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ultrapig
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Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:25 am

OK yep I did a search and don't find a thread directly on point-if I missed it sue me!

To an amateur observer it would seem to me that although the weather caused the problem-the following factors made JETBlue uniquely vulnerable to a meltdown:

1. Hub at a very busy airport which is overutitlized during the evening and when European flight arrive in midmorning to early afternoon.
2. Most flights are long or at least medium haul thus speading equipment to remote sites.
3. HIgh rate of aircraft utilization (many red eyes)
4. Because of route structure crew spread out over the county and uniquely prone to being timed out.
5. No interline arrangements which could be used to rebook passengers even the next day.
6. Extremely high load factor making it very difficult to rebook on own carrier.

So you experts-- is it that Jetblue didn't handle the situation very well or is the very concept of its operation uniquely susceptible to problems like this in case of very severe weather-that is that there aren't only long delays but delays so long they can't catch up with them like a legacy carrier could?
 
IADLHR
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:33 am

I am interested to hear peoples thoughts on this matter too.

However, reading the list of possible reasons they could in fact, apply to any airline with one exception.Tthat exception being no interline agreement. However, I wonder if that alone accounts for much of the problem. Cant see how that would have anything to do with people sitting on a plane for 8-10 hours, only feet from a gate at JFK.

It is all beyond me.
 
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spinkid
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:34 am

They also didn't pre cancel when they should have. But because of the high load factors, lack of spare planes, lack of interlining, if they did cancel they wouldn't be able to send the passengers out the next day either.

I think when weather is a factor they clearly need a much better game plan to "catch up".
 
steeler83
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:55 am

Quoting Spinkid (Reply 2):
But because of the high load factors, lack of spare planes, lack of interlining, if they did cancel they wouldn't be able to send the passengers out the next day either.

I think when weather is a factor they clearly need a much better game plan to "catch up".

I am no expert but this post seems to make a valid point. B6 has a very small fleet with all of their aircraft in use. I am not sure of how many spare aircraft the other airlines have (legacy carriers like AA, CO, DL, etc... and other LCCs like WN and FL)

As far as B6 having their key hub in JFK, as the thread starter pointed out, an airline is going to establish its flagship hub wherever its hq and/or greatest demand is. In the case of B6, both of those are in New York (JFK). New York is the biggest O&D goldmine in the country, and it's right smack dab in the middle of the most densly populated, most trafficky region in the country (I am sure 'trafficky' isn't a word, but that's beside the point.) I would love it if they had a key city in PIT, but that is beside the point as well, and I doubt that will even happen to begin with. There is a lot of traffic in that region, and population is a good reason for it. There is a lot of demand because of that; a lot of O&D travel within that region as well as international travel. Many factors besides the ones mentioned above go into this, and this post will become very long if I were to mention and explain them all... I think these were even brought up before in previous posts by other members of the forum as well...
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jetdeltamsy
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:58 am

Quoting Ultrapig (Thread starter):
To an amateur observer it would seem to me that although the weather caused the problem-the following factors made JETBlue uniquely vulnerable to a meltdown:

1. Hub at a very busy airport which is overutitlized during the evening and when European flight arrive in midmorning to early afternoon.
2. Most flights are long or at least medium haul thus speading equipment to remote sites.
3. HIgh rate of aircraft utilization (many red eyes)
4. Because of route structure crew spread out over the county and uniquely prone to being timed out.
5. No interline arrangements which could be used to rebook passengers even the next day.
6. Extremely high load factor making it very difficult to rebook on own carrier.

So you experts-- is it that Jetblue didn't handle the situation very well or is the very concept of its operation uniquely susceptible to problems like this in case of very severe weather-that is that there aren't only long delays but delays so long they can't catch up with them like a legacy carrier could?

I think the only major difference between B6 and the legacys that you mention above is having one hub and no internline agreements. But interline agreements are of little help when an airline experiences a massive, weather related faliure as the othe airlines expereince the same thing.

I don't understand at all why it is taking B6 so long to recover,
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
ultrapig
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:06 am

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 4):
I don't understand at all why it is taking B6 so long to recover,

That's the focus of my question and point-it does seem like its taking along time alot longer that for instance for UA to recover if there had been a snowstorm at ORD-my question goes to "why is this airline different from all other airlines?"
 
skyyblue
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:07 am

Stupidity. Arrogance. Chasing the dollar to the last cent, and look where it got us.
 
IADLHR
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:11 am

Quoting SKYYBLUE (Reply 6):
Stupidity. Arrogance. Chasing the dollar to the last cent, and look where it got us.

Is there some kind of cash flow or financial problem with the airline that we dont know about.....yet?
 
spacecadet
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:15 am

Why not just listen to David Neeleman state the reasons for the meltdown? Seems to me that he'd be in a better position to answer than anyone here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/19/business/19jetblue.html

Here's a snippet: “We had so many people in the company who wanted to help who weren’t trained to help,” he said. “We had an emergency control center full of people who didn’t know what to do. I had flight attendants sitting in hotel rooms for three days who couldn’t get a hold of us. I had pilots e-mailing me saying, ‘I’m available, what do I do?’ ”

The company's got some problems that I don't think anyone here knows about, like the fact that most of its reservation agents live in Salt Lake City and work from home.

And btw, I take it we are all, finally, in agreement that JetBlue did screw up here?

[Edited 2007-02-19 19:18:11]
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jbmitt
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:19 am

Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 8):

The company's got some problems that I don't think anyone here knows about, like the fact that most of its reservation agents live in Salt Lake City and work from home.

Its a well known fact, and saves them a lot of money.
 
IADLHR
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:22 am

Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 8):
The company's got some problems that I don't think anyone here knows about, like the fact that most of its reservation agents live in Salt Lake City and work from home

I commented on this subject in another thread that is ongoing. A few months ago a friend of mine had to call reservations and swear he heard a baby crying in the background. I learned today that the reservation agents are wrorking frrom home. Sadly that might be the wave of the future, however hearing a baby cry in the background is no professional conduct nor a professional setting.

Now I am starting to wonder ho many of the higher up,. in management, work from their homes and therein may lie part of the problem. The powers that be, maybe,perhaps were not in an office ar at JFK or anywhere else and thus unable to get a clue or grasp of what was going on at JFK.
 
RL757PVD
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:24 am

Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 8):
he said. “We had an emergency control center full of people who didn’t know what to do.

That sounds like a rather significant problem!
Experience is what you get when what you thought would work out didn't!
 
WMUPilot
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:25 am

Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 8):
And btw, I take it we are all, finally, in agreement that JetBlue did screw up here?

Mark the day. All airliners.net members finally agree on something!
JetBlue - Bringing humanity back to air travel
 
FATFlyer
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:29 am

Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 8):
The company's got some problems that I don't think anyone here knows about, like the fact that most of its reservation agents live in Salt Lake City and work from home.



Quoting IADLHR (Reply 10):
I commented on this subject in another thread that is ongoing.

I just commented on this on the other thread. Many companies are going the work at home route for employees who interact by phone or computer with customers OR do not need to be in the office everyday. Some using home-based phone agents include Office Depot, 1-800-FLOWERS, J. Crew, McKesson, Wyndham hotels, Sears, etc.

If the option is outsource overseas or home-based telecommuters I will much prefer someone at home.
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
 
richierich
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:30 am

Quoting Ultrapig (Thread starter):
1. Hub at a very busy airport which is overutitlized during the evening and when European flight arrive in midmorning to early afternoon.
2. Most flights are long or at least medium haul thus speading equipment to remote sites.
3. HIgh rate of aircraft utilization (many red eyes)
4. Because of route structure crew spread out over the county and uniquely prone to being timed out.
5. No interline arrangements which could be used to rebook passengers even the next day.
6. Extremely high load factor making it very difficult to rebook on own carrier.



Quoting Spinkid (Reply 2):
They also didn't pre cancel when they should have

These are very valid points. In regards to #6, having a LF in the mid-90s was a major impediment and all of those extra people crowding into T6 only exacerbated the situation.
I'd also add that there was no clear direction as to what to do and poor leadership. It looks like they were only looking five hours ahead and did not see the big picture of what was actually happening. I think some blame has to lie with airport ops and dispatch, although I heard there was some controversy regarding the weather and how many runways would be available on both Wednesday and Thursday.

No excuses can be made for keeping people on a plane for 6+ hours (I know one flight was 10 hours) without returning to the gate. But as far as the cancelled flights go, they should have been quicker to make wholesale cancellations on Wednesday and not worry so much about trying to hopefully fly some flights (which ended up back-firing). They should also have canceled Thursday flights and made arrangements, i.e. ferry flights, etc., to operate as much of a normal schedule as possible on Friday. I think that getting chartered aircraft in was a good idea, although I suspect even they were not used to the best of JetBlue's advantage.

Quoting IADLHR (Reply 1):
However, reading the list of possible reasons they could in fact, apply to any airline with one exception.Tthat exception being no interline agreement.

I don't agree. I don't think interline agreements would have helped much. JFK, in fact LGA and EWR too, were all big messes on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. All carriers were rebooking their own customers and would not have had room for any additional B6 pax. I personally know of some DL passengers who were supposed to fly on Thursday from JFK but were told nothing would be available until Sunday or Monday - they ended up not traveling by air. At least they were told via the phone and did not have to venture to the airport.

This is a meltdown of epic proportions. I think it all sort of came out of nowhere, on what was basically a small but very dangerous winter storm. In many ways, 3 inches of heavy ice is worse than a foot of powdery snow. But mistakes were made at JetBlue - clearly - and it will cost them dearly. They will need to do a damn good job at rebuilding their good PR, but I think it can be done. I'm an optimist because I like JetBlue, and I hope they succeed. As bad as the last few days have been for them, it doesn't change my opinion that they are a solid airline that offers a great product. I'm just very glad I wasn't flying this weekend! They took this storm on the chin, but now they need to get back up of the mat and make sure this never happens again.
None shall pass!!!!
 
alphascan
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:34 am

Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 8):
The company's got some problems that I don't think anyone here knows about, like the fact that most of its reservation agents live in Salt Lake City and work from home.

I'd be interested to know how this has anything to do with the problems at JFK. Seems to me they would be far worse off had the agents had to drive to work in the vicinity of JFK.

Quoting Jbmitt (Reply 9):
Its a well known fact, and saves them a lot of money.

 checkmark 
"To he who only has a hammer in his toolbelt, every problem looks like a nail."
 
Jerald01
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:45 am

I have only heard snippets of newscasts concerning the passengers' having to sit "on the runway" on JetBlue flights for 8 hrs, 10 hrs. . . whatever. I know they didn't sit "on the runway" (on a taxiway, maybe, but not out on the runway), but what I don't know is WHY?

Was it because the destination airport couldn't take them due to weather?

Was it because ATC had traffic backed up so much they couldn't see their way clear to put another aircraft into the air?

If the JetBlue flight couldn't take off, why couldn't they return to a gate (ANY gate) and get the pax off, even if it meant they had to re-board later when things cleared up a bit?

