JetBlue To Most Loyal Customers: We're Too Busy To Help You, Sorry

from the ouch dept

Nearly six years ago, there was a fantastic article in Inc. Magazine about how JetBlue’s CEO and founder, David Neeleman, regularly worked on flights as a flight attendant to better connect with JetBlue customers and understand what they needed. It’s really a tremendous article — and it wasn’t initiated by a PR push, but by a reporter who just happened to be on one of those flights and experienced the whole thing first hand. It’s really an amazing story of customer service, something that JetBlue had a strong reputation for in the early days. I experienced a lot of that first hand as I flew JetBlue pretty often. However, a few years ago, things changed, culminating in the infamous JetBlue “Valentine’s Day Massacre” of ridiculously bad customer service on a busy day, which is now a Harvard Business School case study. While I wasn’t there, a separate incident around that time (involving getting stuck at the landing gate and unable to get out of the gate area for 45 minutes — yes on landing, not departure — due to overcrowding) had me switch to other airlines.

Neeleman insisted that he would fix the problems, but he didn’t get the chance. Just a few months later he was pushed out, and many people warned that this was a massive mistake, because he was being replaced by operational people who didn’t have the passion to fix JetBlue like Neeleman did. It seems like this has happened.

The company recently switched to a new reservation system, and it’s been a huge mess according to a bunch of folks who regularly fly JetBlue. Worst of all, the switchover basically screwed over JetBlue’s most loyal customers, changing the terms of their rewards offerings (expiring their points in one year, rather than letting them last forever if you had a JetBlue AmEx) and also telling those TrueBlue members they could no longer redeem frequent flyer passes using the website. Instead, they had to call. Yes, the airline that pioneered pushing flyers to use the website rather than call has gone the other direction.

And guess what a mess that caused? A good friend of mine who regularly flies JetBlue (at least once a month) wanted to redeem a “TruePass” for an upcoming trip, and after discovering that the website could no longer do it, she called and was told that hold times were 60 minutes or more. So she waited. And was then was disconnected by JetBlue customer service twice — once on purpose after she asked for the customer service representative’s name, and that representative apparently didn’t want to give it out. So, in response, my friend emailed in a complaint to JetBlue, and JetBlue’s response was: we’re too busy to look at your email or help you. Seriously:

Dear A,

Thank you for contacting JetBlue Airways regarding your TrueBlue account. JetBlue has just completed transitioning to a new reservation system and as a result, the TrueBlue help desk is currently receiving a high volume of email and can no longer accept them at this time. We apologize for the inconvenience.

The email then pointed her to the JetBlue website, though it again noted that “Old TrueBlue points that appear in your online account summary can not be booked through To book Award travel using these old points, please call us at 1-800-JETBLUE.” Of course, that was exactly what she was complaining about.

Apparently JetBlue has decided that helping its most loyal customers is too much trouble. Sorry. Too busy. From the airline that pioneered friendly airline customer service to this… in just a few years time is really quite a travesty.

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Companies: jetblue

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Comments on “JetBlue To Most Loyal Customers: We're Too Busy To Help You, Sorry”

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intellectual integrity award says:

greyhound canada = BAD

same kinda issue happened there it got so bad in fact the provincial govt now has ten buses going to and from toronto form hwere i live and OH did they do a great job too timing is perfect etc

hats off to ontario liberals for making a disabled guys trip quicker , safer and just plain nicer.

GREYHOUND stranded me twice which resulted in a hospital trip.
they would constantly change prices and times ( OH and ty again liberals for a cheaper mode of travel )

Michael says:

Who Is Better?

I have been flying JetBlue almost religiously for the past 7 years. I go from NYC to Long Beach at least every 3 months. I have had bad experiences, but overall they are by far my favorite for several reasons; the most important of which is that I am 6’7″ and can literally not fit into the coach seats of any other airline. I agree JetBlue does have customer service issues, but for the most part I have had positive experiences.

My question to you is WHO IS BETTER? What other airline provides the type of comfort, entertainment etc. while in the air that JetBlue does? I don’t believe anyone does. If you want to complain about customer service you might as well not fly, there isn’t an airline out there who has DECENT customer service.

ps-Those gate clogs at JFK are now a non issue as they have built a new terminal which is very nice.

Bas (profile) says:

Sounds familiar

I had the same when I tried to contact the help desk of the “OV Chipkaart” – a card which is going to ultimately replace all public transport tickets in the near future in The Netherlands. They’re using students with free travel cards as guinea pigs and when things weren’t working out, I tried contacting them, but they said they were to busy. Massive fail. ^_^

JackSombra (profile) says:

Problem is customer service is becoming a lost art so the alternatives are or rapidly become just as bad

Was only thinking about this subject the other day due to something that happened recently…well actually it originally happened 3 and half years ago, booked a trip with Expedia, they messed up some details for the car rental which meant could not get the car (or any other) that I paid for.

