When experience fails advertising.

I've been in NYC the past few days. Please excuse the massive break in the blog. My next few posts will probably be based on my trip. This entry is about living up to your brand promise.

I flew Jet Blue for the first time, with very different results going and coming.

Our local airport does not have a Jet Blue terminal. In fact, there are only a few flights a day that go to NYC. Jet Blue really has no control over the terminal or airport situation. And that's when the experience starts to contradict the advertising message. 

Jet Blue has this idea of "Happy jetting." When you see this message on the little screen in front of you, during the second time you've boarded the plane, right after they've told you that you're going back to the gate to get off it again, you might have a similar reaction to mine. I was infuriated. I mentally declared I was never "jetting" again, that this brand promise had not only failed me, but made me more angry than I would have been otherwise.

Also, our airport pretty much shuts down at eight or so. We had no food, no entertainment. And the measly offer of Doritos snack mix didn't make me any perkier. I was stuck in a grey airport in an uncomfortable chair with people telling me my flight "may" take off soon. Ultimately my flight was delayed eight hours - not Jet Blue's fault, it was the weather, but still I irrationally blamed them.

My return trip showed me what "Happy jetting" was supposed to be. JFK has a Jet Blue terminal, so ultimately the company can fulfill their brand promise because they are controlling the situation. The carpets were bright blue with streaks of orange. There were people everywhere just to answer questions. There was a Jamba Juice and other good food. They had special stuffed, soft seats with free-standing ottomans in all different colors that could be moved around. I was reclining. The announcements were loud and clear. Everything was clean and gleaming. They had free Wi-Fi internet and stations for people without computers. It was terminal heaven.

Of course my flight was on-time here. My only complaint is that some of my channels were out on the way back, so I didn't get to see the "Happy jetting" message again. That time I might have liked it.

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