I am a big fan of jetBlue, and of many employees that I have met during my travels. In fact, it is my favorite airline and I would fly it everywhere if I could. I also love the way they think about their business and how (in my opinion) they execute flawlessly against one goal – bringing humanity back to the airline industry.
That is what we all want, isn’t it? We do not want to be treated as cattle or indirectly be told that we will suffer while flying – as some airlines seem determined to do.
But guess what – in order to bring humanity back to the airline industry you have to do one thing: allow your employees to behave like individual human beings, not corporate automatons that spew corporate speak all the time or try to sell you credit cards while they have you trapped in their seats. And that is what jetBlue does – their front line employees are genuine human beings…If you ever spoke with one of them, you would know. They are friendly, they have opinions, they are different from one another – they are genuine social human beings that treat us as if we were long lost friends.
And humans also have emotions…sometimes they will get mad and sometimes they will do crazy things – that comes with the territory. We are all fine with that when it happens in the real world, that which we inhabit outside of work. If someone from our tribe screws up, we put social pressure on that person to get their act together, we apologize, and we move on.
Why cannot we do that in business? Why do we have to ostracize the whole jetBlue tribe because one human being exhibited a side of humanity that “maybe” should not have been expressed in public – frustration and anger?
I am fine dealing with an occasionally frustrated flight attendant if the brand promise is to make me feel like a human being while flying with jetBlue – any day!
And I think you should too. jetBlue deserves our business and our support, and they surely have mine. It angers me to hear all the pundits jump on this occasion to talk about their puny little agendas.
The only thing I wish for is that the response from jetBlue would have been more human and less corporate-like, but with all the legal issues floating over this incident, I am sure that there are limitations as to what can be done while protecting the corporate legal entity.