JetBlue baggage service can only be described as the Worst of them all!
On Friday August 27, 2010, my brother and his children flew from the Dominican Republic to JFK airport. We, his family, waited impatiently for him for hours. The flight had arrived at 9:21PM, according to the JetBlue screen, and last time I checked the time, it was 11:50PM. We were worried. The only reason that—we thought—could have probably caused him to be so late was maybe because of the wait for the luggage. But my brother was traveling fairly light; they only had three luggage. In the past, a bunch of us have traveled together with airlines like American Airlines, US Airways, Continental, and Delta and we don’t recall a time when we had to wait over two hours for luggage.
After waiting for about three hours, he finally emerged from the crowd, with only two bags. We were directed to the JetBlue Baggage Information desk, where we waited even more for a staff member to go back and try to find the lost suitcase. He came back, but the suitcase was nowhere to be found. So there were we, filling out delivery information and all that senseless stuff they ask. The receptionist made it sound like we were going to get this bag the next day. He gave us back a yellow receipt and said to call JFK Baggage Information Center around 5:00AM to see if they had found the luggage, and they would deliver it to our house the next day. Meanwhile, I was there just wondering if he really did think that any of us was going to get up at 5:00AM, after going to bed past 2AM, just to see if a bag was found. It was too late, and everybody was just tired and hungry. So we said we would handle it the next day and just took off.
The following morning
I call the number on the receipt, which was 347-545-3900, expecting it to be a very smooth process since the guy had almost assured us that we would get the suitcase back on the 28th. My mom once lost her bag with Continental Airlines, but she got it back the very next morning, Speedy Gonzalez type of fast. So I didn’t even doubt that the same thing was going to happen with my brother’s suitcase, which by the way had all his shoes and majority of his clothes in there. Well, I was wrong. The woman who picked up the phone was very unprofessional and rude. She was talking as if it was our fault that JetBlue lost the luggage. She tells me that a staff member is going to check the area, and to call back within a few hours to see if they found the bag.
I called back within the suggested amount of hours and again, we got the same rude woman. This time she told us that the luggage was left in the Dominican Republic and it was going to come in the next flight. After hours of calling over and over again, the bag was never found. The whole calling process and having to fight with these “customer service” reps was exhausting, so we just gave up for the day. On Sunday, we called again and this time she said they had found the bag and that it was going to be delivered to us through FedEx the next business day.
Either JetBlue transferred its incompetence to FedEx, or JetBlue didn’t actually ship the bag when they said they did.
We were supposed to receive the luggage by Monday or Tuesday. It was Wednesday and my brother had still not received anything. At this point, we are all just very upset. So we called the baggage center again looking for answers. She gives us a FedEx tracking number. At least now we knew that it was on its way. But it seemed that they paid the cheapest fee available to FedEx to deliver the bag to us because, as far as I was concerned, FedEx had always been very efficient when it came to delivering. This time, it took a whole week.
We got the bag by Friday, September 3rd, and they left it outside house. No one signed a paper, no one received a call, and no one saw FedEx. I was in total shock. After seven days of waiting, they deliver and decide to leave the bag exposed outside. Anyone could have stolen it! If I’m not mistaken, the sender chooses if a signature is required, so obviously it was not in JetBlue’s best interest to protect our possessions. What kind of unprofessional, irresponsible company does this? JetBlue does!
Trying to get compensated for their irresponsible, unprofessional act and our wasted time
On August 28, we received an email with this message:
The following credit has been applied to your Travel Bank account: Service Credit of $30.00 USD…This credit is available for use on future travel with JetBlue and is non-transferable.
I just laughed. I laughed for a couple of reasons. First, JetBlue Travel Bank? Do you really think that we are going to use your useless service ever again, JetBlue? Think again. After such experience, I wouldn’t fly with JetBlue even if it was the last plane left on an island where I am about to be swallowed by the ocean. Then I laughed because this “credit” that they issue to people whose luggage they lose (which seems to happen a lot for what I have read) is actually a marketing strategy. That money is not going anywhere. They have not issued anyone a credit of anything; it stays with them! But people are easily fooled. Their eyes probably pop up when they see a total grant of…$30.00. Big deal! We just wasted a lot more than that on phone calls trying to get the issue resolved.
Because of this, I called the JetBlue customer service line to have this issue addressed and request an actual credit. The agent tells me that they don’t issue credits or refunds, other than the credit issued by the baggage center to the stupid travel bank account. So, I told her that we do not intent to fly with JetBlue ever again and we needed this resolved in a different way as soon as possible. She said, in a very apathetic way, that it was up to me to use the credit or not. I couldn’t believe her response, so I asked for a supervisor. After waiting on hold, she tells me that her supervisor has instructed her to transfer me to the baggage center, which she did super fast and didn’t even allow me to finish my sentence.
Once transferred, I explained the situation all over again to the agent. This woman was even more uncaring. She could care less, and I am not even exaggerating, about what I had to say. She was talking all over me as if it was her job. I told her how rude I thought they all were, and she didn’t even acknowledge me for what I had just said and experienced. She did not apologize at all. I must say that I have been on the other end before—I once worked on the phones as a customer service representative—and I know that it can be difficult dealing with problems that one didn’t create, but this is an international airline business, for god sake. The agents know beforehand what they signed up for, so a high level of patience and tolerance is required.
Since I know what makes customer service reps angry, I tried to give her a taste of her own medicine and gave her some hell. I kept her on the phone for a little longer, just complaining, since she seemed to be in such a rush. I also made her repeat a phone number three times, and I heard her sigh. That number she gave me was the number to the baggage center at JFK, by the way, and we know they have no control over JetBlue’s other credits or refunds.
As a final attempt, I called JetBlue back again to request a credit for all that stuff that happened unnecessarily. This time I spoke with an agent who was professional and nice, but didn’t have a different answer in terms of credits. I repeated that we will not be flying with JetBlue again and therefore, that credit that they issued to some random travel bank account is worthless to us. She then said that not only could we use this credit for us, but we could also give it to a friend. Are these people kidding? I understand she is just doing her job, but I think they have lost their mind.
I am NOT recommending this airline to anyone. I will NOT pass on this credit to anyone. Anything that is in my power to prevent anyone from flying with this crappy airline, I will do. Not worth it. I guess it’s true that you get what you pay for. I suggest you people out there pay a few extra hundreds and fly with a decent, reliable airline that actually cares about the customer.