Applause to the people who are taking on the airline industry — especially those caught in the non-thinking nets of American Airlines and jetBlue in the last two months. [One example: Randall Moss] It’s about time the powers that be started paying attention to the institutional arrogance of the airlines, across their entire ranks, the so-called service roles as well as the executive. I still haven’t heard an answer as to why not one mind in the whole bunch, from any airline, didn’t just walk the line and make a decision to free those passengers from their prisons on the tarmac.
But I have heard a welcome apology, accompanied by a sincere expression of horror, from jetBlue. I love the fact that the company has adopted the language of the proposed legislation for its own company policy. If the other airlines have spoken, I haven’t read or seen it. While I was plenty shocked by the fact that my beloved jetBlue didn’t have any thinkers on duty during the ice storms, it seems that things are going to change there. The quality of communication has been action oriented as well as human. This is excellent.
The true test, however, is whether the sincerity and on-point communicating tracks with actual changes in jetBlue’s business processes. I expect it will, because you can’t fake what I have seen on my flights and at their service desks. There is a real difference between jetBlue people and their Stepford/sign-me-up-for-the-next-sequel-to-THE EXORCIST counterparts at the other airlines. I would hate to see the jetBlue people either put out of work or forced to take on the evil demeanor. I would love to see them rewarded, however, for taking on the system and risking their own hides to protect passengers — because leaders know that by protecting and serving passengers, such employees protect and serve the brand, too.
So apart from those caught on the Flight from Hell, whose trauma certainly justifies a lifetime of disgruntlement with the airline, let’s give jetBlue our continued support — and let’s see if jetBlue can keep its messages consistent with its business model.