Local car company just needed one thing changed and they could sort it out, but according to them that change request had to come from expedia. Unfortunately Expedia telephone lines were totally messed up that day and could not get though and needed a car straight away so eventually had to just rent another car (and pay for it all over again). Upon returning home sent a email to their customer service to see if could get my money back.

So why was I thinking it about it recently? Because I got a response from them asking me to contact them, 2 week ago…3 and half years after the original complaint/trip

Now how’s that for slow customer service?

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Jumping the gun a little?

Relax people. They are having some issues dealing with a new system. Yes, they are screwing up. Yes it is bad PR. Yes, it sucks that they are providing bad customer service. It does not indicate they are trying to screw their customers.

Sorry, but telling one of their most loyal customers “we can’t even answer your email, too bad.” That’s beyond “having some issues.”

Jack D says:

Re: Re: Jumping the gun a little?

Huh? Do you know how old the current ticketing and reservation system is? Here’s the problem Masnick, I imagine a good portion of the ticketing system that most companies use runs on token ring network topology and VT100 terminals. Jet Blue’s mistake was building a ticketing system just for themselves, when they should have approached it with a few additional strong partners.

But by far and away, the biggest mistake was not installing microwave ovens, but not just any microwave, but a Trivection Microwave oven aboard the planes. With them, they would be better suited to serve hot Kosher Pizza during the inflight service. There’s nothing quite like the lingering smell of toasted Zaatar seasoning, zucchini, and roasted garlic on an eight hour flight. Even that must make Mike’s mouth water. Imagine for a moment, Masnick, that while you’re in your in your leather captain’s seat, watching NBC in-flight of a popular Thursday Night show, and aren’t packed in like tuna fish while the smell of fresh Kosher Pizza circulates around the cabin.


MrBeck (profile) says:

Re: Jumping the gun a little?

They knew this (a new res system) would cause terrible problems. It always does. If they didn’t understand that then they are truly incompetent and have never looked at the history of this action in the airline business.

Their reaction appears to be one of denial. I think we should all watch this carefully as it may well be the rare opportunity to watch a company commit suicide.

As to what the travelling public should do?, fly someone else and see how you like it, you may get a surprise.

:) says:

Aviation, Trains and Robotics.

Fly JetBlue and GetRed LoL

I much prefer trains to travel, there is no check-ins or check-outs, trains land you in the middle of the city and generally in a transport hub connection with, subways, bus and cabs not to mention that recent trend to build malls and business around those.
Shinkansen in Japan
Ticket machines and the train system in Japan
Train Travel in Europe

Trains even have onboard service.

But something new is coming, in Europe I think I saw people talking about a not so new concept, road train but autonomous road trains that would let you set the auto-pilot to fallow a lead car, maybe that would be great if people get a trailer to join the train line, one can work while it travels.

But I’m a dreamer so I like the NASA concepts too for the future.

NASA Spiral Duct ESTOL Concept
NASA Puffin Low Noise, Electric VTOL Personal Air Vehicle

JetBlueJenny (profile) says:

JetBlue and ALL Customers

Hi there,
On behalf of the JetBlue community, I really am sorry for your friend’s experience. We are working very hard to reduce call times, but a reservation cutover has been compared to an engine change in the middle of the Indy 500 for good reason. (More here on that:
I am the director of corporate communications for JetBlue, and I appreciate the opportunity to give you a little more color commentary on what’s happened, what’s happening now, and what’s going to happen at JetBlue.
What’s happened:
Yes, Feb. 14, 2007 happened. As a result, we created the industry’s first and only Bill of Rights that provides customers relevant and meaningful compensation for flight delays resulting from events within JetBlue’s control. That was entirely Mr. Neeleman’s idea, and frankly, his best legacy to the airline he founded.
Harvard Business School did, indeed, do a case study on it. Only it was about our textbook recovery, not the necessarily the incident alone.

The core of the issue though is long hold times for our specialty desks, which include TrueBlue, as we complete our cutover to Sabre. Long hold times are not the norm, obviously, but for the next several weeks, as our crewmembers develop expertise with the new system, we will experience longer than usual hold times and transaction times. An email was sent to all TrueBlue members in January notifying them of this cutover, and the anticipated consequences. Hold times are going to about 20 minutes in the off-peak hours (as you would expect, off-peak is usually when the world is asleep).

We recently changed our TrueBlue program to make it more relevant to customers, where loyalty is not just measured by miles, but by spend. The former program is still in
effect. Please see for more information.

