Winter Woes Dog JetBlue

The carrier cancels 215 flights amid another storm, but travelers are struggling to get information.
Author:
Publish date:

Another winter storm, another problem for

JetBlue

(JBLU) - Get Report

.

The New York-based carrier promised travelers it learned its lesson after stranding thousands of fliers during a February storm, and it adopted a customer bill of rights intended to make the JetBlue experience more fulfilling.

So when another weather system started dumping snow and ice on the Northeast early Friday, it joined other airlines in canceling and delaying dozens and dozens of flights. Now if only JetBlue ticketholders could find out whether they should even bother to go to the airport. And if so, when.

JetBlue spokesman Todd Burke said the airline has been receiving thousands of calls from passengers concerning the cancellations. He said that while extra reservation agents had been called in, phone lines were nevertheless jammed, making it difficult to get through.

A recorded phone message referred passengers to the airline's Web site in order to check their flight status. But at midmorning, the site told passengers the server was down, apparently as a result of being overwhelmed by people trying to get the facts. As a result, many passengers were unable to find out about their flights.

Burke said the server wasn't down, but functioned slowly due to the increased traffic. He said the airline is working to resolve the problem. All told, the airline has called off 215 flights thus far.

Earlier, JetBlue said passengers with reservations for travel March 15-18 that originate at Northeastern airports could rebook for travel March 20-April 30 with no additional charge.

JetBlue's performance has been under scrutiny since weather problems last month led to delays and shutdowns that lasted several days as the airline struggled to get crews, airport staff and reservations agents in place.

Aside from JetBlue,

Delta

(DALRQ)

said it canceled 250 flights, while

AirTran

(AAI)

grounded 32.

The cancellations came as the National Weather Service forecast varying amounts of snow and sleet in New York City and its suburbs.

Shares of JetBlue were down 6 cents at $11.84 recently.