Does anyone know?
"There may be old pilots, and there may be bold pilots, but there are darn few green cows"
 
WMUPilot
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:49 am

From a post of mine in another thread

"We weren't as big a year ago as we are today. Remember we over expanded and added dozens of cities and planes last year. JFK is out of gate space, period, yet we still keep on adding flights. If one departure bank is delayed an hour then the inbounds are going to have no place to park, that is the fundamental problem. to many cities and flights and no more room. That is one of the main causes for this years implosion. The outbound bank couldn't takeoff because of the ice and the inbound bank was already on it's way. When many outbound flight gate returned the inbounds had no where to go."
JetBlue - Bringing humanity back to air travel
 
richierich
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:10 am

Quoting WMUPilot (Reply 17):
"We weren't as big a year ago as we are today. Remember we over expanded and added dozens of cities and planes last year. JFK is out of gate space, period, yet we still keep on adding flights. If one departure bank is delayed an hour then the inbounds are going to have no place to park, that is the fundamental problem. to many cities and flights and no more room. That is one of the main causes for this years implosion. The outbound bank couldn't takeoff because of the ice and the inbound bank was already on it's way. When many outbound flight gate returned the inbounds had no where to go."

With all due respect, these are problems of JetBlue's own making. I think they could have been overcome if there was proper management in place, perhaps at the airport, to make the right call when it was needed.
None shall pass!!!!
 
osiris30
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:14 am

Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 8):
The company's got some problems that I don't think anyone here knows about, like the fact that most of its reservation agents live in Salt Lake City and work from home.



Quoting IADLHR (Reply 10):
Now I am starting to wonder ho many of the higher up,. in management, work from their homes and therein may lie part of the problem. The powers that be, maybe,perhaps were not in an office ar at JFK or anywhere else and thus unable to get a clue or grasp of what was going on at JFK.

You are both missing the forest for the trees. Working for home does NOT cause this sort of an issue. Imagine instead B6 handled their reservations in a call center in New York and no one could show up for work due to the blizzard. Would that have made anything better? No it would not have.

Now say they all work in a call center halfway across the country (or the world). It still would not have made one lick of difference. I think B6 did a horrible job for this, but people telecommuting is hardly the issue.

The issue as best I can tell at this point after following (mostly silently) this farce is two fold:

1) B6 has gotten too big for their resource pool. There aren't enough 'spare' pilots/FAs at any given time so that if someone goes over hours there is no one to pick up the slack. They also don't have enough 'spare' equipment. They try to maximize their utilization and have essentially scheduled away the safety margins the legacy's have. This is why their cost structure is so much lower (well one reason why any).

2) B6 seems to have an EXTREMELY poor emergency management plan and communications framework. And by communications I don't mean their phone system. I mean communication as in who reports to who under what situation. If a pilot wants to call in to make themselves available they don't know who to call. That's inexcusable. There was no script that they seemed to be following during all of this, rather they were making it up as they went. That's reactive management. Reactive management *should* always be the last resort. You should have plans in palce to deal with foreseeable issues (and a snow storm hitting JFK is HARDLY a surprise).

This all speaks to a tremndous lack of vision and planning on the part of upper management. The bottom line to all this is, until B6 addresses these issues they will happen again. To address these issues B6 will have to spend money. How much they can afford to spend and still stay competitive is the issue. IMHO B6 chose to spend their extra money on a new fleet type, rather than areas where it should have been spent. They chose to chase marginal markets rather than doing the smart thing and retrenching and solidifying their base. It's a classic business mistake and has doomed many companies. (This is not to say B6 is doomed, but the mistake itself has lead to that in the past).
I don't care what you think of my opinion. It's my opinion, so have a nice day :)
 
n844aa
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:20 am

I'm starting to wonder if Neeleman might be a problem here after all. Two things I've read about him numerous times:

1. He's a micromanager.
2. He suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder.

To me, those attributes could very well explain how management let a situation like the one this week develop. Clearly this is the type of situation where one might very well get lost in the literally thousands of individually resolvable problems, but lose sight of the larger operation, eventually leading to a massive, unsolvable problem without the resources or time to begin unwinding it in anything like a prompt fashion.

I think Neeleman's primary strength might be in the realm of ideas, or as something like a visionary. Maybe B6 has reached a point where it needs someone with better operational expertise to take the helm. Even someone more inclined to take the longer, strategic view might be better for the airline at this point.

Maybe Neeleman would be better for the company as Chairman of the Board, and let someone else take on the day-to-day running of the airline. Who knows, I'm just musing. He's obviously been very successful so far, but I feel like cracks in the facade have begun to develop in the last couple of years. If the stock sinks back down to where it was for most of last year, the shareholders may start agitating for a change in leadership.
New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
 
richierich
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:23 am

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 19):
This all speaks to a tremndous lack of vision and planning on the part of upper management. The bottom line to all this is, until B6 addresses these issues they will happen again. To address these issues B6 will have to spend money. How much they can afford to spend and still stay competitive is the issue. IMHO B6 chose to spend their extra money on a new fleet type, rather than areas where it should have been spent. They chose to chase marginal markets rather than doing the smart thing and retrenching and solidifying their base. It's a classic business mistake and has doomed many companies. (This is not to say B6 is doomed, but the mistake itself has lead to that in the past).

That's a fair statement and I agree with it. It'll be interesting to see how (and how much) JetBlue invests in re-entrenching themselves at JFK. Perhaps some more deliveries need to be curtailed?
None shall pass!!!!
 
