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Jet Blue Airline Makes Me Angry

Jet Blue Airline Makes Me AngryIt is amazing how quickly a table can turn, it is shocking how thoroughly an opinion can change in such a short amount of time. Tomorrow always has the possibility of rising a much different day than today.I wrote this entry, Jet Blue Good Airline, a couple of days ago [...]

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Jet Blue Airline Makes Me Angry

It is amazing how quickly a table can turn, it is shocking how thoroughly an opinion can change in such a short amount of time. Tomorrow always has the possibility of rising a much different day than today.

I wrote this entry, Jet Blue Good Airline, a couple of days ago without the knowledge that my feelings would rapidly change. Jet Blue made me angry.
Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Bangor, Maine, USA- December 2,2008
Travelogue Travel Photos

Perhaps I am a little old fashioned, perhaps I expect too much from the companies that I give my money to, perhaps it is beyond the pale of USA culture to expect to be treated like a human when talking to public service employees. Perhaps I am out of time and out of step.

I tried to purchase a ticket from Portland, ME to JFK on the Jet Blue website from Bangor, Maine for two days. The website would not work. I tried multiple computers. It was obviously a problem with the Jet Blue servers, so I called them on the phone to purchase the tickets.

So I dialed the number and pressed buttons to go through some prompts. Before I even got to talk to a person a recording came on to let me know that I would have to pay an extra $15 per ticket if I wanted to make a purchase via telephone, that I would essentially be taxed for the extra privilege of speaking to a human being. I felt confused, was I not calling Jet Blue because I wanted to buy something from them, was it not my intention to give them money?

Was I really going to be charged extra money for simply trying to buy something from them over the telephone?

It became apparent to me in a flash the extent by which Western society has become mechanized: it now costs an extra $30 to buy two plane tickets from a human being rather than through a website.

This sounded ridiculous, and I figured that I could get this fee waved by telling them that their website is not working and that there is no other way to buy a ticket from them than through the telephone.

A “human” soon answered the phone. I explained to “human” my problems with the website and asked if I could just buy the ticket from him without the added fee. He said that I could, but he would need the error code from the website. Perhaps he thought I was lying.

“What, do you think I am lying?” I asked.

Did he think that I was tying to steal the privilege of speaking to him, human to “human?”

“I just need the error code from the website, sir, or I will have to charge the fee,” he replied.

He thought I was lying.

“I did not write the code down, do you seriously want me to go through the entire process of buying a ticket again just so I can get you a damn code?”


I protested that I had already put hours of my time into buying this stupid ticket through a malfunctioning website and that it would take at least another 15 minutes to go through it all again. This sounded stupid to me. I knew the website did not work, I tried it a half dozen times, but I had to do it once again so that some drone could prove that I was not lying to save myself $30 for the privilege of talking to him.

F’cking android.

I then asked to talk to his supervisor. I was not going to back down now. He hung up on me.

The company that I was just trying to give $150 to hung up on me!

I called back, and talked to another android. She said the same thing, “I need the error code or I have to charge you $15 per ticket.”

I would think that Jet Blue would apologize to me for the inconvenience of their website not functioning properly and the do all that they could to ensure that I would continue flying on their airline. But they did not care.

The notions of “company pride” or the feeling of satisfaction from a job well done are becoming vacant ideas in America. People work jobs just for money and nothing more because they know that their company would fire them in an instant and move to India if it meant that they could save a few cents. The American working person knows every day how worthless they really are. I understand why these Jet Blue employees seemed to care nothing about the company they were working for: they have never been show a reason to care. Being nice to me on the telephone would get them nowhere.

They know that they are worthless.

But I yelled at them anyway. “This is your error and blah, blah, blah,” I ranted . . . “I just want to give you some f’cking money and blah, blah, blah. . . There are a half dozen other airlines that I could fly on and blah, blah, blah .” I was getting nowhere and I knew it, but it felt good to yell about it anyway.

Customer service representatives no longer represent the companies that they work for. Rather, they just seem to act as a do-nothing, know-nothing buffers between the company and the customer. The customer is shit, the customer service representative is shit, every human is shit when it comes to the new capitalistic machinery that has swept across the planet. Humans no longer make transactions face to face, so it is almost odd to want to speak to someone. To talk with a representative of a company that you ultimately wish to give money to is an added service that costs money. To want to act as a human when making a monetary transaction is to attempt to defeat the status-quo of a mechanized world. It is, apparantly, sort of a weird thing to do.

I ended up demanding to talk to a supervisor again, and the android really did transfer me. I explained the situation again to the same fallow ends: I would have to log back on to the website and pretend to buy a ticket again so I could get some stupid error code. I refused to do it and said that I would never fly Jet Blue again while yelling at the supervising android some more.

I hung up the phone. I looked around the room in a rage.

Chaya looked at me as if I were silly or something.

“I ain’t buying another ticket from them,” I said, pouting like a stubborn little kid that did not get his way. “You can do what they say if you want to, but I’m not going to.”

I didn’t. She did.

Ten minutes later, stubborness aside, our plane tickets were purchased.

Related Pages:
Jet Blue Good Airline
USA- Don’t Buy from Buy.com
Portugal- Ryan Air or The Penny Flight that Wasn’t
USA- Jet Blue Flight from Rochester to JFK

Links to previous travelogue entries:

  • Work in the USA
  • Enjoy the Journey
  • Archaeology Fieldwork Interview

Jet Blue Airline Makes Me Angry


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Filed under: Air Travel, Maine, USA

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3715 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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