JetBlue: 2 1/2 Hour Flight Takes 25 Hours

The Chicago Tribune says that a simple 2

-hour flight from Fort Lauderdale to New York turned into a “25-hour odyssey” for 150 passengers.

First, Flight 62’s takeoff was delayed by 3 hours, then rather than land in stormy New York, the plane was diverted to Atlantic City, NJ. There the passengers sat in the plane, on the tarmac, for 4 more hours.

Passengers were allowed to leave the plane, (which they’d boarded at 2:30 pm) at 12:30 am. Four hours after that they were given hotel rooms, and by 3:21 pm the following afternoon, nearly 25 hours since they boarded the first plane, the passengers landed at JFK.

Flight 62 passengers said an already bad situation was made worse by the lack of customer service in Atlantic City.

Azim Khan, of Fort Lauderdale, said he felt abandoned by JetBlue’s representatives there. Kahn said that upon landing around 8:30 p.m. passengers were told that buses would soon arrive to transfer them to JFK. The promised buses never came.

Passengers ultimately took taxis at their own expense to a nearby hotel where JetBlue had secured rooms for the night, he said. The taxi fares will be reimbursed.

For the remainder of the night, Khan and others went without food because nearby restaurants already had closed. Les Raye, 60, of Davie, said JetBlue should have made better provisions.

“I don’t think I’ve ever gone through anything like this in my many years of flying,” Raye said.

JetBlue is issuing a full refund in addition to offering a free round-trip voucher to the passengers. Despite the fact that we think that 4 hours is too long to hold people in a plane on a tarmac, this is a better deal that the ones we usually hear about, so kudos to JetBlue for offering a refund. Let’s hope other airlines become more willing to issue refunds (instead of vouchers) when things go horribly wrong.

JetBlue passengers endure 25-hour trek from Fort Lauderdale to N.Y. [Chicago Tribune]
(Photo: dailydose)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.