Carrier Announces 'Bill Of Rights'
The planes are flying again, at last... but investors in JetBlue
gave the low-cost carrier a sign of their displeasure with the
six-day operations shutdown that stranded some 130,000 travellers.
On Tuesday, shares in JetBlue lost nearly five-percent of their
Bloomberg reports the storm-related disruption was the
worst-ever in JetBlue's seven-year history... and likely hurt the
carrier's attempts to recover from two consecutive annual
"It's a defining moment for JetBlue, and we will get better
because of it," airline CEO David Neeleman said in a conference
call with reporters. As Aero-News reported,
Neeleman earlier acknowledged a combination of bad weather, poor
communications and a breakdown in the airlines' reservation system
all played a part in the crisis.
Neeleman also said the carrier will take steps to appease
customers affected by the February 14 storms, as well as customers
stranded by similar events in the future.
From now on, the airline will allow passengers to leave planes
after ground delays of five hours -- some passengers at JFK were
kept on planes for twice that long -- and travelers whose flights
have landed, but can't get to the gate, will receive travel
vouchers ranging from $25, to the full cost of
a round-trip ticket. Customers will also receive compensation
if their flights are cancelled within 12 hours of scheduled
Those vouchers will be retroactive to February 14, the airline
added -- meaning passengers stranded at JFK and other JetBlue
airports over the weekend, as the carrier struggled to redistribute
its fleet and personnel in the storm's aftermath.
Neeleman said the storm has cost the airline $20 million in
refunds, travel vouchers and incremental expenses such as overtime.
That's three million more than JetBlue's fourth quarter
Despite a downgrading in JetBlue's stock Tuesday, Morgan Stanley
analyst William Greene was optimistic on the carrier's future.
"The stock will be dead money for the next few months," Greene
wrote. "The company will recover and could become a better airline