Consumers Speak: jetBlue’s Boston Boomerang

This is a special ‘Consumers Speak,’ as the consumer is us. We’re currently sitting on a jetBlue flight at Logan Intl’ in Boston. We arrived here at 4:00 for a 6:20 flight.

We’d understand a delay—we’re flying back into JFK, after all, which is underneath a fair amount of snow—but jetBlue insisted our flight was not going to be cancelled. Mind you, all the flights before and after ours had been cut. We should have taken that for a sign.

After finally boarding a plane at 10pm, we sat on the tarmac for an hour, finally getting approval that JFK’s runways were clear enough for us to land. Once in the air, however, our pilot informed us that our plane’s wing de-icer had malfunctioned, and that they were “running some diagnostics.”

Now we’re not engineers, but we’re pretty sure that when place de-icers fail, you just come on home, and don’t do loops around Boston Harbor for an hour before landing.

We’re also pretty sure you don’t force the passengers to stay in their seats on board the plane because you “can’t find any TSA security to guard you as you transfer to the new plane.”

It’s four in the morning and we still haven’t left Boston. The flight attendants have been inconsiderate—telling people they need to sit down when they are stretching in the aisles—and wildly out-of-touch with the frustration of the passengers. Before we got on this new plane after a 90 wait in the old, broken one, passengers were actually yelling at the flight crew, asking them to call the police if there weren’t TSA employees around.

We’re probably overreacting to this whole mess because of the bowel-shaking fear that we dealt with after being told by our pilot that we had a problem with our wing de-icer, then not hearing anything else about what the situation was for at least a half hour after that. If you’re going to tell people they might be in trouble, at least keep them up to date.

Of course, the pilot did tell us once we were on the ground that the reason it took so long to land was that they had a hard time finding a technician to help them troubleshoot the problem while we were in the air.

That makes us all the more confident that we’ll make it home alive. Anyway, if we buy it, it’s been fun. But if jetBlue loses a plane in the Atlantic this morning, be sure to know that it’s out of sheer incompetence and a disregard for detail during this dangerous weather.

Why they haven’t just grounded us we don’t know, but we apparently have no choice in the matter.

Update: We’re home, finally. Final tally? Not counting the forced march between the first and second aircraft, we spent over nine hours in a row for a 40 minute flight. They did give us a flight voucher, but obviously we’re unsure if we want to use it.

The sad part is that for as bad as this jetBlue crew was, the airline itself is consistently better than everyone else.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Anabelle says:

    Amtrak is your friend when the weather is frightful. Glad you made it home OK though.

  2. Papercutninja says:

    Certainly the fact that they didn’t cancel the flight is a real bummer….I’d just chalk this up to a badly-stressed crew (you WERE about to fly into NYC, after a record-setting blizzard). But yeah what a sucky experience.

  3. elton says:

    Not sure why jetblue didn’t just cancel the flight outright and rebook everyone. Had a friend flying out of here on a morning flight on Sunday, but instead of biting the bullet and rebooking, she decided to wait it out at JFK… eventually made it out after 14 hours at the airport.

  4. CatMoran says:

    Is jetBlue really better than Southwest? Granted I only fly a few times a year, but I’ve always gotten good fares and customer service from Southwest. They’ve never lost my luggage, and flights arrive early more often than not.

  5. Treved says:

    Kind of hard to fly Southwest from Boston to NY, as that route doesn’t exist. But yeah, Amtrak is the way to go in the winter. Plus you save that $100 round trip or so in cabs to/from JFK. I know, I know, there’s Airtrain…as if anyone uses that!

  6. Jen says:

    Amtrak wasn’t my friend on Monday. I had registered my phone number and email so if my train was cancelled, I’d know ahead of time (the station was 45 minutes away). Arrived on time for my train, and discovered the train actually was cancelled, and the next one wasn’t for two and a half hours. When I called to complain, they said that there was no automatic notification system in place, that we all registered our emails and numbers “just in case there’s time to notify everyone”, and they claimed to have let “some” of the people on yesterday’s train know it was cancelled.