Big Glitch in Communicating with my Favorite Airline

Photos of Raul Colon Web Developer Puerto Rico

Communicating should be Your First Priority when it comes to Customer Service. But day-by-day I realize it is one of the biggest obstacles large corporations face.

I have been a @Jetblue fan for quite some time. I have had very good experiences with @Jetblue and terrible ones. The difference is @jetblue has always kept communicating with me and has looked for a way to fixing some of the many glitches I have had with them. Sadly days ago I was not getting the usual treatment I am use to.

My dad came in on a flight the day after Hurricane Irene and the weather conditions where not favorable to land at the Ponce airport, which was my Dad’s original destination. The airport is 20 minutes away from my house.  Before I took off to get my Dad at the airport, I checked and the flight status said it would be landing in the next 20 minutes.

Minutes before arriving at the airport my dad called that he had landed. The only problem was the plane landed in San Juan which is an hour and 20 minutes without traffic from my house. At around 5pm my Dad said they would be transporting all passengers down to Ponce on ground transportation. Since I thought that Jetblue had the logistics coordinated, I decided to drive back home and wait for my dad to get to the Ponce Airport.

First Glitch In Communication

Minutes later my dad calls me and lets me know that none of the Jetblue employees at the San Juan terminal had any idea of what was going on. For minutes he and a few others explained the situation. I tried contacting Jetblue and via twitter they replied that they where working on the Logistics. They even offered to check up on my dad to see if he was ok.

Great Communicating via Twitter Bad Job at Terminal

Like always Jetblue was very responsive via twitter but my Dad was getting bad responses and a nasty attitude from most of the Jetblue employees at the San Juan terminal. I could identify with the behavior of the employees at the San Juan Jetblue terminal when I was stranded on February 15th 2007 because of their huge glitch caused by a storm in the Northeast. My experience was similar to Dad’s and Jetblue San Juan employees could have cared less that we where stranded. Jetblue made it up to me on future flights but the San Juan Airport has one of the least friendly Jetblue Crewmembers.

No Obligation but it would have made their passengers happy

Like every other airline Jetblue is not obligated to do much when it comes to weather issues. Don’t get me wrong I do appreciate that they consider safety first. My biggest concern is hearing my Dad’s story of how a mom traveling alone with her three kids just laid on the floor and nobody cared to ask her if everything was ok. I think that by caring for those that clearly need some extra help is something we are all committed to whether you are Jetblue employee or fellow passenger. My dad reached out to see if she needed any extra help since he did not see any actions from the Jetblue employees.

Make Sure You Put Your Special Needs on the Ticket

I always add that I am vegetarian on my ticket especially the few times I have flown first class. I did not think it was a requirement especially in situations where the airline dropped the ball. When one person pointed that out that since they had been waiting for hours for a bus it would be appropriate for Jetblue to offer them food and drinks. That person also stated that there were individuals with special needs like him that he were Diabetic. The Jetblue Employee (A Heavy Red Headed Individual) responded that if he had not stated that he was a Diabetic on his tickets no exceptions or special treatment would be made. This same employee was one of the nastiest individuals when my dad was asking for updates on transportation. He clearly did not care or was representative of most of the caring Jetblue employees I have interacted with. Jetblue does always have free snacks and drinks on their flight not sure why they can’t do the same for passengers that are still in transit and have not reached their final destination.

4+ Hours Later

I decided to drive up to San Juan in the Storm after not getting any valid updates other than hearing from Jetblue that they where working on it. I really think that taking 4 + hours to put people on buses was where Jetblue dropped the ball big time. Minutes before the buses arrived there was an altercation provoked by a Jetblue Employee. He allegedly took a picture of a female passenger. When other passengers got involved, the same red headed Jetblue employee who appeared to be the supervisor decided to take his co-coworker away and not call the authorities.

Finally the buses arrived after 4+ hours of waiting and the first individuals to be called into the first bus were the non-hispanics on the plane. Instead of taking care of the mom with three kids and passengers with special needs they decided to take care of those that looked like tourists coming on vacation. That would have been great if all of them would have been equally treated. Once again a big glitch by Jetblue.

Driving in Circles

On my side I drove down to Ponce and returned then when I started to drive up to San Juan 30 minutes into my drive I got a call from my dad that they where boarding the buses. So many tolls and miles driven for nothing. I thought my dad was on his way. But then it took 30 more minutes of the passengers sitting in the buses for them to take off. The first excuse was that they did not have buses then they could not give the go for the buses to leave the San Juan Airport. Finally at 11:30pm I was able to pick up my dad at the airport.

My dad’s story and experience serves me to understand that even companies like Jetblue are not perfect and will mess up big time every once in a while. I will be waiting on how Jetblue reacts to my formal complaint.

I pay when I make the mistake

When I make a mistake on picking my date Jetblue quickly attaches a fee and does not really care what happened. In the same way I expect @Jetblue to communicate with there San Juan crew who dropped the ball and make them realize that when difficult circumstances happen they need to put themselves in the passengers shoes.

So far I am disappointed at how they handled the situation but I am still a fan of Jetblue  (at least for now).

Do you think airlines are very harsh on customers with thy have a situation? Do you think customers should equally as harsh with the airline when they drop the ball?

On my side I am happy that my dad arrived and I can wait to spend these next few days with him.