Newspaper's Error Confuses, Angers JetBlue Customers

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote an article about JetBlue’s 1 year anniversary in Pittsburgh. In honor of that momentous occasion, JetBlue was offering a heck of a deal. TrueBlue members could “reserve a flight leaving Pittsburgh between June 26 and Nov. 15 and complete that reservation no later than June 30,” and by doing so earn a free flight.

Many of the Gazette’s readers did just that, but didn’t receive their free flight. Now they’re writing to the Gazette to complain about JetBlue.

What the Post-Gazette and that first JetBlue telephone representative failed to mention is that Ms. Clipper also needed to access a special Web address created strictly for the purpose of tracking the promotion. JetBlue included the temporary link (www.jetblue.com/pittsburgh) in a news release, but the Post-Gazette directed passengers to the company’s main Web site — http://www.jetblue.com, which lacked any mention of the free-ticket promotion.

In the past month and a half, 16 passengers have contacted the Post-Gazette, via e-mail or phone, to complain about the offer. Some blame the Post-Gazette for not providing enough information. Some blame JetBlue for not living up to its promise of a free flight — regardless of how the details may have been misconstrued. Only one of the 16 angry passengers — Kelly O’Toole of Marshall — has thus far persuaded JetBlue to give her the free flight. Ms. O’Toole, like Ms. Clipper, said she talked to a JetBlue customer service worker before booking her flight and was never told about the existence of a separate Web site

JetBlue is now “examining the Pittsburgh complaints on a “case by case” basis,” according to their spokesperson. One Gazette reader said that a JetBlue rep told her it was the newspaper’s fault. “We cannot be held responsible because [the reporter] failed to mention important details on how to qualify for the promotion,” said the CSR.

JetBlue’s spokesperson seems to agree:

“I certainly understand the frustration for people who thought they were doing everything right and it turns out they weren’t,” he said. But he argued that JetBlue did its best to communicate all details of the offer to the Post-Gazette.

“I’m sorry that you’ve received calls from individuals who didn’t qualify for this promotion,” he said in a prior e-mail. “While in the past your reporting has always been accurate, this time a critical point was missed.”

Confusion over 2-for-1 offer frustrates JetBlue customers [Post-Gazette]
(Photo:Meghann Marco)