I’m still going to fly jetBlue

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.

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2 thoughts on “I’m still going to fly jetBlue”

  1. Randy, I was amazed to see in yesterday’s papers that the managers of other airlines and leaders of their interest groups are concerned that JetBlue’s action is a competitive threat, the implication being that it was unnecessary for the industry to step up and deal with this problem. I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised that they are missing the forest for the trees. If you look at the coverage and the attention after the ice storms, the other airlines who pulled tarmac stunts — and do it way more than JetBlue throughout the year — got very little attention this time — probably because JetBlue management stood up and responded. I’ll bet the other airlines feel vindicated by their antiquated PR strategies, which guide them to lay low and back off from commenting. At the same time, they seem to be acknowledging that this is going to work in JetBlue’s favor over the long term. I’m floored that rather than see the brilliance as well as the justice in JetBlue’s move, they are whining about it. In general, this is more evidence that some industries are going to need a lot of time to adjust to the way people buy services today — that corporate success is going to depend upon recognizing that elitist command-and-control is over, that authority is being recast as equal parts accountability, performance and common sense. Randy, see what you started on a Friday morning!

  2. Thanks for the link Mary. I think that Jet Blue made a huge error but they were man enough to admit the mistake and then identify why they fouled it all up. Their youth absolutely showed in the crisis and I certainly hope that they learn faster and more throughly than the legacy carriers.

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