Points don’t expire as long as you earn points by flying JetBlue or using the JetBlue Card from American Express on eligible purchases at least once in a 12-month period.

And finally, we are never too busy for our customers. Ever. Hold times at 800-JETBLUE are 0 minutes. Yes, our specialty desks are holding calls, but we are adding newly trained crewmembers to those desks every day. I will put the passion our crewmembers have for our customers up against anyone – airline or other industry – any day. They are gaining experience in this new system quickly and they are highly motivated to serve our customers, and I know they would want your readers to know that.

Thanks for the opportunity to give our side of the story. And again, I really am sorry your friends did not get the level of service they have come to expect from JetBlue. I hope they give us another opportunity to earn their loyalty.

Jenny D
JetBlue Airways
Corporate Communications

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: JetBlue and ALL Customers

And finally, we are never too busy for our customers. Ever.

Then why did the email response say: “the TrueBlue help desk is currently receiving a high volume of email and can no longer accept them at this time.” Seems the opposite of what you claim.

Hold times at 800-JETBLUE are 0 minutes. Yes, our specialty desks are holding calls, but we are adding newly trained crewmembers to those desks every day. I will put the passion our crewmembers have for our customers up against anyone – airline or other industry – any day. They are gaining experience in this new system quickly and they are highly motivated to serve our customers, and I know they would want your readers to know that.

Then why did they hang up on my friend?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: JetBlue and ALL Customers

You know, over the past year, I’ve been wondering about you Masnick, and I really wondered if you had a friend.

Your nervousness… and the sweaty palms you had as you met with people… I imagine you met with people who you thought were fans of yours must have been something else. I would never subject myself to anything like that. It’s like seeking the single turquoise marmaduke comic in a 56 year old sea of newspapers.

But the very fact you claim a friend today is something of a surprise and I have to ask if you believe if either your friend or the person on the other side of the line enjoys the very essence and partaking of a very, very well made kosher pizza..?

DH's love child says:

Re: Re: JetBlue and ALL Customers

And companies are forgetting the adage that it costs a LOT more to add customers than to keep them. Most companies now don’t seem to care about sustainable income streams, they want 1 time squeeze the most out of a victim, um, customer as they can.

And don’t even get me started on airlines. Passengers are no better than the bags in the cargo hold.

Thomas (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: JetBlue and ALL Customers

I remember reading that in the cell phone industry it costs more to keep customers than to get new ones. The cell phone industry is one that absolutely hates customers. For a demanding customer, they would much rather dump the customer and get a new one.

As for Jet Blue, there much the same as all the other airlines these days.

For most large corporations, customer service is one of the first things to be cut when they are trying to save money. The last thing to be cut is always executive pay and bonuses.

Unanimous says:

Re: JetBlue and ALL Customers

I am a former IT employee of JetBlue. The writer of this article did shed some light about JetBlue. There are tons of changes going at this moment. When David Neeleman founded JetBlue, he truly believes about bringing humanity back to air travel. He copied the Southwest Model of streamline cost, while at the same time providing the best customer service, entertainment, snack and etc.
The new JetBlue (Post Neeleman) has a new model. Maximize profit to satisfy shareholder (A la Corporate America model…)
Actually upgrading from Navitaire system to Sabre was a good move. JetBlue has grown too big for Navitaire. Sabre system is more suitable for bigger carrier and hopefully that translate to less system downtime. I am not an application guy to tell you what the pro or cons, but I did experience tons of issue with Navitaire when I was still employed by JB such as DB issue and internal upgrade without communicating back to us.
The next big thing JB is doing is outsourcing the Datacenter and major IT department (System, Network, Telecom). You will hear that David Barger keep insisting that JB does not believe in furlough. Well, when you are outsourced, you lose your job. That’s furlough to me.
They also try to relocate the staff from NY to Orlando. This is avoid furlough and hoping they will quit instead of relocating family to Orlando. How did that go? Unexpectedly, majority of them agree to relocation due to be able to fly back and forth for work as standby passenger. In this economy, most people are willing to sacrifice minor incovenience than losing job. That idea backfired as they don’t have the capacity to fill those job in Orlando.
Now as a customer looking in with all that info, I believe they will be more successful in dealing with minor system outages and more efficient in handling international flight with new reservation system and much improved datacenter. If they were to have a major outage, it will take longer to solve as the manage service provider are not expert in JB environment. They have tons of other customer they are supporting in the same datacenter.
I still love JetBlue and I hope they do the right thing for those employee (Old colleague) that help build the company in 10 years. And hope David Barger stop lying to them. They deserve better.

