jetBlue letter of apology — a new standard is set

Here is the text of an email letter I just received.  This is the way to do it — no passive/aggressive dancing, just real.  And real enough to believe that this airline is going to change things, not just in its own company but in the industry.  Plus, I appreciate the way in which jetBlue is using contemporary technology to deliver a classically styled message.  Finally, this is in Mr Neeleman’s voice, showing that whether or not he had help, he governed the process.

Dear JetBlue Customers,

We are sorry and embarrassed.
But most of all, we are deeply sorry.

Last week was the worst operational
week in JetBlue’s seven year history. Following the severe winter ice storm in
the Northeast, we subjected our customers to unacceptable delays, flight
cancellations, lost baggage, and other major inconveniences. The storm disrupted
the movement of aircraft, and, more importantly, disrupted the movement of
JetBlue’s pilot and inflight crewmembers who were depending on those planes to
get them to the airports where they were scheduled to serve you. With the busy
President’s Day weekend upon us, rebooking opportunities were scarce and hold
times at 1-800-JETBLUE were unacceptably long or not even available, further
hindering our recovery efforts.

Words cannot express how truly sorry we
are for the anxiety, frustration and inconvenience that we caused. This is
especially saddening because JetBlue was founded on the promise of bringing
humanity back to air travel and making the experience of flying happier and
easier for everyone who chooses to fly with us. We know we failed to deliver on
this promise last week.

We are committed to you, our valued customers,
and are taking immediate corrective steps to regain your confidence in us. We
have begun putting a comprehensive plan in place to provide better and more
timely information to you, more tools and resources for our crewmembers and
improved procedures for handling operational difficulties in the future. We are
confident, as a result of these actions, that JetBlue will emerge as a more
reliable and even more customer responsive airline than ever before.

Most
importantly, we have published the JetBlue
Airways Customer Bill of Rights
—our official commitment to you of how we
will handle operational interruptions going forward—including details of
compensation. I have a video message to share with you about this industry
leading action.

You deserved better—a lot better—from us last week.
Nothing is more important than regaining your trust and all of us here hope you
will give us the opportunity to welcome you onboard again soon and provide you
the positive JetBlue Experience you have come to expect from us.

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