The U.S.-based low-cost carrier JetBlue has come under fire in the Dominican Republic after leaving passengers stranded for up to several days amid ongoing delays and flight cancellations.
Although the situation was only expected to last several weeks owing to bad weather and staffing shortages, delays have continued to pile up, prompting officials to launch an investigation into JetBlue’s actions.
Here’s the latest on the chaotic scenes being reported across several Dominican airports and what officials are doing to address them.
Dominican Republic Officials Warn JetBlue Over Growing Delays
JetBlue is one of the most significant U.S. airlines operating in the Dominican Republic, with an extensive network of routes covering major American and Dominican destinations.
The airline, which flies thousands of sun-seeking travelers to Dominican Republic hotspots like Punta Cana each day, has experienced significant delays and even cancellations for several, leading to chaotic scenes across several airports.
@woahitshelena They’re so ass🤦🏽♀️ #dominican #dominicanrepublic #colorcustomizer #colorcustomizer #jetblue #airport #greenscreen #xyzbca ♬ original sound
According to the low-cost carrier, JetBlue is feeling the effects of weather-related travel interruptions and subsequent air traffic control issues in the United States, particularly in the Northeast. On top of that, the FAA is experiencing a severe staffing crisis, which is contributing to delays and cancellations in both the United States as well as the Dominican Republic.
The situation has resulted in droves of unhappy passengers in several Dominican Republic airports, who have reported lengthy delays days due to an array of travel complications ranging from bad weather to staffing issues.
This week, passengers on an outbound JetBlue flight from Puerto Plata were left stranded at the airport for several days before ultimately being transferred to Cibao International Airport.
The frustrating situation has caught the attention of aviation officials in the Dominican Republic, with the head of the national aviation watchdog (JAC), José Marie Piantini, calling for an urgent meeting with JetBlue officials to address the skyrocketing number of delayed flights.
According to the high-ranking executive, the low-cost airline has failed to provide any substantial alternatives for passengers affected by ongoing travel chaos, adding that “We will take measures to stop this from happening again.” Despite growing pressure from authorities, JetBlue hasn’t released a timeline on when the issues might be fixed.
Local media sources have suggested that if the situation continues to deteriorate, JetBlue could face harsh sanctions, potentially spelling trouble for the low-cost airline as summer travel numbers continue to grow.
The issue has also attracted widespread attention in the Dominican Republic as JetBlue carries more Dominican Republic residents than any other major U.S. airline. But American tourists, too, are growing frustrated over the constant wave of delays and cancellations.
Authorities have also called on JetBlue to provide compensation to travelers affected by lengthy delays. According to Dominican Republic law, passengers are entitled to a partial refund or credit of up to $200 per flight.
This isn’t the first time that JetBlue has come under fire for failing to meet its legal obligations. Last year, the airline caused an uproar among passengers after canceling several flights with no prior notice, and in one particular case, passengers were told to deplane an aircraft due to staffing issues.
@kayanirose Flight was at 6:30 it is now 9:00 #jetblue #airlines #miami #nyc #airline #delta #fyp #fy #goviral ♬ original sound – KayaniRose
This summer, those issues have once again resurfaced, painting a worrying picture for one of the largest U.S. airlines operating flights to the Dominican Republic.
JetBlue has added that despite the concerning number of delays, the airline has flown 99.24% of all flights to the Dominican Republic from New York and Boston on time, a considerably higher figure when compared to other comparable airlines.
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