A positive customer service experience

By | March 6, 2007

I’m always posting here about negative customer service experiences. Fr a change, I recently had an experience that was so positive that I wanted to write about it as well. I want to tell you about my recent experience with JetBlue. Yes, JetBlue.

JetBlue has been pilloried in the media recently for their handling of severe weather conditions around February 14, and perhaps they even deserved it. Many flights were delayed, and around 1,000 were canceled. Countless people ended up not being able to get to their destinations because there were simply no flights to take them there.

Given all that, why am I writing about JetBlue as a positive consumer experience? Because my family was able to get where we were going on February 18. Our non-stop JetBlue flight from Boston to West Palm Beach left a little late, but it arrived on time, and at no point were we stuck sitting on a tarmac.

Things were a bit more interesting on the trip home. We were scheduled to fly home on Sunday, February 25, stopping at Dulles for a connecting flight. Late Saturday night, we checked the JetBlue Web site and discovered that our flight had been canceled (how many other airlines tell you the night before when your flight is canceled?). I called JetBlue, got through quickly to a representative, and asked what my options were for getting a family of six back from Palm Beach to Boston. After checking availability at all the Florida airports serviced by JetBlue, the rep. informed me that my best bet would be Orlando on Monday. Since Orlando is almost three hours’ driving from Palm Beach, and since I was supposed to start a new job on Monday, I said I’d have to consult with my wife and call back.

We discussed the situation and decided to drive up to Orlando Sunday morning, spend the day doing something there with the kids, spend the night in a hotel there, and take a Monday morning flight from Orlando back to Boston. I called back and asked for seats on the Monday morning flight, which the woman at the other end quickly arranged. This conversation than ensued:

ME: It appears to me that the flight out of Orlando is significantly cheaper than our original flight out of West Palm Beach. Will you be refunding me the difference?

HER: Usually we don’t offer refunds or charge increases or fees when a reservation is changed due to weather cancelations.

ME: I understand that, but Orlando is three hours from Palm Beach, and we’re going to have to drive there and pay for two hotel rooms Sunday night to be able to make the flight on Monday morning.

HER: Let me talk to my supervisor and see what I can work out.

A few minutes later, she came back on the phone and confirmed that she would be refunding the difference in cost, over $800, to our credit card. The refund was large enough to pay for our hotel rooms in Orlando and a day at Disney World.

The flight out of Orlando left and arrived on time. It was a non-stop, so we didn’t have to deal with getting the kids to a connecting flight at Dulles. JetBlue seats are comfortable, and the crew are consistently friendly and helpful.

Given our experiences, I am confident that JetBlue is sincere when they say that they’re as mortified as any of their customers by what happened in February and are taking steps to ensure that it will never happen again. There is no question in my mind that JetBlue will be my airline of choice in the future when I am traveling somewhere they service.

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