Thursday, January 3, 2008

Text Alerts Would Help!

This morning, Muni was plagued with "computer problems" as the p.a. announcements explained. The result was very slow traffic in the tunnels. The good news: Once again, frequent announcements kept riders apprised of the issue and warned of longer waits. The bad news: very crowded trains and long waits.

Which brings me to my frequent refrain: Why can't Muni allow customers to sign up for text alerts? That way, if there's trouble that they know of, riders can choose to either gut it out or to take alternative transit - BART, cab, bus, etc. On days like today, if just 15% of riders chose to take alternative transit, the slow trains would have been significantly less crowded and the experience would have been more pleasant.

Speaking of pleasant, I had an amazing customer experience over the holidays. We traveled to Nantucket for Christmas via JetBlue. The outbound trip was fine. Coming back, our connecting flight from Nantucket to Boston was delayed because of icy conditions. We were pretty much resigned to spending the night in Boston before proceeding home. Instead, an agent met our small plane on the tarmac. He opened to the door and requested that my family come with him immediately. He led us across the tarmac and up some stairs, maintaining a brisk jog the entire time. We followed him down a passageway and through the terminal where our JetBlue flight was waiting just for us. The gate agents whisked us past and the flight attendants had seats and water waiting for us.

Apparently, the plane was held up for 10 minutes for deicing and they decided that the three passengers with the late connection were worth a little extra effort. The most amazing part was when I saw the CapeAir van pull up to the side of plane as the de-icer was finishing up. An agent tossed our four heavy bags up to a waiting baggage handler, so that our luggage arrived in San Francisco with us.

This is why I love JetBlue.

Today's Stats: