your equipment or your flight crews – it’s your customer service on the ground and lack of communication to your paying passengers. Delays and cancellations happen – but the lack of communication on the ground, specifically at JFK – is unsettling. Weather happens. So do equipment issues – plan for them and compensate those stuck in the airport – people have been stranded at JFK for hours with not as much as a free water, no less lunch.

  • Posted by JFK Standed on January 4, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Jetblue tries to handle a lot of flight because of the money. Quantity is not precisely quality. I bet that after this experience and many more to come either they fix the amount of crew members for their flights or they will lose millions of costumers. And I bet that 5 years from now JetBlue will be bankrupt.
    A stranded Passanger of one if the friday flights from
    JFK to PR. And they keep cancelling the few available flights.

  • Posted by Judy on January 4, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Dear Jetblue,

    To address the problem of cancelled flights due to displaced crew members who needs rest, you should have put in place back up crew members when you had ample time to prepare for the winter weather in NYC yesterday. I was among many of the passengers whose flights was cancelled at the very last minute, after it was delayed. Instead of informing us of cancellations right at the boarding time, you should have cancelled more in advance so customers can make appropriate flight changes. Also, you have not returned my checked-in luggages, due to my cancelled flight, and I have no idea where it is, and neither do your 1800 jetblue line. JFK baggage center phone line is a recording, not helpful at all! If you want to see your business succeed, you need to better train your staff to know what to do in different situations (the ASK desk was giving us different instructions than the baggage desks), proactively communicate with your customers in a crisis like yesterday (you could have sent an email telling us what is going on! I am still waiting for one!), and since you can’t consistently guarantee the service to your clients (which is putting us on a flight to a destination where we purchased) please improve on CUSTOMER SERVICE!

    Sincerely,
    Loyal Jetblue customer who has lost all faith in you at this time

  • Posted by Jari on January 5, 2014 at 2:00 am

    How did you manage to run flights into Providence the day after the storm, and now tell us we can’t get home until Wednesday?

  • Posted by Mark on January 5, 2014 at 4:42 am

    That doesn’t explain the lack of baggage handlers at JFK & the over 3 1/2 hour wait at this point to get bags back off a cancelled plane. No info being given out here it’s just total confusion. Unacceptable.

  • Posted by SW on January 5, 2014 at 7:33 am

    Tell that to Delta. An about to board a flight from JFK to San Diego on Sunday when I was told my Jetblue flight from JFK to Long Beach was cancelled that same day. Jetblue told me my next flight would be on THURSDAY. Are you kidding me? Four days from now?

    I had my JetBlue flight from JFK to LGB delayed for hours on end, told that we would board, then cancelled at 1am. I was then told to wait in a line, which lasted for four hours. Desk agents were spending 30 minutes on some customers and routinely let people cut in line. I was then finally told that I would get my points back, nothing else. Then I get an email from one of your higher ups that I would receive a $50 credit. That’s a slap in the face — $500 wouldn’t be enough for this type of aggravation. I’ve been loyal since 2006, am going to Delta for all travel.

  • Posted by Kelly Holway on January 5, 2014 at 7:43 am

    Couldn’t agree more we waited 8 hours for our flight to be cancelled only to have the PUJ to BOS that was originally scheduled to leave an hour after us left. How does that happen? Not only that they have no backup plan despite the plane having been on the Tarmac since 7:17 pm yesterday despite pilot and crew still being here and at this point are well rested. To top it all off they told us not to rebook after try cancelled our flight and still 11 hours after they cancelled they still haven’t provided anything further. A complete abomination and cluster loyal customers are being ignored just send us home with the plane and crew that were in tacked last night as at this point they are all well rested by now.

  • Posted by J Francis on January 5, 2014 at 8:59 am

    I feel bad for everyone affected by this … This is just a huge mess… We are stuck in SJU until Jan 9th and had two flights cancelled. My daughter will miss 4 days of school and thank God I have an understanding boss. I don’t feel the airline has handled this in the best way and they have not been forthcoming with information . Best of luck to all of the passengers affected by this … Hope we all get home sooner than later..

