There will be big bucks for hundreds of stranded JetBlue passengers.
Vice-president of sales and revenue management Dennis Corrigan told a Press briefing at Grantley Adamas International Airport this afternoon that the airline had taken responsibility for the 1,800 customers in the United States, as well as those in Barbados, whose flights were cancelled by his company earlier this month and up to last Saturday night, when 190 people were left stranded at Grantley Adams.
Corrigan said the decision to cancel flights was for safety reasons as a result of serious snowstorms and the closure of the airport operations at New York. The airline executive told reporters while he could not
yet provide a figure for the compensation to the dislocated customers, the financial costs to the company would be substantial.
However, he made it clear that although JetBlue customer bill of rights provided for compensation, money would only be paid to those who were inconvenienced due to actions taken by the airline in situations over which it had control.
“With 22,000 cancellations throughout the US airline industry during that early January period, we are about 1,800 of those, that included, unfortunately the four Barbados trips, one of which happened in what we called, real time; real time is the airline . . . sitting right there and we cancel it; and that was the case on Saturday night, when it came in delayed,” declared Corrigan.
“What we have been doing for customers, we have a customer bill of rights that entitles customers to refunds, one-way or round-trip, depending on if we can control . . . . After Friday into Saturday, after it was mostly weather, we believe from Sunday onward, much more of it was in our control; so we began to compensate customers accordingly, including starting on Sunday [with] hotel credits,” added the vice-president.
“Customers that incurred additional expenses, we have set up an email box; so if customers have receipts, or things that they can email to us, considering refunds, that email box is [email protected],” he disclosed.
“But even above and beyond the normal customer bill of rights, we realize, given the time of year it was, it’s Christmas and Christmas returns, planes are very full, and some of the options were not great; so particularly you have multiple cancellations, and rebooking customers would be difficult. So what we have done is, for customers who were travelling out of Barbados, who were [stranded], we have put together a grid of compensation.
“Entitled customers, if they are members of our True Blue Programme, tiered true blue points, starting anywhere from 10,000 and up to 25,000 as well as travel credit; if you are not a True Blue member, you are also doing travel credits, as well as the hire of a round trip ticket. You can find that information on our blog at blogjetblue.com.”
Corrigan said that customers who had booked directly with the airline, the company would be reaching out to them as well. He encouraged customers towork through their travel agents if they had not yet been contacted by JetBlue for compensation.