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I know its been discussed, but what in the heck happened to Jetblue

I know its been discussed, but what in the heck happened to Jetblue

Old Mar 6, 2022, 3:10 pm
  #1  
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I know its been discussed, but what in the heck happened to Jetblue

I've used them since they started, when they were fresh, different, and it was even worth it to trek to JFK just to use them. In the past several years, even before the pandemic chaos began, something's been happening to Jetblue, and not something good.

All airlines are tough to operate, I think we all get it. Lots of moving parts, people and uncontrollably complex variables like weather and mechanical failure. But Jetblue has gone off the deep end, even as other previously brain dead airlines like United have started to get their act together.

And its seeped into every aspect of general airline operations... Their digital footprint, (website, apps, etc) is criminally horrific and unreliable. We all complain about it here often, but its not just those of us who frequent Flyertalk. The volume of complaints about non functional basic website functionality is everywhere, and it keeps getting worse. I don't understand it. Its a basic tool in the airline business.... doesn't someone on the general management team or business side actually notice this?

Customer service is terrible in general, which it is at almost every huge company these days. But Jetblue is staggeringly awful in this regard. I've spent so much time wasted in airports with either cancelled or super late flights, where the gate agents (some are contractors in the smaller airports I suspect), and there is zero information about the flight status... ever. I cannot believe how late and unreliable Jetblue has become. And forget about calling in to get any information...

Aircraft reliability seems to be in a freefall. Cancelled flights, missing aircraft, onboard services not working at all, bathrooms offline, broken wifi and IFE (an actual Jetblue trademark) completely down often and regularly.

They've recently made all the mistakes in pricing and bundling that all the majors made years ago and already walked back. And their London launch seems like a complete waste of time, effort and money, as it has zero differentiation, except it seems to actually cost more than the old school network carriers they compete with.

If I read their earnings reports, they spew utter nonsense and talk mumbo jumbo about all sorts of extraneous things and emphasize everything but a functioning airline. Your passengers who are stranded have literally zero interest in how many books you've donated or what your hair style policy is.

After logging probably 1000 flights on dozens of airlines over the past 40 years and watching airlines rise and fall, it's become painfully obvious that there is rot from the top down at Jetblue. I just don't see what their franchise is going forward.. what their place in the pantheon of air carriers is, and why they matter.
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Old Mar 7, 2022, 5:11 am
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I think you hit the nail on the head. "Rot from the top". It happens all the time. Once something good gets going, someone comes in at or near the top and wants to make cost reductions, "improvements", changes, etc. It's really sad how far jetBlue has fallen and when you complain to someone at a higher level at JB all you get is a crap answer. Yes a lot of companies are having issues, but JB seems to stand out as falling apart much worse than the majority of companies. You can't fix a problem if you don't acknowledge a problem. That seems to be the root cause at JB.

One item that really gets me is the app and website both fail with error messages when you go to manage your flight. Your only option is to sit on the phone for hours, wait many hours for a call back, try a chat through your phone, or maybe drive down to a JB office LOL. Really? That particular app/website failure should have been an urgent priority fix. What happened? Nothing. Instead of fixing the issue so thousands of customers don't clog up JB's customer service, JB does nothing to fix the problem.

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Last edited by Jimval26; Mar 7, 2022 at 5:21 am
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Old Mar 8, 2022, 6:12 am
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From my POV, B6 has been growing too fast. I am not downplaying its success it has enjoyed over the years, but JetBlue has not handled the operational readiness of its larger market share well. I used to travel on the airline quite a bit, but it's tough flying JetBlue on a regular basis when the airline is really bad at getting its customers to the destination timely, or even reasonable timely.
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Old Mar 8, 2022, 6:23 am
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Not commenting on B6, but we have seen in many industries a fetish for cost cutting. In practice, this usually amounts to spending down the former excellence of the company. The cost-cutting CEO is praised. The employees can see that short-termism is a mistake. Only later is the damage appreciated by stockholders.GE is a prime example.
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Old Mar 8, 2022, 6:58 am
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Lol. That's all I have to say for now.

-J.
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Old Mar 8, 2022, 11:42 am
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On the other hand, things in the West Coast--at least for me-- have been the best they have been in a long time. My flights have been on time--even 45 minutes early last night and the operation has been much more reliable. Every once in a while there have been glitches with the TVs but at least you can restart it on your own on the restyled A320s.

The website is hit or miss for sure but points are now posting in two days which is much better than before. Also the 100 point upgrade to EMS for Mosaics has worked well too.

So a few steps forward and a few steps back but at least on the West Coast things have been much more efficient than it has been in a long time.
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Old Mar 10, 2022, 11:56 am
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Sadly, I think they've finally fallen prey to the short-term mindset of Wall Street. It's all about bumping up profits for this quarter with zero regard for the long-term outlook or brand value. They don't care what happens to the company beyond next quarter or possibly next year so long as they can suck everything they can out of it right now.
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Old Mar 10, 2022, 12:46 pm
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Thr problem is that JetBlue is run by a couple of really incompetent people up top that have somehow kept their jobs despite everyone around them leaving for various reasons.

