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How JetBlue Can Recover.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on February 19, 2007

It breaks my heart to see JetBlue blow it but there are simple ways the airline can win back the hearts of its devoted customers. Clearly, long-term, it has to invest more in operations and be prepared for worst-case scenarios. I knew JetBlue had problems a few months back when I flew and my seat was filthy. But I couldn’t have guessed JetBlue would fail so terribly.

There is pressure for Washington to pass a passenger bill of rights so that people can feel they have some recourse if the weather is terrible. They’re talking a time limit for being locked in a plane on the tarmac, access to bathrooms and some food and water. Short-term, JetBlue shouldn’t wait for legislation to promise this to passengers. It has to go way beyond saying “sorry” and offer those who suffered in the last week something real. I suggest JetBlue offers something surprising as well. For those who were stuck for hours on planes this past week, how about a free roundtrip ticket? And I’d also throw in a Harry & David’s fruit basket, just to surprise them and put a smile on their faces. Probably best to date the ticket six months out—assuming the operations problems are fixed by then.

Loyal customers give a lot of slack to companies when they make mistakes. The key is to respect them, solve the problem and offer people some compensation for their aggravation. JetBlue can still save its reputation—if it moves quickly.

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Reader Comments

niti bhan

February 21, 2007 10:18 PM

I liked Seth Godin's idea - offering each passenger 40 or 50 tickets - something unexpected and on a large scale - here's his link,

and the key snippet,

"When the world is focused on your actions, magnifying your response is almost always a good idea. Not panicking is a good idea too, and it seems as though they've got that part covered."

Photolar Consulting

June 28, 2008 07:53 PM

Designing products and services that deliver delight is extremely important. But what companies many times overlook is whether the design can withstand the stresses (expected and unexpected) and can the systems respond under stress. There are tools that have been widely and successfully used in other industries that can be levereged. If JetBlue had conducted regular stress testing of its systems, these issues could have been minimized.

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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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