Cynthia Templeton says:

Re: JetBlue and ALL Customers

I am trying to change my flight from one day to another. For some reason I can’t do it online. I was on hold with the “exchange refund” line for one hour and 20 minutes. when the person picked up, she kept saying “hello hello” then disconnected. She is the only one that i had problem with the phone. now i am on hold again going on 25 minutes. i called the sales line which of course was answered in 10 minutes and the woman is trying to help me – let’s see what happens.

Whoever is in charge of this changeover should be fired. Why weren’t the people trained BEFORE the switchover???? No excuse.

Mark Rovner says:

Re: JetBlue and ALL Customers

Hi JetBlue Jenny,

I am a religious jetblue flyer, but I just completed my first cross-country trip on American — because contrary to what you say, the hold time for 1-800-JETBLUE was more like an hour, I got disconnected after 45 minutes, and the new website would not accept my reservation.

I don’t know who likes your new TB program, but contrary to your PR claims, it is more complicated, more stingy, and less user friendly than the old program. A huge step backward. The old Jetblue would have said “look we can’t stay in business if we don’t trim the program back a little,” and we would have all been ok with it (more or less). But the Orwellian hype around the new program reminds me a lot of the “United Rising” campaign of a decade or so ago that coincided pretty closely to United abandoning all efforts at customer service.

I still love Jetblue, but this is more than a Sabre cutover. It’s the rise of BS at an airline that became famous for avoiding BS’ing its customers.


Mark Rovner
TB member, AMEX JB cardholder, Jetviews panelist, and loyal but wavering flyer

Jamison Luther says:

Re: JetBlue and ALL Customers

Jenny D of JetBlue Corporate Communications,

I actually really appreciate someone from JetBlue taking the time to reach out to the some of the loyal JetBlue community, some of whom, like myself are unhappy.

I’ve been on hold now for exactly 55 min 59 sec trying to redeem an “old” TrueBlue award pass so I can fly out tomorrow since my best friends father just died of a heart attack yesterday. I also had tried to call yesterday and sat on hold for 20 min’s waiting for the “TrueBlue” department and finally got a ring . . . only to hear a beep silence and then be disconnected.

Oh wait . . .I just got an update that my expected wait time has been reduced from 60 mintues to 50 minutes. Too bad I have been on hold now for 1 hour and 2 minutes according to my cell phone.

Please provide a good explanation why after almost 2 months since this complaint blog started the service is still horrible to “TrueBlue” members?

ps. Someone just picked up after 1:10 hr.min.

-Jamison Luther

JHansen says:

Re: JetBlue and ALL Customers

I too, am upset with Jet Blue.
Very unhappy with Jet Blue right now. Last year, I paid extra money for a free ticket. I was told by the agent there were no restrictions with this “free ticket”…yet when I try to book something (even though seats are available), I am told “not with my ticket”. I fly my daughter home 4-5 times per year from Syracuse to San Diego and I fly to see her 1-2 times per year. We originally were flying with Continental because they fly directly into Ithaca, but have flown Jet Blue many of the last trips.
I guess in the future, I will choose a different airline for our flights.
I am extremely displeased with Jet Blue. Shame on you for charging me $300 for a ticket that I can’t seem to redeem. The whole purpose of this ticket was for last minute flights which I was told was OK…by your staff when I bought paid the extra money for this “free” ticket that is worthless.

JennyDSucks says:

Re: JetBlue and ALL Customers

1. You are the director of corporate communication AND TOO SCARED TO USE YOUR LAST NAME. Fail.

2. You do not deny that JetBlue BROKE ITS PROMISE TO AND DEFRAUDED Amex customers who had been told their points would never expire. Fail.

3. You think 20 minutes is a /good/ hold time, off peak. Fail.

4. You offer no plans to fix the booking of rewards online. Fail.

You suck, JetBlue sucks, and your willingness to defend these shitty policies is amazing. Thanks but no thanks, Jenny DERVIN.

Roger says:

spin doctors?

Two conversion to Sabre in the last few months, westjet and jetblue, both large customer service failures. Westjet has taken over 3 months to try and recover, we have just seen less than a week at jetblue – lets see how long it lasts for them. Reality is that more than 10 similar, and larger, sized and complex airlines have moved to new systems with hardly an issue in the last 2 years… seems like it is tied to who you are moving your system to.

toshair (profile) says:


Jack – Sabre is not a system developed just for or by JetBlue. Sabre was originally developed by American Airlines over 60 years ago. AA is actually developing a new reservations system with EDS to REPLACE Sabre.

