Planes In Place, Pilots Rested... Someone Check The
It appears to be almost over. After a frustrating and
embarassing crippling of its fleet, low-cost carrier JetBlue hopes
the bugs are now worked out... and the airline can resume normal
operations Tuesday, six days after a snowstorm led to a domino-like
Tensions among travellers -- and harried workers -- appeared to
be easing Monday at JetBlue's JFK hub, reports ABC News. That was
despite a new round of flight cancellations, on top of weekend
cancellations that affected 23 percent of JetBlue's schedule.
In an interview with The New York Times, JetBlue founder and CEO
David Neeleman said he was "humiliated and mortified" by the
breakdown, which he blamed on a combination of bad weather,
communications problems, and an overtaxed reservations
The cancellations also resulted in many of JetBlue's 11,000
pilots and flight attendants stuck in locations far away from where
they were needed, requiring an untold number of repositioning
flights -- which, in turn, bumped into FAA regulations governing
maximum flight time for pilots between breaks.
As Aero-News reported, the
airline had hoped to have its problems resolved Monday. But while
the planes were in place, White said, the pilots needed rest.
Air Travelers Association president David Stempler told the
Associated Press JetBlue's problems may have stemmed from its
desire to help passengers, despite the wintry weather.
"Most airlines don't try to operate when there is an ice storm
problem they've learned that it's better to cancel all flights at
the outset and then try to get back to normal operations as quickly
as possible," Stempler said.
"JetBlue tried to do their best tried to keep the system
rolling," he added. "Their heart was in the right place, but their
head was not."