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What ever happened to Jet Blue?

I remember a day when I had a warm, fuzzy feeling as I booked a flight on my favorite carrier— Jet Blue. I loved the nice, simple Jet Blue web site design and branding, their warm, welcoming, young staff, the big TVs and the roomy seats on the plane. It all said fun, cool and friendly. I made Jet Blue my first choice to fly as a rule. A great option to an otherwise poor playing field of carriers.

Fast forward to my trip last night. Long three hour lines; an angry, seemingly eternally angry, unapologetic staff; check-in kiosques that were broken (and clearly not getting any attention) were among the worst offenses. Once we boarded, the airline experience was pretty much indistinguishable from any other except for the $6 pillow and blanket charge on a very cold flight. What ever happened to the ”Jet Blue” experience that I remembered?

Long story short, my alliance to Jet Blue as an erstwhile lifetime fan dissipated with one bad trip, one bad day. It would seem Jet Blue’s customer differentiation is a bygone of better days. At a time when customers are at a premium and tend to be vocal about good/bad experiences, I am not optimistic the airline has adopted a winning strategy. Every interaction with a customer is a chance to win or lose loyalty, to make a positive or negative impression. I’m sure I wasn’t alone last night. But I for one won’t be coming back any time soon. I look back on my days of flying with Jet Blue as a jilted lover, disappointed that love didn’t last….

2 Responses

  1. Courtney says:

    Great insight Tami! Perfect example of the importance of brands paying attention to every single touch point. Unfortunately, many big brands are so disconnected from experiencing the physical process their customers go through and are too close to their own brand to consider why it might matter to the bigger long term picture.

    I had a similar experience with Travelocity a few years back with how one of their customer service agents handled changing an online purchase (and i wrote about it on Facebook in my note “Travelocity: suck it.”) Their PR team was on top of it, and was responsive in trying to help me which I was appreciative of, but it still didn’t take the sting out if the memory I had burned in my brain from the original interaction. I felt betrayed by the brand after all the years of loyalty and still can’t bring myself to include them in my travel searches.

    Sounds like we’re both jilted lovers in the brand experience game. Maybe there should be a for customers and brands, so expectations can be matched for the best relationship. Both pick and choices are offered based on preferences. Ha! As we know, when there’s alignment in expectations, there can be no conflict!

    Great stuff.

  2. Thanks for such a thoughtful response! It’s good to know I’m in good company with like-minded jilted brand lovers:)

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