Reader's $400 In JetBlue Credits Expire With No Notice

S. had canceled two JetBlue flights some time ago. Instead of refunding customers’ credit or debit cards after a reservation cancellation or change, JetBlue issues credits for future flights. Fine. The problem–and the detail that wasn’t made clear to S.–is that these credits expire.

He writes:

Note that “credits” is actually paid cash from the customer via cancelled flights. They don’t refund to your credit card when you cancel or change a flight, but rather keep your money as their “credits”. And while the rules are in their fine print, their website certainly don’t make it obvious that you have credits with them or when they expire. I only remembered about the credits several months ago when in booking a new flight, the payment page showed a credit balance.

Comments: Dear Sir or Madame,

I am a long time and frequent traveler with Jetblue since 2002. My experience has been very positive
with Jetblue except for my current dilemma. Being a small business owner and very frequent traveler,
I had amassed over four hundred dollars in credits from cancelled and changed itineraries.

In recently trying to book a new flight, I noticed that the credits were not showing online. I
called customer service, and a person with TrueBlue told me I had the following credits expire:

$239 Sept 7 2009
$199 Oct 20 2009

The expiration is a surprise to me, and more so that I never received any warning or notices of
their expiration. As a small business owner, I’m very busy and have a hard time keeping track of
things like this, and trust that businesses I use “take care of me”.

The credits were cash paid from my pockets, and their expiration is doubly onerous considering I
have already compensated Jetblue for changes through change and cancellation fees. The over $400
dollars is cash taken from me without any service provided in return.

I appeal to you or the appropriate party to do whatever you can to reinstate these credits or
otherwise make this situation whole.

Thanks and Sincerely,
-S


Dear Mr. S,

Thank you for contacting JetBlue Airways about your expired credits.

We are sorry to hear that you did not to use your JetBlue credits prior to their expiration date.
All JetBlue credits are available for one year from the date they are issued and this information
was provided to you during the online booking process (which is how your reservations were booked),
on the itineraries we sent and during the online cancellation process (which is how your
reservations were cancelled).

Once the credit is near expiration, we are happy to grant a one-time extension of 30 days from the
original expiration date. Your credits expired, with the 30 day extensions, on October 7 and
November 19, 2009.

Unfortunately, you are contacting us after those dates have already passed. Once the credit actually
expires, we are unable to access it in our reservation system. We regret any disappointment this may
cause, but must respectfully deny your request, as we no longer have access to the expired credits.

We genuinely appreciate your support and hope you will choose to fly JetBlue again. We’d love a new
opportunity to serve you so that we may regain your confidence.

Sincerely,

[Redacted]
Agent

For someone who has lost track of their credits with Jetblue, I doubt an one time extension of 30 days would make a difference. Might as well be the same as a 1 day extension. This isn’t an issue of not meeting the deadline, but not knowing the deadline exists. Certainly, your website doesn’t make it obvious, or else I wouldn’t have accidentally let the credits expire.

Considering that this is actual paid cash expiring, not bonus freebies, don’t you agree that some kind of expiration alert in the form of email or regular mail is appropriate?

Considering that more than $400 is at stake here, a letter would be nice. In the end, however, it depends on how fine the print really is that explains when the credits expire.