Monday, May 5, 2008
Watching a Train Wreck
It's hard to watch a friend make poor decisions and take themselves down a self-destructive road. You watch the train wreck thinking "If you had only LISTENED to me! You FOOL! You could have been so much more!" Which happens to be the exact words I yelled at my computer screen last night while trying to re-schedule a flight on JetBlue.
Oh JetBlue, how you have fallen! When the genius David Neelman was your CEO you were the end all be all of airlines in my eyes. Now, with out the man genius at your head, the company has made a series of fatal business decisions which has made your stock tank and has turned loyal fans into hardened critics. Jetblue has evolved from the low cost airline focused on customer experience, to an airline that feels entitled to nickel and dime it's customers because it has direct tv and leather seats. Jetblue has turned me from a dedicated customer into a trueblue hater. The main source of my current discontent- $100 change fee. You book your flight yesterday for $109. Today you realize that you booked the wrong time and try change your flight to the earlier one which costs $99- and Jetblue charges you $100 to make the change. You would actually save a dollar by purchasing a second ticket.
The problem with loving a friend or a company is that when it betrays you- you aren't just ticked off you become angry. I don't just dislike JetBlue, I now hate JetBlue- from supporting the DailyKos conference to charging extra for the exit row seats. This company I once loved is now on my "companies that suck list" right behind Delta. It's hard to see a company with so much potential slowly self-destruct.
However let me continue to pimp Southwest- yes their boarding procedures are annoying, and their flight attendants think themselves cleaver lounge singers, but here are the reasons Southwest Airlines is going to be the last airline standing.
1- No change fees. If you're running late for your flight and want to post pone it, you can call in change your flight and only pay the difference in the cost of the plane ticket if there is any difference.
2- Ticket Prices don't change the closer you get to take-off. Their ticket prices are solid, they don't change depending on a date so if you need to book a last minute flight you can at the same price you would have paid 2 weeks ago.
3- You can fly stand-by at no additional charge. You get to the airport early, see there is an earlier flight and can get on that plane for no additional fee. If they have an empty seat they'll put you in it.
4- Best Frequent Flier Program around- 8 round trips and you get a free ticket. How easy is that? No miles to calculate and keep track of. You fly to Reno and back 8 times you get a ticket to anywhere in the US. It's pretty awesome.