Putting a little green into those JetBlues

Alisa Roth Feb 20, 2007


SCOTT JAGOW: If you’re forced to sit on an airplane at the airport for 10 hours, you oughta get some money for pain and suffering. JetBlue isn’t gonna argue with that. This morning, the airline unveiled a plan for compensating the passengers who were stuck on planes in last week’s snowstorm. And JetBlue promised to fix a few problems. Alisa Roth has more.

ALISA ROTH: During the worst of its flight fiasco last week, Jet Blue had pilots, flight attendants and planes available — but all in different places and no way to connect them.

Today JetBlue is saying it’s created a new database and a new communications setup to make sure last week’s scenario doesn’t happen again.

Airline consultant Julius Maldutis isn’t sure about it.

JULIUS MALDUTIS: The issue is a longer-term, how deep are these changes going to be?

JetBlue’s also introducing a new passenger bill of rights.

The plan details how much the company will pay when flights are canceled or delayed. Compensation starts at a paltry $25 and goes all the way up to a free ticket. It also promises the company won’t let planes wait on the tarmac for more than 5 hours.

Maldutis says last week’s debacle will hurt the company, though probably not seriously.

MALDUTIS: This financial impact is only going to be short-term, probably no more than 6 months.

He says the company’s openness about last week’s mess will help.

In New York, I’m Alisa Roth for Marketplace.JAGOW: JetBlue’s stock fell about 4 percent this morning.

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