I have never seen a company where so many senior people have left for different reasons and the people in charge of things have left unscathed. No accountability at all for such incompetence.
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Old Mar 10, 2022, 1:16 pm
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Originally Posted by tphuang
Thr problem is that JetBlue is run by a couple of really incompetent people up top that have somehow kept their jobs despite everyone around them leaving for various reasons.

I have never seen a company where so many senior people have left for different reasons and the people in charge of things have left unscathed. No accountability at all for such incompetence.
I've recently reconnected with a number of people and it's saddening how many things have changed and how many people were treated. Many tried to keep the ship afloat in the heart of the pandemic by taking the opt-out, only to be denied and ultimately forced to retire. Luckily for some of them, they are finding other positions at top companies (my favorite example being Rachel McCarthy, who recently found her way back to Delta). Other people have left the industry (cough), though I recently found out an old friend of mine now works for my company and loves it.

Things have a way of working out, and karma is a real thing whether you call it that or not.

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Old Mar 10, 2022, 4:06 pm
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I mean the competition has been doing a great job to entice flyers back as well. Delta is their biggest competitor has been offering 150% MQMs on cash fares and award tickets and still offers tangible benefits to elite fliers including RUCs and GUCs. Meanwhile Jet Blue still offers no free upgrades to Mint, has been charging extra mileage for Mosaics to get extra legroom seats at the front of the plane and offers limited utility unless you're at one of their 3 east coast hubs.
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Old Mar 10, 2022, 8:36 pm
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Originally Posted by hi55us
I mean the competition has been doing a great job to entice flyers back as well. Delta is their biggest competitor has been offering 150% MQMs on cash fares and award tickets and still offers tangible benefits to elite fliers including RUCs and GUCs. Meanwhile Jet Blue still offers no free upgrades to Mint, has been charging extra mileage for Mosaics to get extra legroom seats at the front of the plane and offers limited utility unless you're at one of their 3 east coast hubs.
To be fair, they are offering both free mint upgrades and EMS upgrades this year. Also, the ff they are looking for are likely just in the northeast and South Florida + Cali transcon flyers.

And network wise, they have the most complete network out of both NYC and Boston if you factor in the AA partnership.

I think they are a frustration to a lot of people, because they could perform so much better if they had competent leadership. It's never a good sign for a leadership when all the senior people just leave.
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Old Mar 11, 2022, 9:48 am
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Originally Posted by tphuang
To be fair, they are offering both free mint upgrades and EMS upgrades this year. Also, the ff they are looking for are likely just in the northeast and South Florida + Cali transcon flyers.

And network wise, they have the most complete network out of both NYC and Boston if you factor in the AA partnership.

I think they are a frustration to a lot of people, because they could perform so much better if they had competent leadership. It's never a good sign for a leadership when all the senior people just leave.
and give my damn jfk-gye a plane with Mint class! lol
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Old Mar 14, 2022, 12:51 pm
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Unhappy Here, here!!

Originally Posted by amarain
Sadly, I think they've finally fallen prey to the short-term mindset of Wall Street. It's all about bumping up profits for this quarter with zero regard for the long-term outlook or brand value. They don't care what happens to the company beyond next quarter or possibly next year so long as they can suck everything they can out of it right now.
Three cheers, Amarain, you are 100% right! This is the whole problem with corporate America and it's a race to the bottom. "Just goose the numbers and fatten my next bonus" - no regard for the enterprise because they probably won't be there in two years.
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Old Mar 16, 2022, 10:23 am
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Originally Posted by nsx
Not commenting on B6, but we have seen in many industries a fetish for cost cutting. In practice, this usually amounts to spending down the former excellence of the company. The cost-cutting CEO is praised. The employees can see that short-termism is a mistake. Only later is the damage appreciated by stockholders.GE is a prime example.
Airlines are (or can be) a unique beast in that sense. The C-suite is financially rewarded for cost-cutting, and shareholders see short-term returns as a result of stock buyback. When the airline experiences downturn, and the so-called chickens come home to roost, the Government steps in to bail them out. When there are no consequences (and instead, rewards) for bad behavior, it tends to be heavily incentivized and repeat frequently.
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Old Mar 19, 2022, 6:03 pm
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Originally Posted by nsx
Not commenting on B6, but we have seen in many industries a fetish for cost cutting. In practice, this usually amounts to spending down the former excellence of the company. The cost-cutting CEO is praised. The employees can see that short-termism is a mistake. Only later is the damage appreciated by stockholders.GE is a prime example.
+1 Blame the Wall Street hedge funds who threaten management any time a company dares to provide raises to its employees or excellent service to its customers. Many companies like B6 start well and excel by providing a better product, but eventually they get beaten down. You see it in every industry.
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