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Free pizza and soft drinks *from an airline*? in 2007? in a terminal? (Yes, it's true...)

Burlington, VT, airport.  Gate 15, Jet Blue's gate.  It's 6:15pm.  For almost all of us, our flight out was supposed to be close to 2 hours ago at 4:30pm - and they are saying we won't now leave until 7:30pm at the earliest. Severe thunderstorms in New York City/Philadelphia have completely screwed up air travel on the East Coast.  Something like 18 connecting flights out of JFK have been canceled - including my own.  I've been rebooked on a 9:45 connection that will get me in to Florida now at something like 1am (instead of 10:30pm).  People all around have been talking in their cell phones trying to rebook flights - or using their laptops with the free WiFi... or standing in long lines at the gate.  As the gate agent makes her periodic announcements of more connecting flights that will be missed, there are audible groans around the large room.

But right now... for at least a little while... the mood here in the terminal is pretty darn happy, with smiles around and a bit of light-hearted banter.

Why?   Simple...

Jet Blue brought in pizza and soft drinks for everyone to share!

Yes, indeed, a few minutes ago the Jet Blue ground crew brought in about 20 or so pizzas from Dominos.  This after having previous cracked open a few cases of soft drinks and water for people to have.   People lined up nicely and everyone in the gate area got at least one if not two pieces of pizza.

As readers of my various blogs know, I travel a good deal (probably a week or two a month), but I have to say that in probably 15 years of regular flying, this is the first time I can honestly say I've ever had this experience.    What a simple thing to do...  what did it cost them?  Maybe $200?  Probably less with a discount.  But what a wonderful way to just help improve the customer experience.

True... our flights are still all messed up.  The odds that we will actually get out of here at 7:30pm tonight are probably right up there with the odds of the Pope converting to Judaism.  The odds that all of us will make our connecting flights in JFK are probably quite similarly slim.  It's pretty clear that today's a pretty lousy day to be flying on the East Coast of the US. 

But up here in Vermont at the Jet Blue gate... at least for a moment... instead of a terminal full of grumpy, angry, upset customers whining and complaining about the airline, there is instead a crowd of calmer people who have at least had the edge taken off of their hunger.

Way to go, Jet Blue!

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