After a weekend when severe weather and technical difficulties grounded thousands of flights and left travelers stranded, JetBlue's CEO faced questions about how the company will respond at a press conference Tuesday.
JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes was in Boston to announce new service from Logan International Airport to the UK on new planes with spacious seats. But he also addressed questions about the cancellations and delays that left some travelers stuck for days.
Dozens of flights operated by JetBlue and Southwest Airlines were delayed or canceled Sunday, leaving many passengers stranded. Travelers were still seeing the effects Tuesday morning.
“Every canceled flight we take personally. We know everyone’s got a reason for being on that airplane," Hayes said.
In a one-on-one interview with NBC10 Boston on Tuesday, he blamed the travel mess on bad weather in the South. The airline also faulted technical issues for the headaches.
Asked whether his team could've done anything to fix the issue, he said, “we will do a review and we will look to how we can always handle these things better. There’s always room for improvement.”
“Unfortunately, when you have that amount of disruption it takes you two or three days to recover," he added.
Frustrated customers said that the airline rebooked them for other flights at other airports without even asking.
“It’s like a 300-minute plus wait to get somebody on the phone," Caitlin McLaughlin, one of the stranded travelers, said.
Hayes said customers who never took off will get a full refund, and those who dealt with delays will get travel vouchers and maybe more.
“All of our customers have either heard or will be hearing from us," Hayes said.
Operations have improved dramatically within the last 48 hours. As of Tuesday, there were only about a dozen delays on the JetBlue board at Logan.
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According to FlightAware, more than 700 JetBlue flights were either both canceled or delayed in and out of Logan Airport. In all, more than 10,000 flights have been delayed or canceled this weekend.
"We are experiencing flight disruptions across our network today due to briefly pausing our service earlier this morning as we worked to resolve an intermittent technology issue, as well as ongoing weather challenges impacting multiple areas within our system," Southwest Airlines said in a written statement.