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COMPLAINT: PARENTS BEWARE -avoid Jetblue if you have children under 18 travelling alone

 
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  #1  
Old Aug 8, 2017, 10:15 PM
nataliet nataliet is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
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Flying for the very first time alone, my children were booked on a direct flight from JFK to ORD, one is 15 and one is 13. They were on flight 105 6:00 Sunday night. They sat on the plane for 3 hours before they were deboarded and the flight was cancelled. By then it was 9:15 pm. The camp that had dropped them off was 2 and a half hours away, so by that time it was pointless for them to come and pick them up just to bring them back the following morning. My children were directed to go to the service desk to ask for help. When they got there there was a huge line of passengers already waiting. My daughter repeatedly told customer service representatives that they were alone and they were still not provided any additional help or compassion.

Everyone else there was given a hotel room, but because they were under 18 that was not an option. Once my daughter was finally able to find someone to help her I spoke to the representative on the phone, Stephanie, and she told me they would provide cots for them and that she would be there to help them. Since everyone from the flight were transferring to the flights the next day, by the time my daughters were able to find help the first 2 flights were already full and they had to wait for the 3:30 pm flight.

They initially told me they would at least put them on the waitlist for the 6:30 am flight, then they said that my daughter had to come back at MIDNIGHT to request to be put on the waitlist. Exhausted and frightened she stayed up so that she could go back to the counter at midnight. When she went back there was a long line again and Stephanie was not even there. She was then told that they didn't know what she was talking about and that the standby list was already full. They were never given cots and by that time they were so upset and exhausted that they just slept on the floor. I called the 800 number and they told me there was nothing they could do and that they could not give them priority on the waitlist on the first available flights and that my children would have to talk to a representative at the airport.

They were not even given vouchers for food and after spending their money on dinner they did not have enough money for breakfast. She went to the desk and told them she didn't have any money for food and the customer service agent said to my daughter - "didn't you get a voucher last night?" When she told her no - she very coldly told her she was sorry but she couldn't give her one now ??? She went back to the desk at 6:30 am and begged to be put on the waitlist for the 9:00 flight. It is only by the grace of god that they were put on the 9 am flight because I stayed on the phone with her while it was boarding and she literally pleaded with the agent to be placed on the flight. They were finally put on the flight 10 minutes before takeoff. I am very lucky that my daughter was persistent and was able to advocate for herself (she must have waited in the line 6 or 7 times that night for help).

If you are going to allow passengers under 18 to fly alone, you should have a policy in place that takes care of them first if they are stuck in an airport overnight. I called the complaint line today to tell them what happened and I was told - I'm sorry it's first come first serve at the help desk and we do not have any policy in place to help minors under 18??? How can you expect children to know what to do? The minute a flight is cancelled the first thing you should do is provide immediate assistance to children under 18 and give them the first flight out, give them a voucher for food and place them in cots nearby. That was the least you could have done. If they had just done that my kids would have been reassured that they were in good hands. Instead my kids were left feeling alone and scared, sleeping on the floor of JFK airport.

At 2:30 in the morning I received a text from my 13 year old - "I just want to go home"
It was the saddest thing I have ever experienced. I stayed up the entire night reassuring her that they would get home, this was one of the worst nights of our lives that could have been easily avoided if there was a protocol in place.
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  #2  
Old Aug 9, 2017, 5:09 AM
alwaysflyin alwaysflyin is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 33

Originally Posted by nataliet View Post
Flying for the very first time alone, my children were booked on a direct flight from JFK to ORD, one is 15 and one is 13. They were on flight 105 6:00 Sunday night. They sat on the plane for 3 hours before they were deboarded and the flight was cancelled. By then it was 9:15 pm. The camp that had dropped them off was 2 and a half hours away, so by that time it was pointless for them to come and pick them up just to bring them back the following morning. My children were directed to go to the service desk to ask for help. When they got there there was a huge line of passengers already waiting. My daughter repeatedly told customer service representatives that they were alone and they were still not provided any additional help or compassion.

Everyone else there was given a hotel room, but because they were under 18 that was not an option. Once my daughter was finally able to find someone to help her I spoke to the representative on the phone, Stephanie, and she told me they would provide cots for them and that she would be there to help them. Since everyone from the flight were transferring to the flights the next day, by the time my daughters were able to find help the first 2 flights were already full and they had to wait for the 3:30 pm flight.

They initially told me they would at least put them on the waitlist for the 6:30 am flight, then they said that my daughter had to come back at MIDNIGHT to request to be put on the waitlist. Exhausted and frightened she stayed up so that she could go back to the counter at midnight. When she went back there was a long line again and Stephanie was not even there. She was then told that they didn't know what she was talking about and that the standby list was already full. They were never given cots and by that time they were so upset and exhausted that they just slept on the floor. I called the 800 number and they told me there was nothing they could do and that they could not give them priority on the waitlist on the first available flights and that my children would have to talk to a representative at the airport.

They were not even given vouchers for food and after spending their money on dinner they did not have enough money for breakfast. She went to the desk and told them she didn't have any money for food and the customer service agent said to my daughter - "didn't you get a voucher last night?" When she told her no - she very coldly told her she was sorry but she couldn't give her one now ??? She went back to the desk at 6:30 am and begged to be put on the waitlist for the 9:00 flight. It is only by the grace of god that they were put on the 9 am flight because I stayed on the phone with her while it was boarding and she literally pleaded with the agent to be placed on the flight. They were finally put on the flight 10 minutes before takeoff. I am very lucky that my daughter was persistent and was able to advocate for herself (she must have waited in the line 6 or 7 times that night for help).

If you are going to allow passengers under 18 to fly alone, you should have a policy in place that takes care of them first if they are stuck in an airport overnight. I called the complaint line today to tell them what happened and I was told - I'm sorry it's first come first serve at the help desk and we do not have any policy in place to help minors under 18??? How can you expect children to know what to do? The minute a flight is cancelled the first thing you should do is provide immediate assistance to children under 18 and give them the first flight out, give them a voucher for food and place them in cots nearby. That was the least you could have done. If they had just done that my kids would have been reassured that they were in good hands. Instead my kids were left feeling alone and scared, sleeping on the floor of JFK airport.

At 2:30 in the morning I received a text from my 13 year old - "I just want to go home"
It was the saddest thing I have ever experienced. I stayed up the entire night reassuring her that they would get home, this was one of the worst nights of our lives that could have been easily avoided if there was a protocol in place.
Sounds like a long, stressful night for everybody involved. Were your children on a regular ticket or booked as unaccompanied minors?
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  #3  
Old Aug 9, 2017, 7:14 AM
nataliet nataliet is offline
 
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It was one adult ticket and one minor ticket, but not considered unaccompanied since she was with the 15 year old.
Jetblue considers anyone over 14 an adult. My kids would have been fine, if the customer service representatives had just given them a little extra assistance and insured that they were on the next flight out. It was the lack of support and misinformation they received in trying to schedule a new flight, getting help on being put on the standby lists for the first available flight, making sure they had a safe place to wait and the overall lack of compassion that was so frustrating.
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Old Aug 9, 2017, 12:55 PM
alwaysflyin alwaysflyin is offline
 
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