The NEW system – and that is really a misnomer – is based on a 60+ year old command-line program. Sabre has attempted to put a GUI on the front-end and it has been a dismal failure. The interface still must mesh and follow the same commands used in the old program, as a result, the program is NOT intuitive and is difficult to learn. Various operations are now much more complicated – for instance, rebooking a ticket is 6-steps, repricing a ticket is 11-steps, an exchange is now 35-steps and a refund-reissue requires a whopping 74-steps… YES, 74-STEPS!! No wonder there are extremely long hold times to reach a JetBlue agent! Don’t blame those on the phone, blame Sabre!

Roger is correct – two conversions to Sabre and nothing but problems. Sabre blamed all of the problems on WestJet when time, and now the issues with JetBlue, clearly show that the issues and blame clearly lay with Sabre. I read yesterday that Sabre is now going to pay WestJet “compensation.” I hope JetBlue also pushes for compensation.

The issues at WestJet clearly showed the flaws with Sabre’s Interact program. Unfortunately, I believe that JetBlue was too far along the path to turn back. I think that JetBlue will ultimately survive this customer service nightmare, it’s just really sad that Sabre has screwed them over just like they did WestJet.

toshair (profile) says:

Re: Re: Sabre

You stated: “Jet Blue’s mistake was building a ticketing system just for themselves, when they should have approached it with a few additional strong partners.”

I pointed out that JetBlue did not build “a ticketing system just for themselves” as you asserted. They migrated to the Sabre Interact system which was not built or created just for JetBlue but a re-hash of the 60+ year old Sabre Native command-line platform that Sabre Holdings Corporation is trying to peddle to other airlines to replace the earnings and market share they are losing with the exit of American Airlines.

Zack Rule says:

Tell the whole picture please...

Mike Masnick

As unfortunate as your friend’s customer service experience was with Jetblue, you fail to point out that their experience was due to a temporary issue with transitioning to Sabre’s reservations system. Instead, you present that issue as something that’s inherent with Jetblue and that’s frankly not very fair. For a only short time, TrueBlue members had to call to redeem awards instead of the usual way through the website but you present that as something permanent.
In addition, I would refrain from using bad experiences that did not happen as they are inherently biased and may lack all of the critical information.
Finally, I found this kind of interesting as there’s only a handful articles about Jetblue’s transition to Sabre but those are mostly about how well it went, not how it didn’t work out for one customer.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Tell the whole picture please...

As unfortunate as your friend’s customer service experience was with Jetblue, you fail to point out that their experience was due to a temporary issue with transitioning to Sabre’s reservations system

That makes it okay to tell them that it won’t deal with their question, despite the fact that they’re one of the most loyal customers?

That makes it okay for a customer service rep to come here and then lie about how Jetblue acts and what they’re doing to holders of the old Truepasses?

For a only short time, TrueBlue members had to call to redeem awards instead of the usual way through the website but you present that as something permanent.

Of course it’s not permanent. I said they were switching to a new system, and this is the way that holders of the old passes had to redeem them. But it is happening, right?

In addition, I would refrain from using bad experiences that did not happen as they are inherently biased and may lack all of the critical information.

Uh, it did happen.

Finally, I found this kind of interesting as there’s only a handful articles about Jetblue’s transition to Sabre but those are mostly about how well it went, not how it didn’t work out for one customer.

Seems like this is an important story, then, right? Since the customers’ side isn’t being told?

Bxnyer says:

Customer service is also very insensitive...

Been flying since the companies inception…Also forgot to mention the above pass they wouldn’t honor expires in 2 weeks (and I have a Jet Blue AX card)..Although Jet Blue keeps reminding me of the passes expiration via e mail they refuse to tell me when they will open dates past Oct.31 for future potential booking dates I can use it..
All in all its been a horrible experience.. I will let my Jet Blue AX card lapse and think their new system stinks…
Everyone I know finds it extremely difficult to figure out.. I think the new system is good for Jet Blue and a huge negative for its loyal customers..

Ruth Nadel says:

I know you are having problems with your new reservation system. I thought only the government could blunder this badly. I am heartened to find that my old faithful JetBlue has met the test! I reserved a flight on Sunday, gave my email and home mail addresses and have not received an email reply. I will not post my confirmation number but the flight was fromSAN to JFK and return – (March9 outbound, March 14 inbound. ) For pity’s sake, get me to the plane on time (and email/send confirmation )

John G. says:

Great Flights - Bad at Crisis Management

I’ve flown Jet Blue several times and love the flights. I am now in the middle of trying to get a flight after mine was canceled after the Washington DC Snowstorm.

JetBlue’s Customer service for anamolies is indeed horrendous. The switch off their phones, the website lost my reservation information, and is generally confusing.

Bottom line: Great flights, but if you have low patience when the heat is on, you might look elsewhere.

