The Jet Blue Seating Disaster

In all my years flying, I have never seen such mass confusion when it came time to making sure that all passengers were in their proper seats aboard an aircraft that was about to take off. The best computer software program in the world couldn’t solve the debacle I witnessed yesterday.  If it could, why wasn’t Jet Blue using it? 

The story I am about to tell you happened yesterday on our Jet Blue flight from JFK to Ft. Lauderdale airport. Eliot and I usually take American Airlines to Miami out of La Guardia because they fly directly. We were on a Jet Blue flight because it was the same airline we used earlier in the day for our flight from Martha’s Vineyard to JFK. We didn’t want to change airlines.

We were in Martha’s Vineyard for a wedding. Jet Blue is one of two airlines that fly in and out of the Vineyard. The other  airline is called Cape Air, but their aircraft are so small many folks call them, Cape Fear.

The Jet Blue flight from the Vineyard to JFK, a big 33 minutes, was uneventful. We had a two-hour layover before we boarded the second Jet Blue flight. We got to the gate with an hour to spare. We were surprised to see they were already boarding. 

We should have known something was wrong. They never told us but they changed aircraft and all the seats and their corresponding numbers were not configured the same way. Instead of a computer software program trying to figure out where everyone belonged, we had a Jet Blue female official, in stiletto heels and a fashionista outfit, switching people around right on the aircraft itself with a pad and pencil. This process took 90 minutes. Passengers didn’t want to switch seats  because their luggage was stored in the overhead right above them. 

The Jet Blue official didn’t want anyone moving their luggage because that would take more time in this crazy process. The passengers revolted. They were not moving without their luggage. Conversations turned into heated discussions. The passengers wanted Jet Blue to let everyone just sit wherever they could find seats so we could take off.

That would have been too easy. The Jet Blue lady had to speak to each passenger in order to determine where she wanted them to sit. I guess Jet Blue needed to do this for legal reasons. It was so obnoxious. Passengers were yelling at the Jet Blue staff. It was very disconcerting.

I’m not a great flyer, so having a disturbance like this just completely unnerved me. I just can’t believe that there isn’t a computer software program that could have solved this   seating mishap in a few minutes. Eliot said this reorganization should have taken place before they allowed us to board the aircraft. This was insane.

We got home two hours late. We were safe and sound. I guess that’s all that really matters. By the way, Jet Blue gave all of the passengers $25 for the inconvenience.

4 thoughts on “The Jet Blue Seating Disaster

  1. I’m very surprised because Jet Blue generally has it together. I fly them a lot and I always say they should train other airline staff.

  2. I’m with Marilyn. I have had great JetBlue experiences and am sorry it cut back its trans-con service from IAD. In fact, I had become a frequent JB flyer after United (UAHell) crapped on me two or three times in a row … real bad, not just seating confusion. Sorry you encountered a big inconvenience, which software should have resolved. But other than the inconvenience of going to JFK rather than LGA, you should give JB another chance.

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