N666FU
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:24 am

Stubbornness, they never want to cancel a flight, which is why their DOT scores are so high in that ranking, yet they have terrible on time performance. Inexperience, Neeleman himself stated no one was trained to handle these things. Arrogance, they were the only airline trying to operate a full or close to full schedule during all this and it never occurred to them why that was. Over expansion beyond what the facility could handle is another reason.

I'm new to posting, but I've been reading this forum for a long time. I can recall some people saying that Jetblue has serious issues beyond what people would see on the surface, all the while getting reamed for saying it by the Jetblue fans on here. Turns out those people were right.
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TVNWZ
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:27 am

Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 8):
The company's got some problems that I don't think anyone here knows about, like the fact that most of its reservation agents live in Salt Lake City and work from home.

From the article in the NYT, Neeleman hints that the problem is not that they work at home, but the amount of time they have to devote to the job. since they are home based, they may have more pressing issues and apparently did not stay much beyond the time they contracted to do. Neeleman claims that will be changed and the contracts with the home-wokers will be altered so that they have to be available to work when something like this happens.
 
osiris30
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:27 am

Quoting N844AA (Reply 20):
I think Neeleman's primary strength might be in the realm of ideas, or as something like a visionary. Maybe B6 has reached a point where it needs someone with better operational expertise to take the helm. Even someone more inclined to take the longer, strategic view might be better for the airline at this point.

B6 is no longer a startup. B6 now needs to run themselves like a major carrier if they intend to stay that way. The transition from startup/high growth company to a mature stable corporation is nearly as difficult to do successfully as getting the company started in the first place (and I have intimate experience with both challenges, with results from both the good and bad sides on which I base that comment).

My post above regarding the poor choices made by B6 recently (IMHO) are a perfect example of a company not undertaking the metamorphisis that needs to happen at a corporate and management level.
I don't care what you think of my opinion. It's my opinion, so have a nice day :)
 
osiris30
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:31 am

Quoting TVNWZ (Reply 23):
Neeleman claims that will be changed and the contracts with the home-wokers will be altered so that they have to be available to work when something like this happens.

The most they can get away with (home-based or in office doesn't matter) is that they can request from their staff to work extra in these sorts of situations. You cannot force anyone (well nearly anyone, there are certain fields that have reduced rights) to work overtime. Unless B6 was willing to recatgeorize their booking agents I can't see how they can do any better.

The other question is did anyone TRY to get the agents to put in more time or did they just assume they would all volunteer. Based on the fact the pilots at the airline didn't have a clue what was going on, how the hell can one expect their phone agents would??? Sounds to me like this is another one that, when the story is told fully, will rest squarely on the shoulders of management.
I don't care what you think of my opinion. It's my opinion, so have a nice day :)
 
mrstl
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:44 am

OK, I will armchair quarterback on this subject. I continue to be amazed at airlines adding capacity at airports that can no longer handle the growth.. JFK, ORD, five years from now SFO- if VA gets off the ground.

To begin with Neeleman made a strategic error in setting way too aggressive of a growth plan for the airline without investing in the infrastructure to support it. Now they are hamstrung by their aircraft orders and are scrambling to find places to fly these aircraft profitably. Neeleman should have bit the bullet last summer and set up a mid-continent focus city/hub- regardless of the cost. It sure would have come in handy to move traffic not originating at JFK and might have taken pressure off of the entire system. Instead Neeleman decided to cram even more traffic into an already maxed out JFK operation-- and today you have the end result.

I read above that arrogance lead to what happened, I could not agree more, I wonder if B6 customers are still willing to pay more for that terrific B6 product?

Neeleman said they could not get in touch with their crewmembers.. Hello? it is 2007 not 1970, there are multiple affordable ways to stay in touch with your crewmembers-- ever heard of a cheapo pager, or cell phone numbers of your employees??
I do not buy this explanation and if it is true it is inexcusable and laughable. Come on.

This should cost Neeleman his job, it is a problem endemic to the mindset of the organization and the organization begins and ends with Neeleman.

I like b6 and flew them quite often when I lived in SO Cal, I am sad for the crewmembers who had to endure the unendurable because of a CEO's lack of foresight. I would seriously question flying B6 again, if they can not handle a one day storm makes you wonder about bigger issues like maintenance and safety. Sorry but it is not hard to draw these conclusions. I wish the crewmembers well.
 
richierich
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:52 am

Quoting N666FU (Reply 22):
I'm new to posting, but I've been reading this forum for a long time. I can recall some people saying that Jetblue has serious issues beyond what people would see on the surface, all the while getting reamed for saying it by the Jetblue fans on here. Turns out those people were right.

That's partly correct. For the record, I'm a B6 fan but I've always said they were not perfect. This turns out to be an understatement for the past week.

You can run millions of flights very well but you are only as good as your last flight. This is never more true than with JetBlue. They have always done me right, even when things were not perfect. Of course, I was not flying this past week. I don't know if I'd call it arrogance for trying to operate a full schedule, but it definitely shows a lack of leadership on an operational level. There was no protocol. What worked when they were half their size isn't necessarily scalable for their current size.

I'm not defending them for this debacle. Decisions were made due to lack of information, perhaps incompetence. Other airlines at the NYC airports had major issues too, but JetBlue fared the worst because of the decisions they made.

The B6 detractors you refer to on here, with all due respect, largely have no idea what they are talking about. They dislike JetBlue because it was a successful start-up and because they enjoyed wild success over the past years. I'm sure they are reveling in all of the negative publicity, etc., largely because the spotlight is not glaring toward their airline right now. I'm not going to downplay this storm and its effects, but clearly JetBlue had a bad week. The people on this site who feel that it can't be fixed or righted are the same people (or same types of people) who felt that the airline would never succeed in the first place. Now that JetBlue has joined the club of airlines that have had major PR gaffes, they find they are hardly alone.