  • Posted by Matthew on January 5, 2014 at 9:30 am

    What makes you any different than all the other airlines?
    Everyone is playing by the same FAA rules.
    You people got caught unprepared and didn’t do your jobs properly.
    That’s the truth…end of story.
    JetBlue was supposed to fly me and my family out on Saturday
    They cancel the flight and tell me I can’t leave any earlier then Wednesday.
    Meanwhile after spending countless hours on the phone, at ticket counters, etc…we are flying out tomorrow thru another airline that was more prepared!
    You dropped the ball JetBlue.
    This blog should be called Talltales not Bluetales

  • Posted by Karen Lacey on January 5, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Flight 644 on Jan 4th was delayed over seven hours. A 7:45am flight departed after 3pm. Aircraft was there, pilot and co pilot were there. No flight attendants. We believe we should be compensated for this flight as the weather did not cause this issue. “Preemptive cancellations” are not “caused” by weather. How about “preemptive repositioning”? Like getting crews out of the northeast and into unaffected areas prior to storms?

  • Posted by Debra on January 5, 2014 at 10:59 am

    JetBlue should be investigated by Congress. It’s not like they woke up and “surprise” the regulations went into effect! Our flight was delayed almost 6 hours, four gate changes, and they never let us know ANYTHING! And just in case you thought THAT was bad, they lost our luggage!

  • Posted by Jennifer on January 5, 2014 at 11:09 am

    We too were left stranded with no options available for two or three days. We opted to take another flight on another airline in a completely different airport 40 miles away to get to our destination today. We are fortunate to have had that option work out for us.

    I read an article that said all airlines were aware of the new FAA rules TWO YEARS PRIOR to them taking effect. And the other airline we flew said they had not needed to “reposition” even with the weather delays the last few days because they are properly staffed.

    Seems to me, JetBlue ignored or didn’t care about the fact that this could happen and they would leave their passengers stranded.

    We will never travel Jet Blue again just because of this.

  • Posted by kathy ekdahl on January 5, 2014 at 11:17 am

    My 86 yo mother-in-law with lung cancer waited 7 hours at logan yesterday while you guys dicked around with your flights and pilots, only to have the flight cancelled at 1am. Because she was in a wheelchair, she could not rush to rebook her flight and now is stuck here for another 48 hours.The stress on her was unbearable. I can not believe that you DID NOT KNOW that the flight was going to be cancelled until 1am? A 7:15pm flight moved to a 2am departure? REALLY? You guys should be ashamed of yourselves for your lack of caring. Not only did my mother-in- law suffer, but there were other men and women OVER 80 years old stuck there, not to mention a young lady who was going to her brothers wedding and missed it. How can anyone trust your airline going forward?

  • Posted by Marie Louise Beauvoir on January 5, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    We fully understand the challenges you are facing and the clear planning processes you describe above. The only problem is that it is not trickling down to the field and after 2 days of misinformation and cancellations, unresponsive and ill informed “supervisors” and the impossibility of getting a jet blue employee on the line (from Ireland, to the US, to South America ), we have to face the fact that Jet Blue has faked to manage this situation effectively …and is compounding that failure with every lie your employees are obliged to tell passengers to cover for your refusal to plan ahead and INFORM passengers and staff.

  • Posted by Marie Louise Beauvoir on January 5, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Yesterday we spent 11 hours at Montego Bay waiting for your staff to announce the cancellation of flight 780 to NY. It was officially cancelled on the Jet Blue site 2hrs earlier. Our luggage was held until 9:30 pm, and we were told that no hotels were available . At 12:45 am this morn. We were told to be at the airport at 7am for a 10 am departure. The flight was already delayed by the time check in was completed..due to the crew flight hours. According to your above comment, this is something that you could have known in advance and scheduled the flight at a later time. Instead of having a plane full of passengers, some pregnant, some ill and some just plain tired of your crap, sitting here in Montego Bay airport for another 9 hrs… For the second day in a row. All staff here is actively watching the screen as they are even less informed than we are.
    I an incensed at your lack of response, cowardice and incompetance.

  • Posted by John on January 5, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    My sister’s flight was cancelled several days earlier which is understandable because of the storm. However, she was rescheduled for a flight today but it was cancelled because of “backed up flights” and new FAA regulations. Weather here is cold but it’s clear and blue skies. There’s no excuse to not have planned for this kind of situation. Love her but can’t stand another several days of her. YOU GUYS SUCK.

  • Posted by Marie Louise Beauvoir on January 5, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    I agree, it is time to reposition Jet Blue with the lowest of the low cost carriers!

  • Posted by Donewithjetblue on January 5, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Snow happens EVERY January. Return travel home from the holidays happens EVERY January. Preparation for these new regulations has been ongoing for THREE YEARS.

    So why does the combination of these three things suddenly lead to a situation where my flight is cancelled three days after a snowstorm but still blamed on the snowstorm, and the next available flight is not for another SIX DAYS???

    HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN??? I really hope that at the very least, Jetblue’s PR nightmare is as significant and widespread as the damage it has caused to so many customers this weekend.

