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Customer Service Have you had any problems with JetBlue's Customer Service? Have JetBlue employees treated you poorly?

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  #1  
Old 03-15-2012, 10:10 AM
dnerasmus dnerasmus is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 4
Default Shocking customer service at JetBlue JFK

Date: March 12, 2012
Attention: Dave Barger
Chief Executive Officer
JetBlue Airways Corp.
118-29 Queens Blvd.
NY 11375
USA

FAX: 718 709 3621
AND BY COURIER
AND BY EMAIL:
[email protected]
Dear Sir:
It is with regret and disappointment that I am addressing this letter to you.
I have chosen to fly your airline domestically for the past 5 years, either for my business trips to NYC (en route to Johannesburg, South Africa), or with my family on vacation. I regard myself until today a loyal customer.
The reason I fly to and from NYC so frequently, is that I then fly on to South Africa, which happens at least every month.
The return leg of the flight from Johannesburg to NYC is about 16 hours – a very long flight. Usually when I land, I am given a fast pass so that I can pass through customs and immigration, in time to board my JetBlue (JFK) flight to West Palm Beach. I encounter no difficulties on this leg, but my problems usually start at JetBlue, when time and time again the boarding pass auto-machines will not issue me with a boarding pass, and I am forced to stand in line to see a representative. As you are no doubt aware, no-one on the entire JetBlue floor is concerned about the long lines, especially when having to go through the inadequate TSA security checkpoints. Other airlines will establish if anyone in line needs to board a particular flight shortly before it closes, so that they can fast track these passengers. I have never seen this done at JetBlue at JFK. In fact the airline staff seem totally oblivious to this issue, or simply have a: ‘I don’t care attitude’, which is extremely unprofessional, and does not fit the image that JetBlue tries to project.
Despite these ongoing issues, I have persevered with JetBlue over the years hoping that matters at JFK would improve. Then I found out recently that JetBlue has an agreement with SAA (the airline I fly from South Africa) where my West Palm Beach leg can be tagged onto the SAA flight, allowing me to check my luggage through to West Palm Beach, after going through customs. I arranged for my ticket on 12 March 2012 (confirmation no. IESLMT ) to be booked and paid for on this basis.
On my arrival at NYC on the morning of 12 March 2012, I rushed through customs and immigration and immediately went to the recheck counter of JetBlue next to the arrival gate to obtain my boarding pass for the JetBlue flight. The JetBlue employee told me he couldn’t print my boarding pass for the JetBlue flight. I had asked for the JetBlue boarding pass in Johannesburg – but they told me they couldn’t print it as I would have to have it printed in NYC. Here’s the first rub – why can the recheck counter not issue a boarding pass on a ticket linked between my SAA flight and my JetBlue flight to West Palm Beach? Surely the agreement between the 2 airlines would create this convenience? Anyway, he explained all I had to do was to go to the auto-machine, and punch in my confirmation code, and viola! I would get my boarding pass.
True to form – as always – that did not happen when I tried to obtain my boarding pass with my confirmation number from one of the machines. Once again I was referred to an airline representative. After a 16 hour flight, and having taken the trouble to link my JetBlue ticket to my SAA ticket to avoid the issue of standing in a long line to obtain a boarding pass, and risk missing my flight because of the general delays and incompetence in managing passengers needing to board flights urgently on the JetBlue JFK floor, you can imagine I was quite irritated and required some assistance. I went down the escalators, past the check in counters that were full with customers, with a line of passengers waiting as usual, and I approached a JetBlue representative desk next to more check-in machines, where there was no line, simply to find out why my boarding pass was not printing out. The desk had an employee behind it, with a computer terminal (no doubt linked to the rest of the Jet Blue booking system). What turned out to be the JetBlue floor supervisor (Trish O’Connor – I believe – she refused to give me her employee number when I requested it – it is printed on her ID card hanging around her neck – she promptly covered it with her hand when I asked and said that it was company policy not to give customers their JetBlue employee ID numbers) was standing at the counter conversing with the employee behind the counter, plus one other person. I approached the counter next to them and waited. She (Trish) immediately turned to me and in a challenging and rude voice asked me if I minded, they were having a conversation – implying I was interrupting them by standing at the counter. I answered that I was a customer seeking assistance. She responded – ‘Well give us a minute, just give us a minute, can you not see we are having a conversation here?’ I was somewhat shocked at her rudeness, but replied I would wait. I took a step back. She then turned to me again, saying – ‘Do you mind, we are having a conversation here about another passenger. Can you step back!’ At this point I became irritated, as I had already acceded to her first request (which had been conveyed very rudely), and I asked her where does she want me to step back to – there was no line to stand behind. I was simply waiting for them to finish their conversation so that I could be assisted. I stepped back even further, complying again with another rude request. She finished her conversation and then turned to me. I expected to be assisted by the lady behind the counter, but saying as Trish stepped in, I explained to her my problem. She simply ordered me to go and stand in the customer line where the usual passenger check in takes place. I asked if she could not check on the system why the machine would not simply print out my boarding pass (I had no luggage to check through) – I could show her the electronic booking. She said no. I then knew she was not going to do anything to assist me after our initial conversation. I asked for the Manager – she then told me she was the floor supervisor in charge. It was then that I requested her JetBlue employee ID number details, as there was no-one else on the floor more senior to take the issue up with. I told her I would be lodging a complaint about my experience (as explained above), and lack of assistance. She walked away saying – ‘You do that!’ I then went to stand in line, to wait for someone at the other counter to assist me.
Once I got to the counter, I was helped by a young employee Timekka. She was very helpful. Whilst she was assisting me, Trish approached her and asked in a threatening manner – ‘What is his PNR number?’ I asked Timekka what this meant. She said it was my confirmation number. Why would Trish want this number? She was not prepared to assist me earlier – so why was my confirmation number so important to her now? It made me suspicious, and I commented to Timekka that I hoped nothing would now go wrong with my reservation and seating. Timekka explained that with my boarding pass everything would be fine. I was anxious to get home. But the question remains – why did Trish in a threatening manner request my confirmation number when she was not prepared to help me? I ask that senior management establish this from her.
This last mishap is now unfortunately the last straw on the camel’s back. I will not be using your airline again, but will use the service of one of your competitors.
I hope you are able to look into these complaints, and do something about them for the sake of your other customers. Case in point – when I got to the shockingly long TSA line, a few ladies en route to San Francisco had 14 minutes to get to their Gate, as the plane was departing in 14 minutes. No one assisted them. Some of us passengers let them go to the front. That also doesn’t always work as the other passengers get disgruntled, so they take the stress caused by your bad management on the floor out on each other. It’s akin to a ‘bun fight’ – how shameful of your airline to allow passengers into such a negative situation. The TSA officials don’t care – it's the responsibility of the airline to manage this situation more efficiently on their floor. When you approach the TSA, they simply say it's the airline’s problem. When you approach JetBlue employees, they shrug their shoulders and simply say, it's the TSA – there is nothing they can do. It’s not right. Customers pay for an expensive service, and then are border line abused due to the stress they undergo to get to their flight on time. And no one in charge cares. That is utterly shameful.
Good luck with your airline. I vote with my feet. You won’t see them again. And I’m convinced I am not the only disgruntled former customer.

