Monday, August 23, 2010

the gauntlet, and then some

At the stroke of midnight, jetBlue's All-You-Can-Jet booking site opened up and only one of us was able to buy tickets: Deb. I was locked out of my page which had been "deactivated." We called the 1-800-number as instructed and blanched as all the tickets to Aruba on our planned dates sold out in minutes. Speaking of minutes, 50 minutes of static and muzak later, a woman came on the line but informed me that I had to speak with an AYCJ operator and that she could not help me. I protested, explaining that I had pressed 2 as directed, to no avail. She transferred me to the correct line, only to be greeted with "an expected wait of more than 60 minutes!" (The exclamation point is from me, the recording was surprisingly blase. Actually, it might make you feel a little better if even the recording was like, "Holy shit! You've gotta wait another hour. That's crazy!")

After two 1/2 hours (which felt like five), a woman came on the line (a very polite and helpful woman I might add); and as I was explaining my plight, Deb refreshed the page one last time and I was in. For the next two hours we frantically booked flights, and transfers, and seats. When the dust settled we came out pretty good: we secured all of the domestic flights we sought, then we swapped Costa Rica for Aruba, and filled Costa Rica's slot with Jamaica. We both had our heart set on Aruba, but perspective is important. If anyone ever walks up and complains to you that they have to go to Jamaica for five days, it is your right, nay, your obligation, to punch them square in the mouth.

I will say that the process was a nightmare of unnecessary inconvenience and frustration. jetBlue has done a very cool thing offering these unlimited passes, but the bloom is off the rose. I still like jetBlue, but I'm no longer in like with them. The people I really feel bad for are the ones who made the mistake of going to sleep last night because they were told to wait for an email, but may awaken to very limited options.

1 comment:

  1. Ooooh! Do I have a place for you to stay in Jamaica!!!! It's awesome, you have to know it's there, it's cheap but you have to be willing to rough it to some degree. It is right on the beach and you can't ask for better people than the ones that work there. If you're interested, let me know and I'll tell you all about Miss Audrey, Miss Dornette, and Mr. Paul Jerry!