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Have You Forgiven JetBlue?

Recently, I sat down with David Neeleman, JetBlue's CEO, to hear about the aftereffects of its high-profile meltdown in February and his strategy for leading through crisis. Before the piece hit the presses, we sent an advance copy to members of our reader panel and asked how they thought he did.

We ran a few of the comments alongside the article. But my editor and I read them all. I encourage you do to the same (here's the link). They offer a revealing look at how customers respond to missteps and apologies, particularly by a company known for providing smart, attentive service prior to the fiasco.

FC readers responded with a mix of skepticism:
"He is just doing his job."
"There was obviously a failure of imagination."

And disappointment:
"I don't think he took enough personal blame."

But also realism:
"Anyone who will not forgive Jetblue doesn't fly very much."

And admiration:
"David Neeleman certainly did the right thing for taking responsibility for the problems. Refreshing to see a CEO do that."

As well as apprehension:
"He's raised customer expectations even higher."

Hopefully other recent stumblers — for starters, Taco Bell and Menu Foods, the company at the center of the pet food recall — are paying attention.

To join the Fast Company Connection Reader Panel, click here.

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  • Chuck Dennis

    I've recently touched on this topic on my own blog (http://yourcustomerseyes.typep.... It seems as though Mr. Neeleman is playing "whack-a-mole" with public relations nightmares. This time, four Jet Blue employees were busted for credit card fraud. This is really a shame, because on a good day, Jet Blue delivers a great customer experience. But on a bad day... not so great. The thing about "roller-coaster" performance is that customers tend to remember the low points much more than the high points. And it takes a lot of high points to ease the memory of one low point.