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The Most Interesting Tidbit about the Deal Between American Airlines and JetBlue…

I’m certain that other sites will dissect the JetBlue/American Airlines deal in great detail (here’s the short version if you missed it:  American will give JetBlue 8 slot pairs at Washington National & 1 at Westchester, while JetBlue will give AA 12 slot pairs at JFK.  They’ll also interline on 18 non-overlapping domestic markets allowing those passengers to transfer to a handful of AA international flights out of JFK and Boston).  The deal gives JetBlue a strong presence in Washington, as it now serves all 3 area airports.  There’s more to it, but there ya go.

The most interesting tidbit for me was that American CEO Gerard Arpey said during the press conference that he had never flown JetBlue.  Huh?  JetBlue is the most innovative coach product in the past 10 years and he has never flown them?  It never interested him to see why AA was losing customers hand-over-fist years ago when JetBlue introduced competing transcon service from JFK to Oakland and Long Beach?  Is that being incredibly, incredibly petulant or is there some other excuse that I’m missing?  How can the CEO of a large company not be interested in what their most innovative competitor is doing?

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  1. That’s interesting indeed. I guess JetBlue not having First Class probably makes them “unsuitable” for him. And there you wonder why most of the legacies are in trouble.

  2. Interesting indeed. CEOs are so much out of whack with reality.

    Somehow diverging (but close to your point): I recently made a comment on Dell’s CEO blog about how all board members (and the CEO) at Dell should be forced to order a dell laptop, try to cancel the order by callign the 1-800 line (then being told to call another 1-800 number 18 times and resubmit your information), then make a change, WAIT for it to get to your office then try to return it. I can’t say I had anything to do with it. But the experience totally changed rapidly thereafter. They then introduced “fast track” (pre-configured versio n that get to your office in 48 hours) I cancelled an order just this week and that person was able to cancel in within a minute (it used to be a carzy one hour phone chase around the world).

    It’s just crazy that regular joes have to nudge them and say “hey, maybe you want to take your product out for a sping, and I mean NOT just look at the laptop and say, oh yeah, we’ve got a winner”. If people can’t buy it or have it serviced, it doesn’t matter if you have a great product. And if you’re not looking at what others have to offer, you’re digging yourself into a hole.

    Do these CEOs get jobs based on their resumes and what they say. Man, I’d be worried if I were him to get another job after admitting that he never flew JetBlue yet they’re making multibillion decisions with them. If I were to hire someone who I knew made such a crazy statement, I wouldn’t touch them with a ten foot pole… Yet they are making the millions… Isn’t that common sense?

    No wonder lagacy carriers are in a financial hole. Everyone blames the unions but turns out that the CEO is also in a 1970 hole… argg…

    Pierre

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