The New York Times, running an interview with David G. Neeleman, the beleaguered chief executive of airline JetBlue, reports that “JetBlue’s C.E.O. Is ‘Mortified’ After Fliers Are Stranded” in last week’s snowstorms. Neeleman’s words to the Times are indeed abject in their regret, and forceful in his intention to turn around a situation that may have hurt his company badly.
Yet there’s not even a hint of this combination of apparently genuine regret and determination on the airline’s website. Not on the home page, where you might expect to find a heartfelt message from the management. And not even on the page you find via the home-page link so matter-of-factly named Operational Interruptions, which is a simple explanation of what’s going on and what passengers can do (not very much) to contact a human being at the carrier.
The news media aren’t the only venue for telling the airline’s new story, or shouldn’t be. The place where a lot of disgruntled customers are heading right now is the website.
By not using the site the way they’re using the traditional media, Neeleman and his colleagues at JetBlue are missing a major opportunity.