KD says:

JetBlue Complaint

I too have just sent an email(which is the only way they will take complaints) about rude employees, getting hung up on on purpose by rude employees, not being able to change one name on a group reservation because “only the Group Sales Dept. can handle that” etc. Problem is that I could never reach the Group Sales Dept. by phone – completely ridiculous. I think a class action lawsuit is in order!

Anonymous Coward says:

It’s been over a month and it’s not getting any better. Really is absurd. To use 2 of my trueblue passes, I have had 3 calls of an hour and a half each between hold times and being passed around from one person to another. All complicated by the fact that on one of the bookings, the rep used 2 of my passes by mistake and I had to call and deal with that.

And this is only for Trueblue customers which makes absolutely no sense as stated above. Very well done trying to push away your most loyal fliers.

All they ever say is we understand your frustration and we are training more people.

Derek C. says:

RE: JetBlue and ALL Customers

“Due to heavy call volume, this call will end now. Goodbye.” Click.

Yes, I received that automated message several times.

The fact that anyone, including a Jetblue agent are trying to make excuses for problems within Jetblue’s new system is ridiculous. We are the most loyal customers and you have confiscated our points, and made it IMPOSSIBLE to redeem the rewards that we accumulate from being a loyal customer to Jetblue!!!

I fly 1-2 times a month for work. I have a Jetblue AMEX and I am in the process of closing the account because I am realizing that it is not worth it to do business with Jetblue if this is how their business operates.

There is no “give Jetblue a chance” in my book. This is unacceptable and I am one among hundreds of customers that are in the same situation. Think about the profit that Jetblue has just made my taking away everyone’s old points. Just think how huge of a budget cut that just was for them.

Here is my story…

Jetblue’s understaffing and customer service issues goes back to November of 2009

NOVEMBER: When I learned of their switch to the new trueblue point system, and wanted to transfer my old points to new points. Why the heck would I want to redeem my old points for magazine subscriptions? Absurd. I want points for points. I tried to call and was unsuccessful then. I play by the rules, and Jetblue pulls the rug out from underneath us by confiscating our points and changing the rules at the last minute. It’s a dirty trick.

I basically gave up on calling Jetblue in November and was told that their high call volume was due to the trueblue change. I had 21 old trueblue points that have been taken away. (that’s a 1/4th of the way to a free flight!!).

JANUARY. I tried calling separate times in January. It seemed like every time I called, there was a different excuse… “Due to the storm off the coast of Florida, we are experiencing heavy call volume…” “Due to technical issues…” “Due to the blizzard in the midwest…”

Just say it… you’re under staffed!!!

FEBRUARY rolls around this year I needed to redeem my “old” truepasses for a trip in March, since customers could no longer do it online. I called almost EVERY day and was disconnected COUNTLESS times after I received this message after waiting:

“Due to heavy call volume, this call will end now. Goodbye.”

Not only did I receive that message, once I finally got a hold of an agent (after waiting 30+ minutes), she transfered me and disconnected me immediately.

I finally got a hold of someone in February to book my flight and the flights that I wanted were full because I “waited” too long to book it. Since I finally had someone on the phone I had to book it on the spot without checking my calendar to see if the alternate available day and time worked for me. Of course it didn’t…

MARCH: I spent several days trying to get a hold of an agent again to change my flight and now the flights are full and I cannot change it.

I would estimate that I called 1-800-JETBLUE approximately 50-75 times only to have a horrible experience. There is no excuse for this.

An ex-Jetblue customer

DD says:

Re: JetBlue awful customer service

Like many in this thread, I too just experienced obnoxious and entirely unhelpful customer “service” after being put on hold for over half an hour. It seems like since they’re either untrained, incompetent or for whatever reason unable to help you, they try and think of different ways to end the call with you, or put you on hold with the hope you will hang up. In this case, they actually switched representatives on me and the second person with whom I was speaking acted as though they had no idea who I was or about what I was talking. When I asked if somehow the phone line had gotten crossed with a different phone line, the person said with attitude: “I don’t know. You called me.” It was only just as we were getting off the phone, the person uttered very quickly and quietly “You are now terminating your call with JetBlue.”

Rather than call back, I emailed “dear jetblue” and received this generic response “We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience you experienced. We hope you will understand that this is not typical of the type of service we strive to provide our customers. Although it is not possible for us to address every condition and situation that occurred, our commitment to you is to take your feedback and improve our efforts.”

I couldn’t believe JetBlue could get away with such appalling customer service. So I’m not entirely surprised to find this thread and see that it’s a company-wide problem.

After many years of flying Jetblue, this ex-customer is also booking Virgin Atlantic from now on.

