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Is this SOP for a MX-cancellation?!?

Is this SOP for a MX-cancellation?!?

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Old Jun 14, 10, 7:59 am
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Thumbs down Is this SOP for a MX-cancellation?!?

I did a search for this, but nothing recent popped up, so I thought I'd just ask for help straight out...

We flew JFK-BOS-JFK on B6 this weekend. Or at least we tried to. JFK-BOS went off without a hitch (our first time ever flying B6, BTW). The return flight was cancelled at T-5 hours; we were notified by phone and email. When I called, I was told (a) the cancellation was definitely MX; (b) there were no available seats until the next morning; (c) and they were willing to refund the return portion of our tickets without penalty. Period. (They also said that because their policy is not to overbook and that if a given flight is "sold out" it means there is virtually no chance there will be standby seats available.) They would not endorse the tickets to either DL or US, both of which had plenty of tickets. Niether the CSR I spoke to nor her supervisor would not commit in advance to any specific compensation. Not for a hotel, not for an alternative/more expensive means of return travel, not for anything. I was told that after the fact I can send an email to customer support or something like that, but there is no one to call and no guarantee they'll respond positively to our request. After some extended back and forth, they did give us each a $50 voucher toward future B6 travel.

Don't get me wrong: I "get" it. As a LCC, B6 can't be in the business of handing out generous compensation whenever something goes bad. The CSRs were very friendly but firm that they couldn't offer us anything for our troubles and that this was simply a "too bad" situation. (Our tickets were sale fares at about $150 r/t, which is certainly good for this route.) But I have to say this left me with a seriously bad taste in my mouth for B6. This was mx not wx, so clearly the fault was B6's. It really never occurred to me that a carrier -- even a LCC -- would simply say too bad in a mx situation. In the event we were lucky: NYC wasn't far away, and we were able to purchase train tickets at the last minute. But what if we were returning from LGB? Would the position have been the same, just too bad?

We're out a net of $120 because of the change-around (I'm not taking the vouchers into account, which we will never use because we're not flying B6 again), which in the big picture isn't terrible, but it certainly knocks out the savings. Had I known they'd act this way, we would have simply flown US in the first place and saved the hassle.

So I guess my questions are:

(1) Is this SOP for B6?
(2) If I write to the email address from the website, am I likely to receive any $$$ compensation? (I have receipts for the train tickets.)

Last edited by as219; Jun 14, 10 at 10:26 am
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Old Jun 14, 10, 10:08 am
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Under the B6 Passenger Bill of Rights you are not really entitled to anything so long as they notify you more than 4 hours out:
CANCELLATIONS
All customers whose flight is cancelled by JetBlue will, at the customer’s option, receive a full refund or reaccommodation on the next available JetBlue flight at no additional charge or fare. If JetBlue cancels a flight within 4 hours of scheduled departure and the cancellation is due to a Controllable Irregularity, JetBlue will also provide the customer with a $50 Credit good for future travel on JetBlue.
So, under their policy, they were being generous in giving you the $50 credit.

They do not have interline agreements right now with other domestic carriers and they cannot endorse your tickets over to those carriers. IRROPS service is a common knock against B6. When things go wrong they don't have a lot of flexibility to fix things because of their limitations in that regard.

That being said, the no overbooking thing actually makes it easier to fly standby, not harder. A misconnect will virtually ensure that a seat goes to someone on standby while a carrier who overbooks would potentially have already sold that seat. Still, if you wanted to make sure that you get home that day getting on the train straight away was probably the right move.
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Old Jun 14, 10, 10:26 am
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Thanks. This was my guess, but the CSR and Supervisor both made these opaque statements about not being able to say what, if anything, Customer Service would agree to do after I emailed. It made me wonder if there was some SOP about such situations even if the so-called PBR says I'm due zilch.

I am confused, though, by their delays policy, which seems odd given their position on cancellations. To wit,

Customers whose flight is delayed for 6 or more hours after scheduled departure time due to a Controllable Irregularity are entitled to a Credit good for future travel on JetBlue in the amount paid by the customer for the roundtrip (or the oneway trip, doubled) less taxes and fees.
So this means if they cancel the flight and rebook me on a flight 17 hours later, they give nothing, but if that same flight is delayed only 6 hours, then I get a full refund?