I consider this to be a major growing pain for the airline. As bad as it was - and it was bad - it could have been a lot worse. Let's be fair, people were inconvenienced but nobody got hurt. I think a crash or accident would be much much worse for any airline. The first step is acknowledging the problem, and I think Neeleman has done a good job of that. Its clear that they have admitted this was a major problem and not tried to downplay what has happened. That's a good start. They are also trying to correct the problems... this will take some time to do, but I have confidence it will be done.

Don't write JetBlue off so quickly. I think that'd be a mistake.
None shall pass!!!!
 
JetBlueGuy2006
Posts: 1482
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:52 am

Quoting Richierich (Reply 14):
But mistakes were made at JetBlue - clearly - and it will cost them dearly. They will need to do a damn good job at rebuilding their good PR, but I think it can be done. I'm an optimist because I like JetBlue, and I hope they succeed. As bad as the last few days have been for them, it doesn't change my opinion that they are a solid airline that offers a great product

Couldn't agree more

Quoting Jerald01 (Reply 16):
know they didn't sit "on the runway" (on a taxiway, maybe, but not out on the runway), but what I don't know is WHY?

From what I have heard, is that they were told by whoever, if it were some of their people or airport officials, was that the storm was going to pause and they would be able to get some planes out. If they would taxi back to a gate and off-load and if there would have been time for planes to take off, they would have missed their opportunity.

From all I have seen, jetBlue made a huge and costly mistake. I do however agree with Richierich post above. They will have a long road back, but I think they can do it.

I am just surprised that it has taken them this long to do the positioning. But some people on the news have pointed out a major part of it is required crew rest time.

As I pointed out in another thread, I loved how 2 pilots took a taxi to upstate NY (Albany, I think) and got a plane that wasn't in use, ferried it to JFK and took passengers.

I am hoping that the following will come out of this for jetBlue:


  • Put in place a better inter-company communication system
  • Put together a better emergency procedure with Chartering companies, so on and so fourth.
  • Put together a list of situations that don't have the greatest outcome that it might just be better to cancel most flights so no one is stranded
  • Use their Passenger Bill of Rights
  • Better train their res. agents, operations staff and front counter staff to handle these types of situations


Just my .02

edit: spelling
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kanebear
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:16 am

Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 8):
The company's got some problems that I don't think anyone here knows about, like the fact that most of its reservation agents live in Salt Lake City and work from home.

A lot has already been said. I'd only ask precisely what a res agent working from home can't do that a res agent in a call center can? I can have GDS access from anywhere in the world so long as I have an internet connection. So that, plus an IP softphone that runs on the PC and integrates with their res software gives them everything they'd have in the office.

I know someone who used to do such work at home. One of the big no-nos is interruption. You're supposed to have a separate room you work from and a quiet environment. As long as the baby wasn't loud, IMO it's not a problem. It's simply one work environment vs. another and who HASN'T heard call center 'roar' and/or co-workers chatting/laughing/yelling in the background? Even calling AA's exec desk, I've heard very unprofessional behavior. Welcome to humanity.

Quoting N844AA (Reply 20):
I'm starting to wonder if Neeleman might be a problem here after all. Two things I've read about him numerous times:

1. He's a micromanager.
2. He suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder.

*DINGDINGDINGDINGDINGDING* IMO you just nailed the root cause. Everything that occurred smacks of lack of delegation. Of course no one knew what to do, the few who could TELL them what to do were swamped and couldn't give enough orders to unsnarl that mess in a month much less a few hours!!

Jetblue needs to completely revamp their command and control structure and have at least a measure of decentralized authority so that problems like this can be handled as efficiently as possible. This is an ops issue, WTF is the CEO doing involved in an ops issue??? Chief Executive Officer. He's strategy. Ops is tactical. For the good of the company he should firewall himself from ops. Yes, keep abreast of what's going on... but no direct involvement. Hands on may sound great... but the effect is much like the Jolly Green Giant walking around in a world of microscopic people. No matter how carefully the giant treads... if he walks there, he's gonna step on people he can't see.
 
N666FU
Posts: 135
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:54 am

Quoting MrSTL (Reply 26):
I read above that arrogance lead to what happened, I could not agree more, I wonder if B6 customers are still willing to pay more for that terrific B6 product?

That's the problem, they're not paying more. They're paying less.

Quoting Richierich (Reply 27):
The B6 detractors you refer to on here, with all due respect, largely have no idea what they are talking about. They dislike JetBlue because it was a successful start-up and because they enjoyed wild success over the past years

I can remember one specifically saying he was a former JetBlue employee, who told you specifically many times that these things would come out in the open one day.

Quoting Richierich (Reply 27):
I'm not going to downplay this storm and its effects, but clearly JetBlue had a bad week.

I don't think this should be played off as a "bad week". Jetblue's serious operational issues are now known. This goes beyond a storm, beyond some delayed flights, and way beyond a "bad week". Major changes are going to need to be made that the company.

Quoting Richierich (Reply 27):
The people on this site who feel that it can't be fixed or righted are the same people (or same types of people) who felt that the airline would never succeed in the first place.

Of course it can be fixed. They are simply going to have to become more like a legacy. People can rant all they want about how different Jetblue is, but at the end of the day, nothing makes up for experience. Taking all this time to get crews and equipment back in order is outrageous.

Flights are going to have to cancel. Interline agreements are going to have to be made. Spending is going to have to be cut back, and like it or not, fares will have to increase. $49 fares are not going to pay for the top notch operational investment it's going to take to ensure this isn't a frequent occurrence at Jetblue.