Warren Christie says:

jetBlue's new systems

I reluctantly am still a jetBlue frequent flyer. While I long for the service of years ago, before the Valentine’s Day snowstorm massacre of three years ago which submarined the founder and CEO, airline service is so bad in general that until two months ago I would have had to admit only Southwest was consistently much better than jetBlue. They were not good compared to the jetBlue heyday, but they were not terrible measured by airline norms. Then entered the new jetBlue reservations and online systems and various and other sundry customer policies, and BINGO — jetBlue is now as bad as it gets. They have not printed out a boarding pass right for me or my wife in over a month and I don’t know how many flights. You can only get them on the phone when there is no problem. Sometimes the system will just not let you print out a boarding pass. Half the time you can no longer successfully access your flights online, or via True Blue, to manage them and make changes as needed, and, and then if there is bad weather anywhere in the world at that time, you cannot call them and not have an announced 60 minute wait time during which you are likely to get disconnected. Once again tomorrow, for the sixth straight flight I head to JFK with jetBlue boarding passes having the wrong spellings — they leave odd letters out at random — on both of our boarding passes. I have repeatedly explained this problem to several people at jetBlue, and no one can or will help. I started with emails to their suggested address for “technical difficulties” with the system, which I gather includes that it just doesn’t work. Last week I added emails to Dave Barger, CEO and Investor Relations and Corporate Communications. I have not had a reply, except a boiler plate meaningless response from the main website, from ANYONE at jetBlue. People on this board ask — “who is better?” — the correct question is “who is worse?” and right now, sadly, I can’t think of a post-Allegheny or post — Mohawk airline that had reached this level of total ineptitude. Others have said this is just a new system problem — give them time. How much time? This has been going on for six weeks now, and it shows no signs of getting better, and zero signs that anyone in authority at jetBlue understands, or is trying to solve, the mess. I now will only fly jetBlue when I absolutely have no alternative, and even that might not last much longer if this keeps up.

Anonymous Coward says:

I have been a loyal Jet Blue customer for years – AND I WAS in JFK for hours the night of the “VALENTINE’S DAY MASSACRE”!!!! I actually finally made it onto the last flight out that night, to Jacksonville, Florida.
EVEN THROUGH THAT, I stayed loyal. Mistakes happen, we can move forward.0
However, this is the end for me. The new True Blue program is insane and requires more than an MBA– I have two MBA friends who’ve helped me try to figure out all my old vs new points and they say it is not designed for customer loyalty at all. I have actually had customer service representatives tell me t hey had a terrible time trying to figure it all out.
This is the opposite of what Jet Blue’s mission is.
As I write this, I have been on hold for 25 minutes. Somehow, during this time, my hold time has gone from “less than 40 mintues” to “les s than 45 minutes”.
I agree it is a shame they pushed out the founder. He had the passion and we are now dealing with bean counters. After reading the thread above, I just hung up. I will take Jet Blue when they have a good deal on a flight, but no longer a true Jet Blue customer. Too bad, I miss the old Jet Blue.

KD says:

Jet Blue Doesn't Honor their Passes

I have jewblue free passes which I earned per my milage point.
I checked online and the flight had seats left yet I couldn’t reseve the flight online, so I had to call the customer service.
The customer service treated me very bad and wouldn’t book the ticket saying the flight is full.
The truth is they didn’t want to book a free ticket b/c they were already charging 4 times the going rate on that date….so…here goes the lie…no blackout dates???? Oh yeah, I will never fly jetblue again.
What a rippoff.

As for the flight, I bought on expedia for half the price.

Cathylee (profile) says:

JetBlue Customer Service stinks

I was on hold for 45 minutes only to rudely be told I needed to speak to someone else. Was quickly transferred and after another 30 minutes, I gave up. I will be flying American from now on, even though it means driving an additional hour to the airport.
They also played a trick on TrueBlue members – old points expiring even though they fooled me into thinking using my JetBlue AMEX meant they would never expire. Canceling that card as well.
They don’t deserve to be doing business claiming they are flyer-friendly. I’m so fed up. They used to be great.

Geoff (profile) says:

Jet Blue Customer Service

I have had the worst customer experience ever. I made a reservation and tried to cancel it 1 hour after I made it. They would only give me a credit. OK, I understand that I agreed to the terms and conditions, but the supervisor I was transfered to was an unsympathetic robot. She chastised me for not reading the terms and conditions. I felt belittled. In marketing they say it’s 7 times harder to get a new customer then retain a current one. Well, they lost this one. Jet Blue: Hire supervisors with at least sympathetic personality traits, so they can make a customer that just made a $440.00 mistake feel ok about it.

