Airlines should help in disasters

When natural disasters occur, corporations are quick to offer their thoughts and prayers through various social media platforms. Before Hurricane Irma hit Florida, airlines had an opportunity to potentially help save lives and show the world that they are not just about the bottom line. But as expected, most chose to take advantage of an unfortunate situation to make a quick buck.

JetBlue, however, was one of the few to put their money where their mouth is and show that the company cares more about people than taking advantage of a natural disaster to price gouge and make extra money. They were the first airline to cap their prices for non-stop flights out of Florida at $99 including tax. JetBlue also waived fees for changes in reservations to travelers who canceled or adjusted their flights as a result of the storm.

The airline even added flights out of select cities where they had aircraft available, a company spokesman told the Washington Post.

In Florida, price gouging is illegal following a declared state of emergency. However, airlines are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation and are not subject to Florida’s price gouging statute.

Other airlines, like American Airlines and Delta, later capped their prices, but only after public backlash.

Once these airlines knew a hurricane was coming, they should have immediately and proactively offered special low fares as a gesture of goodwill to the thousands of people that needed to flee. Yes, they might have lost money, but this would have been a great opportunity for an already battled brand like United Airlines to change the way it is perceived by helping customers in extremely stressful times.

We need more companies like JetBlue that see their customers as humans first and care about profits second.

Latest Stories

Related articles

Disney’s support of Florida anti-gay bill contradicts their Pride

Despite Disney’s apparent support for the LGBTQ community with Pride merch sold at their parks, Disney CEO Bob Chapek was found to be donating to the supporters of Florida’s anti-gay House Bill 1557, known as the “Parental Rights in Education.”

Florida bill silences LGBTQ history and education

Florida’s house bill 1557, which is being called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by some, seeks to limit discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools, which would be incredibly damaging to LGBTQ students and hinder their education.

Pride flag becomes target for LGBTQ students

The LGBTQ rainbow flag, which is supposed to be a symbol of pride, has recently been used as a reason for high rates of targeted harassment against the LGBTQ community.

False election claims threaten democracy

Democracy is at stake as the current Republican Party, or the new Trump Party as they should be called, continues the false narratives of Democrats stealing the presidential election from Donald Trump.