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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Fuck JetBlue

Ok, this has nothing to do with college football but it's February and I'm still in a pissy mood after my scheduling post above. And this next story didn't change that...

So by now, most of you have probably heard about the clusterfuck that was JetBlue airlines last week in NY. If not, in a nutshell, during the snowstorm on the East Coast, JetBlue left passengers sitting on planes mere yards from the terminal for up to 10 hours. They ran out of food, it was hot inside and the toilets filled up and stank like ass.

Well, in an effort to win back customers - and avoid threatened government regulations - JetBlue yesterday announced a "passenger bill of rights." Among the "improvements" is a vow to deplane passengers if a plane is stuck on the ground for five hours.

Excuse me but...

FIVE HOURS?!?! Are you fucking kidding me?! If I'm ever stuck on a plane just sitting on the tarmac for FIVE FUCKING HOURS it better be a hostage situation.

What a load of shit. But, unfortunately, this is the kind of "solution" passengers will get if Congress doesn't force the hand of the airline industry to do better - much better.

Just remember, the airlines said they would police themselves after the Northwest Airlines debacle in 2001 - when folks were stranded on non-moving planes for up to 8 hours. But it was all lip service in an effort to avoid any mandated government regulations.

If you doubt it, ask any of the poor saps stuck in NY last week. Or, in the future, ask the suckers stuck for FIVE FUCKING HOURS after JetBlue's big "fix."

11 comments:

MGOBLUE94 said...

I was in NY last Wednesday during that mess trying to fly out LaGuardia on Spirit bound to Detroit. Thankfully, I was one of the lucky ones who got out after 2 1/2 hour delay. FYI for those not stuck in planes, but stuck in the terminal ... it was like 100 degrees at Gate B6 in LaGuardia and food was slim pickens.

But the terminal was just filled with pissed off people, including Jet Blue customers who share gates with Spirit Airlines.

I think if I were stuck in that situation, I just might actually open the hatch my self.

Anonymous said...

you are a moron

Out of Conference said...

The first stranding on JetBlue, folks had to rip up their t-shirts to make diapers for babies that ran out. COmplete bullshit. If I'm stuck in that situation, and it's not a hostage situation, it will be soon enough. I got stuck on the tarmac for 1.5 hours on Delta in Greenville-Spartanburg once waiting on weather to clear up in Hotlanta. They played a movie at least and I got bumped to 1st class for the Trans-Atl to Gatwick out of ATL on the next leg, so at least they tried to make it up to folks.

Floyd said...

Although this situation was very bad, I'm not persuaded that the gov't should get involved. Let the markets handle it via angry bloggers, newspaper articles, word of mouth, etc. If the gov't gets involved then that just leads to more gov't regulations, red tape, exceptions to the rule, etc. In sum, the gov't should only be involved in safety situations, which this did not rise to that level.

HomeFries94 said...

I'm with Floyd on this one.

I agree it's a shitty deal (both literally and figuratively), but government regulation will only make it worse. It's the law of unintended consequences, and this law of consequences is often more "effective" than the original legislation in the first place.

For example, a government mandated egress after a certain amount of time might actually create a domino effect of sliding flight schedules back by a day or so (likely if, due to WX, many planes at a major hub have their time expire in the same time window and all have to taxi back to the ramp, et al.).

Rest assured, the market can take care of itself. It's a matter of time before one of the airlines offers incentive (free miles, upgrade, etc.) for the inconvenience, while others avoid JetBlow like the plague. It will work out without Ms. Pelosi pushing a government solution to a market problem.

Andy said...

@floyd - I'm thinking it would be a safety situation if they locked me on a plane which wasn't moving for more than three hours. How hard is it to pop that door open and run across the tarmac anyway?

MGoBlue93 said...

I'm not trying to be devil's advocate here but most of those travelers were on vacation to tourist destinations.

If JetBlue canx the flights then all those people are going to be wicked pissed their vacations were ruined.

So JetBlue tried to get the planes in the air... it's just that their misguided attempts at ensuring folks could get to their destinations went horribly wrong. The wx forecasters kept telling ops the ice would clear, the ice would clear, and unfortunately, the wx folks were wrong and the ice never cleared.

JetBlue thought they could fly but by the time it was too late, those planes had actually frozen to the ground in their holding spot for departure. JetBlue should have bussed those people off of the planes though. At least an overcrowded gate isn’t as bad as an overcrowded flying pencil.

I travel quite a bit and 80% of the people on planes lose their damn minds when they travel and become total freaking assholes. A few weeks ago, I got on a plane bound for Salt Lake City. Just as were going to push back from the gate, the pilot informed us there was a ground stop at SLC and we were going to have to leave the plane. Every single person who got off the plane went to the counter and cussed the agent out. I mean just some of the rudest, disrespectful behavior one could witness. Not one of those folks got taken care of. They all had to wait 6-8 hours to get back on a flight to make their connections. I waited until the crowd cleared, was pretty damn polite to the agent. And she rebooked me on another airline and I left on a nonstop flight 40 minutes later.

Same thing happened in Detroit this past Thanksgiving. A little bit of manners goes a long way. How would you like to feel the wrath of planeloads of people on a daily basis who aren't getting their way?

If people in airports would act even remotely civilized, they'd get a lot farther. They'll demand a $350 ticket from NY to LAX and then whine when a $0.25 bag of stale snacks isn't available.

An airline is nothing more than Greyhound with wings. Get me to my destination as quickly and as safely (and sometimes weather fucks with the schedule) as possible -- that's all that should be expected. And for gawd's sake... your Steamer Trunk is NOT going to fit in the overhead!

Andy 11:45, can you say felony? Try to get a job with that on your record. And if you're ever allowed to fly again, I can guarantee you will see the code "SSSS" on every boarding pass you'll ever be issued again.

dtw2phx said...

I just got home from DTW today - where we sat on the runway for three hours...for fog. I can't imagine being stuck for longer than that. Luckily our group was rather tame and pretty much went back to sleep. Travelers need to learn how to put their shitty attitudes in check. HOWEVER, if the craft is morphing into a sewer with wings -- that's a whole 'nother ballgame. (lol)

BARman said...

mgoblue93 speaks a lot of wisdom. I've had similar experiences. The comments regarding the rude, disrespectful behavior applies to all facets of life. Not to be too much of an old man, but our culture has become very crude. A littie kindness (just common decency, really) goes a long way today. OK, I'm done.

jordan said...

I was in this mess. My flight was scheduled for 7:00 AM last Saturday and just kept moving back. They almost had to combine us with another group of people just to get us all out of there. Plane ended up leaving somewhere around 11:45. Just frustrating as hell.

nick said...

Th GOV should protect passengers from the assholes running airlines and will after Bush and his assholes are gone.


Obama leasd byt 15! if he was white it would be 25 points