The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Are you an XM Satellite Radio addict who can't stand to do any travelling without it? Then make sure your junkie ass makes airline reservations with JetBlue Airlines for your next trip, because the carrier will be installing satellite radio terminals, along with other digital entertainment, for each passenger by Fall 2004.

What I'd like to know is, how can they load up on all these high-frequency receivers, and still insist that I turn off my cellphone and iPod before and after takeoff? It's a scam.

Now, I realize that JetBlue is just going along with an industry-wide trend to attract passengers; as with any consumer purchase, it's usually the little extras that close a sale. And as the article notes, competitor Song is doing the same thing. But I have to say, one of the first things that crossed my mind was JetBlue's last big media exposure in September 2003, when it got a lot of flack for the unauthorized sharing of sensitive passenger information with the government and private sector during 2002. I'm wondering how much business they might have lost after that incident (maybe very little, despite some outrage from several previously steady customers), and whether this move is an attempt to regain some market share and wipe the slate clean.