Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Fessing Up 

It was interesting to read yesterday that the CEO of Jet Blue was humiliated and mortified by the breakdown of his airline in New York during the recent ice storm. He did the right thing as a leader by confessing to management error. The key now will be to see what the airline does the next time something like this happens. Customers won't give companies a by for long, even if the companies offer good deals in terms of fares and seating, as Jet Blue does.

It is interesting that the company attempted to keep operating during the ice storm rather than cancelling flights. If the analyst is correct, trying to do the right thing is not always the right thing to do. The storm was severe. I do not remember many times in my life seeing sleet fall so heavily and turn into instant ice on the ground as it did that day.

From a PR perspective, Jet Blue earned a black eye last week, but it is one that can be forgotten if the company analyzes what went wrong and makes sure that it never happens again.

It may well be the next time that the company upsets passengers by cancelling flights along with all the other airlines. That would be preferable, however, to the chaos that is now burned into the memory of its employees.


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