JetBlue nightmare

Recently, my brother and his wife were put through quite an ordeal at the hands of the airline company JetBlue. I am posting this on behalf of my sister-in-law, who wants people to know that the JetBlue "Customer Bill of Rights" is not all it's cracked up to be. Here it is, in her own words:

Dear would-be JetBlue customers:

Please allow me to share our JetBlue experience. My husband and I live in Seattle, and on March 15, 2007 we were scheduled to take a week-long trip to New York City. We had heard about the bad weather, but the night of our flight there had been no contact from JetBlue, so we figured that the flight would make it in before the storm. Around 8:00 PM, before our 11:30 PM flight, we got a message from JetBlue saying that our flight had been cancelled, not go to the airport and to call as soon as we could. So we called. We proceeded to stay on hold and in contact with multiple customer service agents, supervisors and other telephone operators for over three hours.

At one point in our conversation we spoke with a woman who was booking us on the next flight - the following night, 24 hours later. Although this was not the most accommodating flight, it was all they could offer us. Before that night, we were used to airlines apologizing for inconveniences and booking the next available flight, even if it was not their own. So there we were, about to get booked on a flight the next night and they put us on hold again. Given our past experiences with waiting on hold, we gave the operator our home telephone number, in case of a disconnection.

Of course, we ended up getting disconnected while on hold. We waited for a bit for a call back, but began to get worried and called again. Our call was then transferred to another supervisor who proceeded to tell us, in no friendly manner whatsoever, that all the flights are booked until Monday, at which time we would be able to fly through Boston in order to get to New York City. We explained our situation to her, that we were about to get booked on another flight with another supervisor, but she said that there was no way it was true. She basically called us liars, which was just the beginning of one of the rudest conversations we have ever had.

She then told us a personal story about the woes she had flying into Seattle last December. Instead of apologizing for anything, she made excuses and told us her own horror stories. She also said that had we been at the airport that night, they may have been able to put us on another flight. This was interesting, since the phone message specifically said not to come to the airport. As we were trying to whittle information out of this woman, we inquired if the weather was keeping the plane grounded in New York or in Seattle. As customers, we had the right to know the plane's location.

She claimed not to know where the plane was. This was clearly a breach in our rights as customers of JetBlue. This was not the kind of service we expected from a company that has just made news healines with their "Costumer Bill of Rights." We gave up on the conversation after being interrupted and demeaned by this rude employee, feeling as though JetBlue gave us no consideration as customers. Still hoping to find a flight, we called to speak to customer service. The conversation was almost identical.

Not once did an employee apologize or offer any compensation for our troubles. Eventually, we got a full refund for our ticket and called United where we purchased a ticket for three times what we paid at JetBlue. We will not fly with JetBlue Airways again. We have never in our lives experienced such rude, inconsiderate and incompetent service as we did with JetBlue. Even at the end of our conversation, as we told the representatives this same statement, we got no compesatory offer or even as much as a simple apology. It is my sincere hope that somehow sharing this experience might help others avoid JetBlue's horrible customer service.

Hana & Andrew Smith

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