The JetBlue effect on other airlines?

Jetblue is my favorite airline. Over the years, the "discount" adjective has been less and less relevant to it's offering -- but -- I still value the "JetBlue experience." (I don't value it enough to spend $200 more per person to fly to Florida, but I value it nonetheless)

Their planes are new and clean, the seats are all leather, TVs for every seat are obviously revolutionary... but I think my favorite aspect of JetBlue is the focus on customer experience.
90% of the flight attendants I've interacted with have been friendly and helpful. I thought the fiasco last year on the JFK runway was such an bad representation of how I perceived and experienced Jetblue, personally....

Earlier this year - Amy and I were flying back from Florida on Jetblue. When we got on the plane, we learned that the TV channels weren't coming in - so we'd be without the LiveTV for the flight. We could, however, watch the movies free of charge... Bummer, but nothing to get too upset about...Later that week, Amy and I got an email from Jetblue customer service apologizing for the TV malfunction - which included a $15 credit for future flights for each of us. I thought this was above and beyond the standard... It's things like this that create brand loyalty - especially within an industry where the bar is set so low in terms of expectations. (I just learned that if you pay for your JetBlue flight with a Jetblue credit card -- they serve you free alcohol on the flight) ;)

This all said, American Airlines is my frequent flier airline of choice for business travel. Well - it's not really a choice - more of a decision based on convenience. The bottom-line is that American flies direct to/from almost every destination that I travel to for work -- and flying direct is important to me. Jetblue does not - nor does it have a great Frequent Flier program (I can accumulate free flights - but can't seem to use them). Furthermore, AA's points can be used internationally - which is how I like to "celebrate" my frequent business travel rewards on personal travel...

Last week, I flew to San Francisco via American and had a bad experience... We were delayed an hour before boarding and an additional 2 and a half hours on the tarmac...
Today, I got this email:
Dear Mr. Goffin:
After hearing from our manager at JFK about the delay of flight 85 on June 10, we
wanted to take the opportunity to apologize to you. That situation must have been
frustrating (to say the least) and we are genuinely sorry that we didn't get you to
San Francisco as planned.

It's completely reasonable for our valued customers to put on-time flight departures and arrivals at the top of their list of expectations from us. For that reason, the on-time operation of our flights is one of our most important service goals. While the delay of your flight was necessary, you can be sure that we will continue our efforts to depart as scheduled.

Sometimes an apology and promise to do better just aren't adequate and so we've added 3,000 Customer Service bonus miles to your AAdvantage® account. This mileage adjustment should appear in your account very soon, and you can view your account via our web site.
I mean - while I'm not doing back-flips about the 3,000 bonus miles, I like the gesture. I like the mere fact that American acknowledged that their customers experience matters to them a little...

I share this because I'm convinced this wouldn't happen if JetBlue wasn't around... I believe they've forced their competitors to service customers better -- and for that I am grateful.

1 comment:

Greg March said...

that's capitalism at its finest and yet another reason I vote Republican.

Post a Comment