Late Friday, JetBlue’s phone lines were back up and running. The website still insisted that my flight had departed the day before, so I had to call in for a refund. The agent was courteous and clearly instructed to not speak very much about what had happened the day before in New York. I had my flight refunded, but nothing past that despite this quote from CEO David Neelman:
"I think the best thing we can do is say we’re sorry and give them
their money back, and give them a free ticket and then kind of plead
with them to come and fly again" CNN, 2/16/07
No apology or free ticket for me – the phone agent indicated that my situation had to have been much worse. The kicker: a colleague got back to SF that night – on American.
Everyone flies for a reason – mine was for a speech worth thousands of dollars in revenue for my company. Others were traveling for business as well. Some were going on vacation. Some were going to see family. The worst part about the situation wasn’t the anger and frustration – it was seeing the people who were just exhausted, given no recourse or support – they were the ones who – left hopeless – just broke down crying.