Quoting Richierich (Reply 27):
Don't write JetBlue off so quickly. I think that'd be a mistake.

No one is writing them off. It's amazing how quickly people forget when you give them a $49 fare and a TV to look at.

We'll see what choices they make.
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JetBlueGuy2006
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:01 am

Quoting MrSTL (Reply 26):
Neeleman should have bit the bullet last summer and set up a mid-continent focus city/hub- regardless of the cost. It sure would have come in handy to move traffic not originating at JFK and might have taken pressure off of the entire system. Instead Neeleman decided to cram even more traffic into an already maxed out JFK operation-- and today you have the end result.

Couldn't agree more, something like STL.

Quoting MrSTL (Reply 26):
This should cost Neeleman his job

I wouldn't go that far. If every airline let go of the CEO when there was a major disruption, there would be a lot more job openings. This is the company he founded and started up, and for the most part, discounting this last week or so, he has done a fabulous job. Every airline goes through something like this; this time it just happpend to be jetBlue. They will make some major improvements and regain some customers.

Quoting Kanebear (Reply 29):
Chief Executive Officer. He's strategy. Ops is tactical. For the good of the company he should firewall himself from ops. Yes, keep abreast of what's going on... but no direct involvement

Totally 100% agree. He has a lot of very knowledgable people around him. He sould worry about where the airline is going in the next 5 years, not who is on Flight XX and what time it will land.

I hope people remember EVERY airline has an episode like this. They might not have happened in the last 6 years, but it happens to everyone. There are some major things to fix at jetBlue, but just wait and see how it goes. for 6-7 years, they have done an outstanding job, one (albeit major) blip in the radar will not shut them down. Just wait and see how they deal with it before anyone writes them off.
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kanebear
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:10 am

Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Reply 31):
Just wait and see how they deal with it before anyone writes them off.

So long as there's no hidden dire news they should be fine. Individuals may hold a grudge for quite some time. 'People' have VERY short memories. Bring on the next major news event and this will be forgotten. How many folks do you think even remembered NW trapping people on board for hours when the AA debacle happened?
 
osiris30
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:12 am

Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Reply 31):
Totally 100% agree. He has a lot of very knowledgable people around him. He sould worry about where the airline is going in the next 5 years, not who is on Flight XX and what time it will land.

And that's why he should lose his job. His strategic choices in the last year plus have been horrible IMHO.
I don't care what you think of my opinion. It's my opinion, so have a nice day :)
 
ultrapig
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:16 am

Mr. STL and JetBlueGuy allude to something I had been thinking about-Yes sure there is a huge o and d market in NY and ORD and SFO-but their facilities and overcrowded-STL has plenty of runway capability (even more when the AA hangar is taken down) and terminal space. Jet Blue is serving lots of medium sized cities on non stop routes to NY-Isn't there an opportunity for them and other airlines to operate micro or mini-hubs in St. louis where they probably won't get tied up so badly by weather or other traffic or is the o and d so low in STL that it won't work?
 
wjcandee
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:18 am

Have they migrated to New Skies, yet? There is a suite of operational recovery applications that could have been helpful to them. Also, they obviously need to beef up their infastructure a bit, and decide on a communications system that is as scalable as their reservations system has been. There are plenty of folks out there that could quickly get them in shape on such a thing. I also believe that Neeleman is correct that they could have it all together in a month or so. And then, like a backup generator, they won't need it for another couple of years.

[Edited 2007-02-19 22:20:33]
 
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par13del
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:39 am

One big stumbling block that I mentioned in the other thread is their new terminalt. They have invested huge sums in it, I don't think they now have the "financial capital" to open another "hub" outside of NYC without first maximizing their new building, but, with that being said, B6 is still a "darling" in some circles, and they may find investors who when looking at this situation with a dispassionate eye, may come to the realization that a secondary hub outside of the northeast is not only required, but mandatory.

They may also look at lowering their utilization rates when poor weather is in the forecast, as other's have already stated, they should have pre-cancelled flights. The solutions to their problems are simple and well known, implementation is where the head butting will start. Another poster already mentioned it will cost money, that may or may not be true, but I'm sure software and time management companies are drooling at the prospects of a new client.
 
richierich
Moderator
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:04 am

Quoting N666FU (Reply 30):
I can remember one specifically saying he was a former JetBlue employee, who told you specifically many times that these things would come out in the open one day.

Oh, you mean back in 2000? Or was it 2001? So I'm supposed to believe that what a disgruntled former employer said back then is coming home to roost now? Sorry, I don't agree with that.

There are lots of reasons why JetBlue didn't recover well from the storm last week. Yes, I do hold management accountable. No question - decisions had been made that only made this situation worse. But don't try to tell me that these decisions had been years in the making because I don't agree with that. I think JetBlue had always tried to put the customer first, usually by operating a flight even when other airlines were not. Isn't putting the customer first usually a top priority at other airlines? I guess they were successful at it until the Valentine's Day massacre.

For the record, I've been saying for months that their JFK terminal is ill-equipped to handle as many people as they do. Was this forecast by NRK in 2001? I don't think so, and obviously trying to extract every last customer through a creaking 40 year old building is not working.

Quoting N666FU (Reply 30):
I don't think this should be played off as a "bad week". Jetblue's serious operational issues are now known. This goes beyond a storm, beyond some delayed flights, and way beyond a "bad week". Major changes are going to need to be made that the company.

