The New York Times reported on a colossal collapse of the flight plan of well-respected, award-winning, low-fare carrier, JetBlue, stranding passengers all over the route map. According to the Times, the airline’s CEO David G. Neeleman, “said…that his company’s management was not strong enough. And he said the current crisis, which has led to about 1,000 canceled flights in five days, was the result of a shoestring communications system that left pilots and flight attendants in the dark, and an undersize reservation system…
“The crisis began Wednesday when an ice storm hit the Eastern United States. Most airlines responded by canceling more flights earlier, sending passengers home and resuming their schedules within a day or two. But JetBlue thought the weather would break and it would be ale to fly, keeping its revenue flowing and its customers happy.
“On the contrary, JetBlue’s woes dragged on day after day. On Saturday night, for instance, the airline said that the 23 percent of flights it had canceled on Saturday and Sunday would also be canceled Monday….Its systems to deal with the consequences of bad weather did not keep up with the growth, Mr. Neeleman said. The company’s low-cost operating structure may have been a contributing factor.”
JetBlue is not the first airline to strand passengers because of weather or other factors, nor will it be the last. But given the carrier’s high level of customer satisfaction, it seems particularly sensitive to the problem and has promised compensation.