JetBlue Quietly Changed Compensation Rule Last Summer; People Just Finding Out Now

by SharonKurheg

When airlines make a change they think passengers will like, they shout it from the rooftops. Alaska Airlines’ free checked item? They’ve got a whole page devoted to it. Delta’s free Wi-Fi? They made sure every news outlet knew about it.

But when an airline makes a change they know won’t be popular, they do it very surreptitiously. That way people will only find out when they experience the change, or they read about it on social media. But without the likes of social media, online newspapers, etc. to announce it all at the same time, it kind of stays under the wire until someone experiences it. Even if it then makes it to social media, it’s still not as much of a splash.

Case in point…

When something goes wrong at a hotel or on a flight, some people immediately start thinking about compensation.

Because of this, some airlines have compensation amounts right on their website. Sometimes, it’s because the FAA requires it, but other times, it’s something the airline has made up themselves. For example, Alaska Airlines is the only major U.S. airline that will issue frequent flyer miles when a controllable cancellation or delay results in a passenger waiting for 3 hours or more from the scheduled departure time.

a screenshot of a computerAnyway, for years, JetBlue offered compensation if a passenger’s inflight entertainment unit didn’t work. If someone complained about it on then-Twitter-now-X, JetBlue would take care of it.

In 2013, you’d get $15 of compensation in the form of a credit if your IFE didn’t work.

In 2016, they said you’re entitled to a credit, although they didn’t specify how much (it was still $15).

Michael W. Travels said his whole party of four each got a $15 credit to the Travel Bank, back in 2017.

Heck, in 2018, this blogger was traveling in JetBlue Mint, and when their IFE didn’t work, they said they got a $100 JetBlue travel credit!

As recently as late 2022, another blogger said they were given a $15 credit for their inoperable IFE.

And then, starting with anything booked on or after July 1, 2023, all that changed. If your IFE didn’t work on JetBlue, you were suddenly no longer able to ask for $15 compensation. Here’s what JetBlue currently says on their website:

a screenshot of a message

Additional info

My seatback entertainment was malfunctioning during the flight. Do I get a partial refund?
  • If your flight was booked prior to July 1, 2023, you are entitled to a $15 Travel credit upon request if you experience inoperable inflight entertainment: Wi-fi and DirectTV.

  • See our Customer Bill of Rights for more information.

So essentially, too bad, so sad, go pound sand.

Again, JetBlue never announced this policy change…they just quietly stopped giving $15 credit for problems with their poor equipment. People generally find out when they have a problem with the IFE and send a message to the airline.

Nice. Real nice.

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1 comment

Retired Gambler February 10, 2024 - 2:04 pm

Does $15 really matter to anyone? If so I feel really bad for their financial situation. Just let it go. Also, those that stand in line for a meal voucher and hotel you otherwise wouldn’t stay in are sad as well. Just take care of yourself, book what you want and understand stuff happens sometimes and that doesn’t mean anyone has to pay you for it. It is all about self reliance which has, unfortunately, gone away and now everyone has their hand out at the slightest inconvenience.


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