In what can only be described as the biggest non-story of the week, a family of four was stranded in Salt Lake City for nearly a week while trying to get home on JetBlue buddy passes. Buddy passes are given to airline employees to give to friends/family, so they can fly for next to nothing… on a standby basis.
I know plenty of folks in the airline industry that avoid giving their friends and family buddy passes because they’ve gotta have reasonable expectations going in. Flights are packed year round with capacity cuts, and especially this time of year.
Yet this family of four was stuck in Salt Lake City Airport for six nights, sleeping on metal benches and eating out of vending machines, since they couldn’t afford to pay for a flight or pay for a hotel. Eventually a “good Samaritan” purchased them tickets, and United even paid for a hotel for them.
First of all let me say that I feel bad for the family’s financial situation. That being said, as far as the story goes I feel a lot worse for JetBlue, as they’re getting bad publicity over what’s essentially a very generous benefit for employees. The system worked the way it was supposed to. It’s not like they’re going to kick off a paying passenger to accommodate those on space available buddy passes.
The blame for this lies entirely with either the family traveling or their friend that gave them the passes (or more than likely both!). The friend should have looked up how full the flights were and warned them about the possibility of being stuck there for days, while the family traveling should have probably used that as a deterrent for traveling. While their financial situation is sad, at the end of the day we all have to make responsible decisions based on our means. And it sounds like they didn’t.
Anyway, this is just a complete non-story. Which makes me wonder why I’m bothering to share it here. On to more important news — has everyone seen Miley Cyrus’ new hair and heard that the Jonas Brothers are getting back together?