The JetBlue Customer Bill of Rights has now been out there for over a day, and there is a lot of buzz about it. Unfortunately, most of the buzz is on defining the oft-used term “Controllable Irregularity.”
See, JetBlue will give you vouchers if you are delayed or canceled but only if the problem was due to a “Controllable Irregularity.” There has been a lot of speculation about what exactly that means, so I decided to do some more digging.
I spoke with JetBlue’s media relations office, and when I asked what the term meant, I was told that it meant anything that was under JetBlue’s control. Uh, ok. With a little more prodding, I was told that it meant things “other than weather or other than air traffic control.”
I then asked if they planned on updating the contract of carriage with a definition, especially since the term was capitalized in the Customer Bill of Rights. Generally, capitalized terms in legal documents require definition. I was simply told that it was just a JetBlue style to capitalize things and that was all. Wow.
So what exactly do we know now? Let’s use the above handy-dandy graphic as a guide. Maintenance and crew delays will receive compensation. Air traffic control and weather delays are not compensated. What if it’s a canceled flight due to crew delays from weather problems last week? Um, not so sure.
Just going on speculation here, I think we can add dinosaur attacks and military coups as additional events that won’t receive compensation. I mean, if either of those happen, they’re clearly out of JetBlue’s control. Besides, if that happens, we have bigger things to worry about anyway.
Personally, speaking from with the lens of someone who has heavily research public relations crises (e.g., Tylenol and Odwalla), I think this was what they needed to do to save their reputation as an airline.
I love the handy-dandy visual icon user guide. This is web blogging at it’s best! Someone give this man a Travvie!!
Brilliant. Thank you for taking the time to call jetBlue media relations. I blogged about this yesterday and you addressed the issue that obviously jumped out: those pesky “controllable irregularities” – Amazing how many blogs and media were gaga over the Customer Bill of Rights without questioning the glaring caveat. Great icons! Editor, PRBlogNews.com