When you were a child you were told, “Learn from your mistakes.” As the owner or manager of a business, you should also learn from the mistakes of your competitors. Case in point: yesterday passengers on Jet Blue’s flight 751 NY-Cancun were stranded for eight hours on the tarmac. They were not allowed back to the gate, food and water ran low, etc. etc. If this gives you a sense of deja vu, it’s because the same thing happened to American Airlines Flight 1348 on December 29 in Austin, TX.
Some Jet Blue passengers said they felt like they had been held hostage.
Wouldn’t it make sense to you that, if a competitor made a major blunder resulting in bad PR, businesses in that profession would ask themselves if the same thing could happen to them? If so, how could they avoid it from happening. Evidently Jet Blue didn’t learn from American Airlines’ worst practice.
I wonder if Delta, Continental, Northwest, Frontier, America West, Southwest, Alaska Airlines are paying attention.
How can you prevent this from happening to you?
What steps must you take now to avoid this happening?
NBC Nightly News reports this has fueled renewed calls for a Passengers’ Bill of Rights.
Update:I just receive an e-mail from the organizers of the passengers’ bill of rights petition drive. So far today they have received 2600 more signatures for a total of 5200.
See ABC News video here.
Update II: MSNBC reports that other airlines were also delayed, in fact Jet Blue had a total of 10 flights delayed, one for 11 hours. MSNBC Scarborough Country Host Joe Scarborough spent 9 hours on a Delta Flight.
An NBC report aired on Nightly News, Countdown and Scarborough Country pointed out that the airlines were reluctant to return to the gates because they thought a) the weather was clearing, b) there were no gates, c) it might be days before all passengers could be rebooked, or the aircraft would lose its place in line to take off.
I’m sure there’s truth in that, I’m also sure there’s a lot of airlines spin. I don’t buy the argument about no gates being available.
If the airlines had learned from earlier mistakes, this could have been avoided.