Home Airlines Why I’m Currently Avoiding One Of Our Favorite Airlines

Why I’m Currently Avoiding One Of Our Favorite Airlines

by joeheg

We consider two main factors when booking flights within the US: price and schedule. There’s a ying-yang relationship between the two where we’ll occasionally pay more to get the schedule we want, and other times we’ll compromise on flights to save money or miles.

If we have two similar options, the in-flight experience is the tiebreaker, but even that’s a judgment call. The flight length determines how willing we are to sit in a less comfortable seat (or, more accurately, how willing I am). While I can deal with being a little cramped for 60-90 minutes, I don’t want to be squished in a seat for 3+ hours.

Our flight preferences closely follow our rankings of US airlines. However, there’s a new development that’s caused us to reconsider our upcoming flights and we’re going to avoid one of our favorite airlines, at least for now.

JetBlue has consistently been one of our go-to airlines when flying to New York. Frequent flights combined with what I consider the best hard product available meant we flew with them often. The new A321neo planes are amazing with the best economy class IFE of any US airline.

That’s why it’s so painful to say we’re not going to book travel with them for the time being. We suffered through one of JetBlue’s many operational meltdowns and experienced 150-minute and 90-minute delays on our most recent flights. We were lucky, as JetBlue canceled many other flights altogether, as opposed to simply getting delayed.

We’re avoiding the airline for now because it looks like they still don’t have the matter under control. While management has proactively cut this summer’s schedule to meet the current labor levels, I’m not sure it’s enough. The airline is currently pushing current employees to the limit to keep flights in the air, which isn’t sitting very well with the union.

While you’d like to think that in the middle of this crisis, JetBlue’s upper management should be spending all its time trying to figure out how to fix the problem, they have other things on their minds. With their airline suffering schedule meltdowns, the employees being stretched to the limit and losing money by cutting the flights, management is spending time trying to purchase Spirit Airlines, which isn’t interested in JetBlue’s offer.

The decision to avoid JetBlue wasn’t difficult and both Sharon and I came to it simultaneously. I was booking flights to Rhode Island and the choices were JetBlue or Southwest. Prices and schedule were similar and when I asked which flights she wanted, she said Southwest. I said, “Yeah, because I don’t want to fly with JetBlue right now either,” She nodded in agreement.

The operational problems JetBlue are having are not limited to them. Almost every airline has suffered some scheduling issues within the last few months.

For example, Alaska Airlines’ CEO is saying precisely what went wrong, what the company is doing, why it’s not helping right away, and when things will be better.

Watching that makes me feel like fixing Alaska’s operational problems is his number one priority.

I’d rather see JetBlue’s CEO do the same instead of spending time writing to Spirit’s shareholders about how they should ditch Frontier’s offer and take the offer from JetBlue.

Come on JetBlue. Get your act together because I want to get back on your planes with free Wi-Fi and power outlets.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

4 comments

Jason May 22, 2022 - 6:29 pm

Is it just me or is Southwest fares outrageous lately. I know everyone is expensive but often twice the price of the major airlines.

Reply
joeheg May 22, 2022 - 7:50 pm

They were already getting higher in 2019. It depends on the route and they are no longer an LCC in my opinion.

Reply
Tom May 23, 2022 - 8:29 am

It’s sad, but I’ve come to the same conclusion. jetBlue has been my go-to, whenever I fly coach on a route they operate. I’ve actually felt a sort of proprietary pride, since I first flew them shortly after they launched. It was a much better in-flight product, with nicer employees, especially the F.A.s; I was treated with respect and care, unlike the way I was at other carriers. However, my warm feelings have evaporated…and it’s so unnecessary! It’s not just operational meltdowns (though they are a crazy-making waste of my time). Gate agents and flight attendants are being pushed beyond the breaking point, which makes them cranky and defensive…and I see no acknowledgment from management, that they have a problem. Recently, I flew Allegiant (my first time) SFB-IAG, instead of jetBlue MCO-BUF. I hated the seat (way too narrow — though interestingly the aisle seemed extra wide — badly padded, and no recline) but the employees were a dream! They seemed to genuinely enjoy their jobs and interacting with passengers, every stage of the traveling process. It was eye-opening!

Reply
JohnB May 23, 2022 - 3:47 pm

JetBlue is in hostile acquisition of Spirit. They won’t get any better for awhile possibly never!

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