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More trouble (and stranded passengers) for JetBlue

It was snowing when I woke up this morning, so naturally my first thought was about JetBlue’s recent trouble with winter weather. (OK, maybe not my first thought—that was probably more of the “do I have to shovel the driveway to get at my car?” variety—but after that, I began to wonder how JetBlue’s freshly minted customer bill of rights would hold up to its first real test.)

Passengers from at least 68 flights will have a chance to find out, because that’s the number of flights canceled by the airline today due to the wintry weather. Of course, 68 is nothing compared to the 1,000 affected during the ice storm two weeks ago.

And while there reportedly were no 11-hour delays on the tarmac this time, at least one flight (New York to Raleigh) sat on the runway for nearly three hours before being canceled.

“We were waiting on the plane for so long,” says 22-year-old Duke University student Segun Akande in an AP report. “You would think they would tell us to go back to the terminal after an hour or two.”

Yes, you probably would think that; given the PR hit JetBlue has taken recently, if I were running that airline I’d be hyper-sensitive to customer perceptions right now.

That said, though, let’s take a step back and look at JetBlue on the whole. It’s been interesting and somewhat disheartening to see the media and occasional industry blowhard pile on JetBlue this past week, when in reality it’s not like this is an airline with typically bad customer relations—just the opposite, in fact. JetBlue is one of the few carriers that really seems to “get it” most of the time.

Clearly there are still kinks left to work out in the big plan, but if I had to put my money on any one airline to figure things out in the end, well, I’d bet the house on JetBlue.

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