BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — The South Florida-bound passengers stranded in Austin, Texas earlier this week due to JetBlue's (NASDAQ: JBLU) scheduling issues today received an email announcing a $50 JetBlue credit.
Requests for the airline to cover expenses incurred by passengers who opted to rent cars and fly other airlines to South Florida were denied. BocaNewsNow.com has learned there is discussion of legal action against the airline.
What started as a somewhat comical Passover-themed retelling of the event on BocaNewsNow.com has evolved into a public relations issue for the airline, known for ongoing operational issues — including the highly publicized near complete shutdown of the airline for a day in early January. The airline blamed bad weather and new FAA rules altering required rest times for pilots. JetBlue was the only airline to cease operations at several airports and notably was the only airline to request an extension in implementing the rules — the FAA denied the request.
A new video obtained by BocaNewsNow.com shows a well trained JetBlue supervisor in Austin preparing passengers for what it appears the airline already knew — Monday's flight 512 from Austin to Fort Lauderdale was not going to fly. Despite that knowledge, JetBlue waited nearly 45 minutes after the video was recorded to make it official, offering no travel alternatives to the stranded passengers. There is no suggestion that the supervisor was doing anything other than following corporate policy.
Despite options out of nearby DFW, Dallas Love Field, Houston Hobby, IAH and San Antonio, JetBlue made no effort to provide alternative travel — something other legacy carriers routinely do. (See a comment below to understand why JetBlue will not rebook on other airlines).
JetBlue Wednesday sent emails like the one below to passengers on the flight, blaming weather — when in fact the weather event lasted barely an hour. The video highlights JetBlue's continuing operational issues and inability to respond appropriately to customer service issues.
Flight 512 ultimately flew as a “special” flight the following day. JetBlue did not provide lodging, food or other vouchers to the stranded passengers.
Thank you for contacting JetBlue. We apologize for the inconveniences you experienced as a result ofyour cancelled flight. There are many variables that affect flights, but we recognize thedifficulties that it causes our Customers.Although most of the recent flight delays and cancellations were a result of weather conditions, ifyour flight qualified for compensation, you should have already received an email from JetBlue.As per our Contract of Carriage, we are unable to reimburse for out of pocket expenses incurred as aresult of a flight cancellation.Although we are unable to reimburse you, we still value you as a customer and apologize for theinconvenience you personally experienced. As a gesture of goodwill, we have issued a service creditin the amount of $50.