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Out of the Blue: Crisis Communications

By Suzanne Spurgeon  August 17, 2010

It appears Jet Blue is making the most of a bad situation. While the debate continues whether stressed out flight attendant, Steven Slater, was justified in his on-board rant and quick exit, the airline has just brought back its popular, "all you can fly" deal.  The timing couldn't be more perfect for a company that wants to move on from the mess and get people talking about what's good about Jet Blue.  As a frequent flyer, I wish good manners would replace bad behavior by passengers and some testy crew members on all flights.  As for Jet Blue, I think it struck the right tone, stressing the safety issue in the Slater incident. The jury is still out on the wisdom of "leaking" an internal memo that questions the validity of Slater's story.  On one hand, once picked up by the media, it creates doubts about Slater.  But, what if a credible passenger or flight attendant steps forward  now and backs up his account?  Jet Blue looks like a bully that doesn't support its employees.  From the moment Slater went down that slide, the airline has been in crisis communication mode.  How do you think the executives handled it? And do you have a crisis communication plan in place to help you through the bad times?

While Slater's days as a flight attendant are likely over, his fifteen minutes of fame aren't over just yet.  He's hired a big name PR agent and if rumors are right, may end up with a reality TV show.  His take this job and shove it sentiment could really resonate with viewers. 



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