“Controllable Irregularities” Might Require Pepto Bismol

Delays/Cancellations, JetBlue

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.”

controllableSee, 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.

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3 comments on ““Controllable Irregularities” Might Require Pepto Bismol

  1. 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.

  2. I love the handy-dandy visual icon user guide. This is web blogging at it’s best! Someone give this man a Travvie!!

  3. 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

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