    An absolute failure of providing your most basic service, and an absolute failure of offering reasonable alternatives. Shameful. Please understand how much disappointment you have caused in the lives of your customers.

  • Posted by Pat Driscoll on January 5, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    I too was appreciative of the jet blue staff that I dealt with,most were very pleasant and helpful, but their hands were tied. Regulations and operations were a hindrance. I observed other airlines over 3 days recovering from weather delays and none suffered more cancellations than JetBlue. Very disappointed with how poorly Jet Blue handled the new pilot rules and their poor communication on this matter. We were all left in the dark on this matter and it was falsely blamed on weather.

  • Posted by Laura Martinez on January 5, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Your repositioning plan is useless. I spent 4 hours on line only to be told my flight left. No notice from the staff, they are all incapable of any sympathy, when I approach them to inform them my flight was leaving at 6AM I was told there was nothing they could do. So they rebooked me for Jan 5 at 10PM at night, and continue to inform me thats all they had. NEVER AGAIN, LAST TIME FOR ME……..

  • Posted by Pissed off on January 6, 2014 at 1:06 am

    OMG!!! You lying sacks of shit! How dare you! I have been loyal customer since u started. My kid had been stranded at the airport for 12 hours. U give no information – MISLEAD- and LIE. Outrageous.

  • Posted by Erik on January 6, 2014 at 4:31 am

    What BS JetBlue is spewing! I was Mosaic for past two years (flew every week) and had very few problems, but this one takes the cake! SouthWest got us to Boston when JetBlue said they couldn’t “due to weather.” Lame! Our options were wait until who knows when with JetPoo (miss work, school, risk of losing jobs), or pay out the nose for a last minute, same-day, one-way ticket for me and my family members on another airline who knows how to plan. Thank you SouthWest! JetBlue’s loss is SouthWest’s new customer for life!

  • Posted by Stacey on January 6, 2014 at 6:18 am

    Jet blue is the worst. Shame on Jet blue

  • Posted by Has A. Brain on January 6, 2014 at 9:50 am

    I am not disappointed at all. Thank you to JetBlue for keeping your loyal customers safe above all else. Everyone else, please fly another airline and bring your complaints with you!

  • Posted by Debra on January 6, 2014 at 10:01 am

    And the absurdity continues. It is almost two days after a flight which was delayed for almost 7 hours, and still no baggage. Has there been any communication from jet blue, no. Have we been able to reach them by waiting on the phone for less than an hour, no. Do they have any information, no. Would I rather never travel again in my life, rather than travel with them, yes.

  • Posted by Allison on January 6, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Hey JetBlue,

    I usually fly you, almost exclusivley. However, in the past year, I’ve found myself flying American Airlines more and more, mainly because of the price difference. American is almost always cheaper (in the case of cross country flights, BOS to LAX). This has been the case for a good year now.

    Reading this makes me glad I’ve chosen American Airlines over you. While no airline is perfect, and air travel these days is akin to tourture, there is a way to ease the burden on your customers.

    To all of you unfortunate souls stuck at the airport because of this I am sorry. I was once stranded for 12 hours at the hands of JetBlue in Las Vegas and it was the worst travel experience I have ever had. I feel fortunate that my American Airlines flight from LAX this past Saturday left on time and even got in early.

  • Posted by Linda on January 6, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    I just have to laugh when I read the complaints of all you customers who had to wait five, six, even eleven hours! While i feel for you all, i and my two kids have been stuck here in Aruba (island-based Wall-E land) for five days, trying to get home to Boston. At a cost of more than $500 per day. In all my 40-plus years of air travel, I have never experienced anything so egregious from an airline. My husband made it home last week on another airline and has us booked tomorrow on a crazy route home via three different airlines. This whole fiasco will probably cost us upwards of $8,000! Who does this? It is hard for me to see that, at the heart of this really bad deal, JetBlue is not looking out mostly for the bottom line. Really sad.

  • Posted by strandedinnassau on January 6, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Stranded in Nassau for 5 days because JetBlue could not find a crew to fly one of their planes to Boston (the airvraft was ready on the tarmac). Put in a hotel for 5 days but now after two nights we are told JetBlue will not cover the hotel expenses anymore because now it is due to weather conditions? I dont know who is making these decisions but what a way to really make people mad. We never got any message from JetBlue except for today when we get one of those stupid emails that ask you if you want to buy more space or more speed for our flight to Boston on thursday. More speed really? You want me to pay for more speed? You cant even get me home! What a PR disaster!

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