NoteJetBlue is a low-cost domestic airline operating in the United States following a unique combination strategy of low-cost and differentiation. Since its inception in 1999 by CEO David Neeleman, JetBlue has been enjoying stellar reputation and were consistently ranked among the industry's best in service quality. The airline mainly operated from New York City's John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport.
On 14 February of 2007, an ice storm hit Eastern United States causing many disruptions in flight schedules as most airlines had responded by canceling flights schedules for that week. However, JetBlue was very optimistic and were convinced that the weather would improve and they would be able to fly. Thus, they boarded passengers but were unable to take off due to bad weather conditions. This decision had led to nine airplanes full of passengers being stuck on board planes for over 11 hours without sufficient food and drinks and no proper toilet facilities.
Furthermore, passengers in the airports who had scheduled flights were not informed about the cancelled flights and were stuck in the airport for long hours. Over the course of a week, JetBlue ended up canceling over 1,100 flights. All these led to a high level of frustration and anger among passengers.
The media reacted to the crisis by posting articles with headlines reporting JetBlue's failure with their customers. Overnight, JetBlue became the biggest new story at every news stand and TV station. The crisis worsened when affected passengers had their ordeals documented in interviews and public blogs.
In response to the media firestorm, JetBlue's Public Relations (PR) team posted advertisements and articles apologizing to all passengers including those who had not been personally inconvenienced by the flight cancellations. Neeleman also went on various media shows and interviews, where he took responsibility and explained...