JetBlue Offers Passengers Bill of Rights

ByABC News
February 20, 2007, 1:00 PM

Feb. 20, 2007 — -- Embattled airline JetBlue took the first step in rebuilding its reputation Tuesday after a disastrous week of cancellations and controversies tarnished the popular discount flier's image.

After a Valentine's Day snowstorm triggered an organizational meltdown, JetBlue revealed plans to institute a passenger bill of rights.

"JetBlue Airways today announces a comprehensive customer promise and compensation program called 'The JetBlue Customer Bill of Rights,'" the company said in a statement.

The program includes a compensation plan for travelers based on the length of delays "within JetBlue's control." They exclude delays because of weather, air traffic control, crew shortages and maintenance problems.

Passengers will receive $25 off a future flight if their arrival is delayed by 30 minutes, and will receive full credit for a return flight if the delay lasts two hours or more.

Passengers waiting at the gate to depart on a flight for an hour to two hours will receive a $25 voucher for a future flight; if the delay lasts two to six hours, passengers receive a $50 voucher, and if passengers are waiting to depart at the gate for more than six hours, they will receive a round-trip ticket for a future flight equal in value to the delayed flight.

For departing flights waiting on the tarmac -- similar to the situation last week -- passengers will receive $100 off a future flight after three hours, a round-trip ticket after four hours, and the plane will return to the gate after five hours.

Also, if a flight is canceled within 12 hours of its departure time, passengers can ask for a full refund.

The announcement comes after JetBlue infuriated travelers by first stranding them in planes stuck on airport runways and then failing to get flights back on schedule soon after the storm.

In a video posted on JetBlue's Web site, David Neeleman, the airline's founder and CEO, lamented his company's "worst week" in its eight-year history.