As I said, on the one hand I understand why B6 takes this position, but I must admit I'm puzzled about why everyone bags on the legacies and loves B6 when the former's MX-irrops policies are so clearly superior. UA would have given even non-status pax hotel/food vouchers if an overnight was required due to MX.
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Old Jun 14, 10, 10:40 am
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Originally Posted by as219 View Post
So this means if they cancel the flight and rebook me on a flight 17 hours later, they give nothing, but if that same flight is delayed only 6 hours, then I get a full refund?
That's my read on it, assuming they notify you sufficiently in advance.

Originally Posted by as219 View Post
As I said, on the one hand I understand why B6 takes this position, but I must admit I'm puzzled about why everyone bags on the legacies and loves B6 when the former's MX-irrops policies are so clearly superior. UA would have given even non-status pax hotel/food vouchers if an overnight was required due to MX.
Because the 95% of the time that things are working smoothly the experience on B6 is generally better for those same non-status passengers.
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Old Jun 14, 10, 10:45 am
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
Because the 95% of the time that things are working smoothly the experience on B6 is generally better for those same non-status passengers.
Touché.
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Old Jun 15, 10, 8:45 am
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
So, under their policy, they were being generous in giving you the $50 credit.
Update: In response to my email, we each received an additional $50 in credit, for a total of $100 each. While it's not cash, this effectively makes us whole with respect to the train tickets, and in light of their stated policy, it looks like we did pretty well.

That being said, the no overbooking thing actually makes it easier to fly standby, not harder. A misconnect will virtually ensure that a seat goes to someone on standby while a carrier who overbooks would potentially have already sold that seat. Still, if you wanted to make sure that you get home that day getting on the train straight away was probably the right move.
Forgot to respond to this: I see your logic, but the agents I spoke with sounded pretty sure we wouldn't clear standby, and had we tried to do so and failed, it would have nixed the train option.
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Old Jun 15, 10, 10:54 am
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Originally Posted by as219 View Post
It really never occurred to me that a carrier -- even a LCC -- would simply say too bad in a mx situation.
DL said exactly that to me on May 31st, when I missed my last connection from LGA to BOS (due to MDW-LGA delays) and was stranded until the morning: too bad, Act-of-God! I had to pay $200 for a hotel room

Originally Posted by as219 View Post
In the event we were lucky: NYC wasn't far away, and we were able to purchase train tickets at the last minute. But what if we were returning from LGB? Would the position have been the same, just too bad?
You could have saved more money by taking the Chinatown bus for $10
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Old Jun 15, 10, 11:25 am
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Originally Posted by dieuwer2 View Post
DL said exactly that to me on May 31st, when I missed my last connection from LGA to BOS (due to MDW-LGA delays) and was stranded until the morning: too bad, Act-of-God! I had to pay $200 for a hotel room
Was this mx or wx? If the latter, no one does anything for you (well, 1Ks are taken care of on UA ).

You could have saved more money by taking the Chinatown bus for $10
Right, but Ms. as219 would not have forgiven me...
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Old Jun 18, 10, 9:52 am
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Originally Posted by as219 View Post
So this means if they cancel the flight and rebook me on a flight 17 hours later, they give nothing, but if that same flight is delayed only 6 hours, then I get a full refund?
You have hit on the principal weakness in the B6 proposition, I think, especially when a passenger is traveling a "long, thin" route, e.g. low frequencies, which is my case living out here in SEA. It is a fact that 95% of the time things work fine. It is also a fact that the other 5% of the time, disaster ensues, which makes it impossible for me to use B6 for business travel. It's just not OK to be told, sorry, mechanical, you can either have your money back or return to the airport in 24 / 36 / 48 hours.

Every so often I or my family fly BOS-SEA. A little while ago the three of us booked B6 BOS-JFK-SEA, and the BOS-JFK segment came up delayed. Two of us were reaccommodated on the BOS-SEA nonstop, but that filled the flight and my wife was left behind. Upshot: $250 in unexpected hotel / food expenses and she missed a day of work back home. Reaction from B6: shrug.

More recently my son and I were booked on Delta, BOS-MSP-SEA, and when we got to Terminal A the monitors showed the BOS-MSP running too late for us to make our connection; the landside agent immediately booked us over to Alaska's BOS-SEA nonstop with no argument.

I am no fan of the legacies, or DL in particular, but that's why I only fly JetBlue if it doesn't really matter when I get there. They have to adopt interlining to become a serious airline.
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