Thursday, August 20, 2009

JetBlue: Tough Luck, All Sold Out

I don't know how many times this kind of stunt can be pulled before you see real signs that you've alienated a significant segment of your loyalty base.

JetBlue says its unusual, massively hyped $599 "All-You-Can-Jet Pass" has been a "great success—we’ve sold out of all available passes!"

Well, high fives to you all. It was a great sale promotion directed at the business traveler who flies frequently.

But the fact is, JetBlue, you welched on the offer almost two days before it was to end. Slammed down the shutters. "Sorry! All sold out!"

Says JetBlue: "We limited the number of passes sold to make sure that everyone who purchased a pass would be able to take ample advantage of it during the September 8–October 8 travel period."

OK, noted. But then the company goes on blithely, as if it were addressing happy customers, rather than a number of people who might feel stiffed:

"Customers who purchased the pass can choose from 57 cities and more than 600 daily flights. Please be sure to review this page and the Full Terms and Conditions prior to booking your pass flights. Happy jetting!"

Right, happy jetting. But I'll bet some JetBlue customers have two other words to say in reply.

If Macy's pulled something like this, it would be considered a consumer scandal. "While supplies last" is a fine-print phrase used in come-on offers by bust-out joints, not highly regarded airlines like JetBlue. If you announce a sale, you keep your word.


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