Maybe it was a "bad week", maybe it wasn't. Clearly there are various factions within JetBlue that feel they are mistreated - some might say greedy. I don't know which is more accurate. There was obviously a leadership breakdown, but I think that the unpredicatable nature of this storm and the extremely high pax levels all contributed to this situation. Other airlines recovered by the weekend because they cancelled more flights from the getgo, something I am sure JetBlue will be more willing to do next time. I think it was a bad week compounded by some bad decision making.

Quoting Kanebear (Reply 32):
How many folks do you think even remembered NW trapping people on board for hours when the AA debacle happened?

I did!  Smile But I know where you are coming from and I agree with you about the short memories. If B6 handles the next big storm much better, they will be OK. There is a lot of work to be done though...
None shall pass!!!!
 
User avatar
TVNWZ
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:08 am

It looks like things are getting back to normal..

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070219/...;_ylt=Aj4tTW20waM_3B6ptoARQcZI2ocA



JetBlue aims for back-to-normal Tuesday By DEEPTI HAJELA, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK - The six-day siege of angry and disgruntled travelers at JetBlue's Kennedy airport terminal appeared to ease on Monday as service desks functioned more smoothly and customer calm prevailed despite a new spate of flight cancellations.


The beleaguered company said it was canceling almost a quarter of its flights on Monday but hoped to restore full operations on Tuesday, a week after a Valentine's Day snowstorm created a travel meltdown that virtually paralyzed JetBlue Airways Corp.
 
N666FU
Posts: 135
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:30 am

Quoting Richierich (Reply 37):
Oh, you mean back in 2000? Or was it 2001? So I'm supposed to believe that what a disgruntled former employer said back then is coming home to roost now? Sorry, I don't agree with that.

You can disagree all you want. What was said was, Jetblue has serious issues, and those are things that the general public don't see. Those people were right.

The operational issues are now known. The fact that the employees aren't happy is starting to get out in the open as well. What you paint as "disgruntled" to try and discredit are really just being open and honest. For some strange reason, you feel the need to defend your employer, Jetblue, to the death, when clearly addressing the issues and working towards a solution would be a far more positive way to go.

Quoting Richierich (Reply 37):
There are lots of reasons why JetBlue didn't recover well from the storm last week. Yes, I do hold management accountable. No question - decisions had been made that only made this situation worse.

But...

Quoting Richierich (Reply 37):
But don't try to tell me that these decisions had been years in the making because I don't agree with that.

That's exactly what I'm telling you. This same thing happened last last year too. Don't act like Jetblue was surprised by this.

Quoting Richierich (Reply 37):
Was this forecast by NRK in 2001?

How'd you guess? Turns out "he"  Wink was right too. I can tell you acknowledge this by how defensive you're getting!

Quoting Richierich (Reply 37):
Maybe it was a "bad week", maybe it wasn't. Clearly there are various factions within JetBlue that feel they are mistreated - some might say greedy. I don't know which is more accurate. There was obviously a leadership breakdown, but I think that the unpredicatable nature of this storm and the extremely high pax levels all contributed to this situation.

This is what I love about your posts. You always claim some understanding "Yes, mistakes were made" "Some might say"...and always follow it with.."But..." and the excuses start flowing like Niarga falls. "Unpredictable nature of this storm..." There's plenty of people at JetBlue (and some who left!  Wink ) who knew this was coming.

Even David Neeleman said it was unacceptable and there were no excuses. Surely you're not going to over-ride Him, are you?
KEPT DELTA OUR DELTA! Ask USAirPlatinum about it!
 
richierich
Moderator
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:59 am

Quoting N666FU (Reply 39):
There's plenty of people at JetBlue (and some who left! ) who knew this was coming.

Yeah, right.........

Quoting N666FU (Reply 39):
Even David Neeleman said it was unacceptable and there were no excuses

I was one of the first to say it was unacceptable, probably before DN went on the air. I don't know who you think I am, but I don't stay tuned to the David Neeleman network to get my daily affirmations, and I don't need to. Clearly the issue isn't whether it was OK for B6 or any other airline to keep people on a plane for hours away from the gate. Clearly the issue isn't whether it is acceptable to have delays and cancellations for days and days after a minor but paralyzing storm. Nobody is arguing these points are they?

What I have a problem with is the know-it-all anti-JetBlue crowd that comes out of the woodwork saying this was predicted all along by them. Give me a break! That is completely and utterly false. I will be the first to agree with you that JetBlue has had growing pains over the years, bumps in the road. Not every flight can go off without a glitch. Not every work group within an organization is always going to be "on board", so to speak. Perhaps some of that was predictable, perhaps it wasn't.

Obviously this week has shown that they are not immune to making a major league bungle or two either. But don't try and make spurious correlations to miscellaneous ramblings years ago by people who clearly feel slighted by the way their employment ended at the airline, if they truly even worked there at all.

Are we to say that all other airlines had a trouble free week in the NY area? I don't just doubt it, I know that is not the case. This doesn't justify the way JetBlue handled their ops this week, but don't give me the "I told you so" crap. Its a pothole and as a B6 customer I would have no hesitations flying on them next week or next month. OK, I might want to see how they handle one more giant storm before my faith is completely restored, but I have no issues believing that there will not be a repeat of last week. I would imagine it will be at least better than other airlines, because in general, that has been my experience with them as a paying customer.

Instead of trying to find holes in my opinion, perhaps you should just learn to deal with it, and problems aside, the fact that JetBlue is not going away.

Quoting N666FU (Reply 39):
you feel the need to defend your employer, Jetblue, to the death,

...except that you'd be wrong....!!!!!  Wink
None shall pass!!!!
 
ca2ohHP
Posts: 660
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:07 am

Quoting Richierich (Reply 37):
I did! But I know where you are coming from and I agree with you about the short memories. If B6 handles the next big storm much better, they will be OK. There is a lot of work to be done though...