Sincerely,
Daniel N. Erasmus
Professor of Law
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  #2  
Old 03-15-2012, 02:50 PM
Matt_FLL Matt_FLL is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 100
Default

Daniel,
I read through your entire complaint and have identified two main concerns:

(1) You were unable to print your boarding pass, and
(2) The supervisor Trish was rude.

Very understandable--especially after a sixteen hour flight.

There are a lot of reasons why a boarding pass cannot be printed at a kiosk. The most common issue is security. It’s possible that someone with a name similar to Daniel Erasmus is on a “no-fly” list, or an algorithm has flagged your reservation. The second most common issue is the integration bridge between airlines if you purchased a codeshare ticket. Regardless, it’s very frustrating, and I don’t blame you for being upset.

Your complaint was very well-written and logical—but also extremely lengthy to the point of degrading your emphasis. Understandably, this incident and past issues have affected you significantly. I am a road warrior and no fan of airline customer relations departments. However, you may notice that JetBlue has the fewest complaints on this website and in my opinion; they do better than most dinosaur airlines. What can JetBlue do to make this right? My suggestion is writing a very short addendum and focus on what they can do to make it right.

First, you should consider asking them to resolve your recurring boarding pass issues. What can happen next time so that you don’t have to wait in line and go through that stress? And secondly, I would expect them to follow up with Ms. O’Connor. Perhaps even find out what she was talking about and why should couldn’t help you immediately. You deserve some answers. Please keep this forum posted with any response from JetBlue.


Matt
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  #3  
Old 03-15-2012, 03:25 PM
dnerasmus dnerasmus is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 4
Default JetBlue Complaint

Thanks for the response.
I have e-mailed the Investor Relations Department.
I have faxed the CEO.
I have couriered the letter to the CEO in NJ.

As expected - no response.
You are the only person who has responded.

As for the length of the complaint - I can assure you, it was a purging of my anger. But point taken!

Regards,

Daniel Erasmus
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  #4  
Old 03-17-2012, 05:46 PM
Matt_FLL Matt_FLL is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 100
Default

Hi Daniel, any response from JetBlue yet?
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  #5  
Old 03-18-2012, 10:11 AM
dnerasmus dnerasmus is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 4
Default Reply from JetBlue BUT AS A RESULT OF COPYING THE COMPLAINT TO SAA as well

Dear Mr. Erasmus,

I hope this note finds you doing well. I wanted to take a moment to send you a quick email to follow up on the customer service problems you experienced at JFK recently. I look after airline partnerships for JetBlue, and my team and I work very closely with our friends and colleagues at South African Airways.

First and foremost, please accept my apologies for what sounds like a less-than-great experience while transiting JFK. We aspire to deliver great customer service to every customer, and it’s discouraging and disappointing to hear when we don’t live up to that aspiration. At your convenience, I would love to follow up with you by phone to hear more about your experience and your suggestions on how we can improve.

We are in the process of looking through the transaction records to see what went wrong that kept you from checking in at the kiosk (I have a hunch, but we’re confirming). Meanwhile, your issue has been raised to the director of customer service at JFK and he is working with the supervisor you mentioned and his leadership team to ensure that this is a learning opportunity.

All of us at JetBlue greatly value your loyalty and appreciate your business, and I look forward to speaking with you to discuss the matter further. My contact information follows; please don’t hesitate to call or write me at your convenience. Meanwhile, once again, please accept my apologies for your less-than-stellar experience with JetBlue.

Kind regards,
Scott


Scott Resnick
Director, Airline Partnerships
JetBlue Airways
118-29 Queens Blvd., 11th Floor
Forest Hills, NY 11375
Phone: +1-718-709-2556
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  #6  
Old 03-18-2012, 11:08 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,192
Default

Unusually, that email has a note of sincerity to it... It might be fake, but it's good fake sincerity!
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  #7  
Old 03-19-2012, 03:26 PM
Matt_FLL Matt_FLL is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 100
Default

The response from JetBlue varies greatly from all other airline responses posted on this forum.
While it’s all about Daniel here, they certainly exceeded my expectations and made themselves stand out amongst the other airlines.

1. Respondent: The response was not received from a random agent in Customer Relations. It came directly from the director of the applicable department. I’ve never seen that happen before.
2. Telephone: Mr. Resnick provided his direct line and invited Daniel to call him.

Does it make all of Daniel’s pain go away? Absolutely not. But this response does make JetBlue stand out from the other airlines.

