Sunday, March 25, 2012

NEXT UP: Why I Love JetBlue

Some people profess their love for sports team, others compose odes to amazing skincare products, and many idolize musicians.

My favorite thing to praise, however, is usually a source of consternation for people: an airline. That topic conjures nightmares of cramped legs and exorbitant baggage prices for many travelers. Yet, as a frequent flier, I have grown to develop a deep and loyal appreciation for one specific airline.

Oh JetBlue, why do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

1) Because JetBlue CAN offer you delicious choices

Why the awkward capitalization choice? The CAN refers to the fact that JetBlue flight attendants offer an entire can of soda or juice as a complimentary beverage. While most airlines give you an ice-filled tiny cup drizzled with your ordered drink, JetBlue entrusts passengers with enough liquid to actually satisfy their thirsts. They also let you pick a snack--PopChips, Terra Blue Chips, animal crackers, chocolate chip cookies, Quaker fiber crisps--instead of giving you a choice between one handful of peanuts or nothing.

2) Because JetBlue feeds my Food Network addiction

Thirty-six channels of free live entertainment on a personal television screen. Need I say more? Actually, I do, because this reason is too important to breeze over. Countless long flights have been made less painful by my ability to watch Paula Deen or Giada prepare gooey butter cupcakes or ree-coh-ta crepes. On JetBlue, you can catch dramatic sporting events, gossipy morning shows, or the Real Housewives (really a combination of the first two, no?) live. Bravo, JetBlue, bravo.

3) Because JetBlue lets me see loved ones for lovely prices

At the risk of sounding like a paid commercial advertisement, it must be noted: JetBlue prices are unbeatable. The main reason I usually fly JetBlue to go home is that the price is always the lowest. In addition to reasonable ticket costs, I've been able to quickly rack up JetBlue points that result in free flights AND bring along a free checked bag. From the bottom of my heart (and wallet), I thank you for your incredible prices, JetBlue.

4) Because JetBlue loves me back!

...Well, me and all their other customers. JetBlue shows this love by interacting with customers through their blog, Facebook fan page, and Twitter account. They use these forums to both listen and respond to people voicing their praises/questions/frustrations. Rather than shy away from angry passengers, JetBlue responds to complaints in order to learn and improve their services. In fact, past crises have led the company to create a Customer Bill of Rights to outline their promises.

It may seem silly to be so excited about an airline, but I appreciate good customer service and honorable corporate strategies when I see them. It also might help that my last JetBlue flight took me to Cancun...

*NOTE ADDED 3/28: Recent events have compelled me to add a note to this blog post. Yesterday, there was an incident involving a emotionally distressed JetBlue pilot that led to an emergency flight landing. The composed, appropriate, and prompt handling of this situation is another reason why I love JetBlue. This event is certainly disturbing and worrisome, but JetBlue is doing its best to reassure customers and make amends by sharing information like this update and these answers on the company blog. Well done, JB.
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