I hate to say this, but I agree with you. I also think every airline and corporation for that matter encounters something like this. At least B6 knows they screwed up. I don't think you can necessarily measure B6's leadership only by the fact this happened, but by how they react to this and take appropriate steps to prevent this type of failure in the future. Unfortunately human nature is "reactionary," especially in the aviation industry.
 
JetBlueGuy2006
Posts: 1482
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 5:38 am

RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:07 am

Quoting Richierich (Reply 37):
But don't try to tell me that these decisions had been years in the making because I don't agree with that. I think JetBlue had always tried to put the customer first, usually by operating a flight even when other airlines were not.

 checkmark 

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 33):
His strategic choices in the last year

I don't agree, there are problems within jetBlue; but this is just something that "happened." Sometimes things like this must happen in order to figure out where problems exist.

BTW, what choices are you talking about?
Home Airport: Capital Region International Airport (KLAN)
 
EWRCabincrew
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:13 am

I asked this a while ago, what of Dave Barger? He was at EWR with CO and knows what goes on at a big hub when shit hits the fan. Where was he? Regardless of his title or position, any help is just that, Help. I am not he is to blame or fault be rested on him, but when the ship is sinking, get the band out, start playing and figure out what to do.
You can't cure stupid
 
richierich
Moderator
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:16 am

Quoting Ca2ohHP (Reply 41):
At least B6 knows they screwed up. I don't think you can necessarily measure B6's leadership only by the fact this happened, but by how they react to this and take appropriate steps to prevent this type of failure in the future. Unfortunately human nature is "reactionary," especially in the aviation industry.

Thanks. I happen to hold JetBlue extremely accountable for the mistakes it made. In many ways, I think it deserves to have its reputation tarnished as a result of the problems that surfaced over the last week. In the long run, I think it will make JetBlue a better airline and I have belief that this type of thing will be less likely to occur in the future.

For the "I told you so"s, most of you thought the airline wouldn't see their fifth birthday, invariably with no constructive criticism at all. When the biggest retort is that every body who supports JetBlue is a koolaid drinker, there is not much else left to say. But we can discuss that when they hit their tenth birthday.
None shall pass!!!!
 
N666FU
Posts: 135
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:34 am

Quoting Richierich (Reply 40):
Yeah, right.........

It's very clear you'll never give credit where credit is due. It was said on here many times that these things were coming. The truth hurts, especially for those of you that worked so hard to try and discredit the people who spoke out. i can understand why you'd be so defensive. It destroys your credibility.

Quoting Richierich (Reply 40):
I will be the first to agree with you that JetBlue has had growing pains over the years, bumps in the road.

See, there you go again, downplaying this. These are the results of serious fundamental issues at Jetblue. It's nothing throwing money at the problem will fix. They are going to have to change a lot more than how they compensate their pax.

Quoting Richierich (Reply 40):
...except that you'd be wrong....!!!!!

Of course you'd never admit it, because you know you'd get busted for saying a lot of the stuff you say on here. It's quite obvious you are tho. I'm just going to go along saying you are unless you can prove otherwise!  Wink
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B757capt
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:45 am

Quoting SKYYBLUE (Reply 6):
Stupidity. Arrogance.

I couldn't agree more!!!!!
The views written by this user are in no manner the views of my employer and should not be thought as such.
 
JetBlueAUS
Posts: 852
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 9:15 am

RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:54 am

Quoting N666FU (Reply 45):
It's very clear you'll never give credit where credit is due. It was said on here many times that these things were coming. The truth hurts, especially for those of you that worked so hard to try and discredit the people who spoke out. i can understand why you'd be so defensive. It destroys your credibility.

No one has ever said, "There will be a massive breakdown operation at JetBlue..."

Quoting N666FU (Reply 45):
See, there you go again, downplaying this. These are the results of serious fundamental issues at Jetblue. It's nothing throwing money at the problem will fix. They are going to have to change a lot more than how they compensate their pax.

Most definitely. Management has not been playing it smart these past few months. I definitely do not agree on how they have compensated several issues the company has faced these past four-five months.
Not all of us can be heroes, some of us can only stand on the sidewalk and clap as they go by.
 
phollingsworth
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:57 am

Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Reply 42):
I don't agree, there are problems within jetBlue; but this is just something that "happened." Sometimes things like this must happen in order to figure out where problems exist.

It wasn't something that just happened. The storm, while unusual was not outside of the known. The problem that JetBlue had is really structural. Let us look at the conditions that were known prior to the storm.

1. Load factors were near 90%
2. A singificnat % of all flights are routed through JFK.
3. B6 has no interline agreements.

What you get from this is an extremely (hopefully) efficient operation that is not in the least bit robust. This means that any disruption will ripple through their system for quite a while. By the way this is a problem that is becoming more and more acute accross the entire industry. While interline agreements would not have helped much during the storm, they would be very useful over the last few days and into the future as JetBlue tries to accomodate the displaced travelers.

JetBlue started with a operations plan that was asking for a failure. Further, according to David Neeleman, they actually have even more internal corporate culture issues. This does not spell doom or gloom for B6, but if I was a significant investor I would be seriously concerned.
 
N666FU
Posts: 135
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RE: Reasons For JETBlue Meltdown

Tue Feb 20, 2007 9:02 am

Quoting JetBlueAUS (Reply 47):
No one has ever said, "There will be a massive breakdown operation at JetBlue..."

Rich, tell him who said this was coming...Go on.  Wink

B
(hint hint  Wink )
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