Daniel, how do you feel about this response?
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  #8  
Old 03-19-2012, 07:42 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,192
Default

I agree... I have never flown JetBlue, but I would be inclined to give them a try. They sound like they respect their customers.
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  #9  
Old 03-24-2012, 06:11 AM
dnerasmus dnerasmus is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 4
Default Latest response - I will be phoning them...

Dear Mr. Erasmus,

I hope this note finds you doing well!

I just tried the number below but am having some difficulty getting through. (The number rang as busy.) Is there a better number at which to reach you? Otherwise, please don’t hesitate to call me a ...

I’ll be happy to share more details when we speak, but I’ve looked into the situation and my hunch was more or less right. There was a problem on the back end with your reservation that would have inhibited the kiosk check-in from working. The problem is not hard to fix (and it looks like the last crewmember you worked with was able to do so by enlisting one of our support teams), but it takes some time. Meanwhile, I want to once again apologize for not delivering the level of customer service that we aspire to when you spoke to the first crewmember. As I mentioned in my last note, the senior leadership at JFK has been made aware of this incident and is using it as a “teachable moment.”

In the meantime, you are a very loyal customer to both South African Airways and JetBlue, and to both recognize your loyalty and apologize for the incident, we have taken two steps. The first is that we have refunded the fee you paid to move into our Even More Space section on that flight. Furthermore, you should shortly be receiving a $250 service credit in your Travel Bank account. Although I can’t reverse the course of events, I do hope that you will give us another shot and continue to fly JetBlue in the future.

Should you have any further problems down the way, please do not hesitate to reach out to me personally and I will do my best to resolve them for you.

Kind regards,
Scott


Scott Resnick
Director, Airline Partnerships
JetBlue Airways
27-01 Queens Plaza North, 6th Floor
Long Island City, NY 11101
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  #10  
Old 03-24-2012, 07:26 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,192
Default

Wow... sincere,honest and straightforward. I am now a JetBlue fan and I have never flown with them...but my next trip to the States, I would go out of my way to fly this airline.
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  #11  
Old 03-24-2012, 01:36 PM
Matt_FLL Matt_FLL is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 100
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Wow. I have a little bit more faith in humanity after reading that.
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  #12  
Old 03-26-2012, 02:33 PM
stonecold_1981 stonecold_1981 is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 103
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Terrific response from JetBlue. However, something about the sequence of events in this case seems fishy. I don't doubt the OP at all, but Matt - can you please confirm that you are not an affiliate of Jet Blue? Apologies in advance if the suspicions are unfounded but I just have a hitch!
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  #13  
Old 03-26-2012, 02:52 PM
Matt_FLL Matt_FLL is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 100
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No, I have no affiliation with JetBlue or any airline. After re-reading the chain, I can see why you thought that… and of course--no reason to apologize.

I am, however, a young business travel warrior who has just flown way too much as I build my career. For years, every day of my life was dependent upon the on-time arrival of an aircraft, or the angry gate agent who screams over the PA, “We’re cancelled, and don’t approach the podium for rebooking because we’re not ready!”. So, I empathize with Daniel and other people who get hurt in the nasty world of air travel. Despite earning status with several major carriers, I still get beat up by airline employees—some who have been overworked, and others who should never be in the Customer Service industry. I could trade plenty of war stories. So it really brightens by day to hear when there is a positive outcome to these seemingly helpless situations.

Take care, and travel safe.

Matt
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  #14  
Old 03-28-2012, 05:47 PM
stonecold_1981 stonecold_1981 is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 103
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Got it. Was just curious!

I'm in the same boat - traveled tons and despise most (all) airlines. But the rare acts of kindness by airlines need to be appreciated
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  #15  
Old 10-15-2013, 06:38 PM
myusupra myusupra is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 6
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I experienced the same thing customer service wise on morning of 10.15.

JFK staff was rude, abusive and completely unhelpful.

See my post in the "Boarding" complaint area of the JetBlue forum.

Shawn Baumgartner
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