Ronni Rolnick says:

Incorrect flight ticketing on JetBlue

I booked a flight with a customer service rep last week for a party of two leaving JFK at approximately 10:30 AM non stop to West Palm Beach. I also reserved a car from Avis for the same dates of June 18 returning June 23. I also made a hotel reservation with the Renissance Hotel for June 18 arrival and June 23 depsrture. I did not get my flight confirmation until today May21 and it showed a departure date of Sunday June 20, which is Father’s Day. I was going to Florida with my husband to visit family for Father’s Day so this was a real problem. When I called JB Customer Service they had the NERVE to charge me $100 per ticket, yes $200 to get me on the flight I originally asked for which was June 18. I tried customer service to no avail, I hadte to say this but they are NOT NICE PEOPLE. The woman I spoke to was repititious in not being able to do anything about this. Any change occurs a charge. EVEN IF THEY MADE THE ERROR. SOMEBODY out there who reads this if you have had a similar problem how was it handled?

anonymous (user link) says:

Jetblue does sux. I will never fly them again. Cancelled our flight saying weather problems in the area but no other carriers were cancelling just them… the only option given to us by them was fly into a smaller apt within the same city that the cancelled flight’s airport was in (less than 50Miles away). Strange?? Weather seemed to be fine there???

This all happened around the time of the new passenger rights rules came into affect (no longer than 3 hr waits on the tarmack). Seems to me that Jetblue has found a way around the new rules.

Dont Fly Jet Blue!!!!!!

hank says:

Re: Jetblue sucks

I fly alot. I gave up on jetblue some years ago after three profoundly bad experiences in a short time. It is patently false that all airines operate as poorly as jetblue. A friend came to visit arriving on the train and planning to return on a jetblue flight from BTV to JFK. Arriving at BTV we were told that the flight had been cancelled by air traffic control at JFK due to weather. I’m a pilot and I told the agent that I doubted that sincerely. The supervisor heard the exchange and said that jetblue had cancelled the flight due to excessive ground delays due to weather. She mentioned delays in the area of 6 to 8 hours. I checked with flight service and found departure delays estimated at 20 minutes and arrivals delayed from 2 to 4 hours. Bottom line – traffic was moving through JFK. Of course this cancellation ensured full occupancy on the first and second flights on the next day so we were offered standby on the noon flight and reserved seating on the 5 PM flight the next day. Arriving at 3:45, my friend was given a
boarding pass appearing to suggest that the plane was going to leave. Having had experience with jetblue I checked with my friend to find, I was shocked, that the flight had been cancelled after the time it should have left and she was stranded again with a new reservation for the morning flight tomnorrow – 2 days later!! I would have gladly driven my friend to NYC if Jetblue had been straight with us the day previous. Now commitments prevent this option. Other airlines were flying to the NYC area apparently without insurmountable issues. The jetblue people in this thread are blowing multicolored smoke up your butt trying to color this as typical of other airlines and just standard procedure even if it is unpleasant. Bull!!! I was already gone. I’d sooner crawl to anyplace I need to go before I’ll fly jetblue. Now my friend will join me.

Ken says:

June 1st we booked flights to Turks Caicos-PLS(Honeymoon trip) from JFK trough Expedia . We were set to fly out 9-12 return 9-19 direct flights.
Yesterday we get a call that they are not flying there at those days anymore! Now they want us to fly out 9-11 (!) at 9am and come back on 9-18.
or use AA to leave late 9-12 with transfer in Miami and also come back on 9-18 with the same transfer.
How do you sell tickets and then ONE WEEK before the flight cancel them.
So now we had to rebook on AA. instead of the JB direct flight we have to change at MIAMI. MANY calls were made and the only offer was a refund of the ticket price and a $50 voucher. Absolutely NO help from JB on the rebooking.
Thank you JB for costing us an EXTRA $1100 dollars on our honeymoon!
Great customer satisfaction there!
we keep getting different answers as to why they cancel.
Just tell the truth JB , the flights were no longer full so YOU canceled those flights!

Anonymous Coward says:

Jet Blue admits that they Preemptively canceled flights that were no longer full.
The Social Media Strategist for Jet Blue has finally admitted that Jet Blue canceled flights that were no longer full. please see >>>

“Morgan Johnston
It’s not about the staffing or planes Andrew. We resumed normal operations within hours of the airports opening back up when Hurricane Irene moved North out of our route system. However, JetBlue and other carriers have thinned frequency to PLS as hotels, resorts, and other infrastructure work to recover and repair in the wake of the Hurricane. For our part, we have reduced our schedule for mid-week travel September 12-14 and September 19 ? 21, 2011.”

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