JetBlue Airbus A320 tailfins. Credit: JetBlue

A friend of mine just texted me a screenshot (below) of an email of their JetBlue flight for tonight from Florida to New York and it reads: “Take-off: Today, 9pm. Landing: Tomorrow, 4:49pm. Flight Duration: 19 hr, 49 min.

My friend asked if I knew what was up and if JetBlue was playing an April Fools’ joke or what. I said, “There’s no way JetBlue or any airline in their right mind would play a joke like this since so many people are already afraid to fly and don’t need any more stress.” Including my friend’s spouse, who is also on the flight tonight.

She then wrote back that her flight was delayed by two hours. I replied telling her not to show up to the airport late because airlines can rally to: get a new part, aircraft, crew member(s) or the weather could clear up. It all depends on the situation.

Really? she said, like she didn’t believe me. A few minutes later, she wrote: It’s a good thing I asked you because we were going to show up to the airport late. She then texted to say that I was right. The flight was just moved up by almost an hour.

In the meantime, I checked out JetBlue’s flight tracker to see what was up with the erroneous long flight duration and noticed they do have a warning that states: “Delayed flights leave as soon as possible. Please be at the airport 60-90 minutes prior to Scheduled Departure.”

Having a delayed flight is usually no fun but it’s even worse if you show up to the airport thinking the flight is delayed, only to find out it went out on time and you missed it.

This has almost happened to me multiple times but I’ve learned over the years to:
-Show up at the airport in advance
-Not go too far from the gate if I’m already at the airport
-Continue to monitor the flight by checking the departures board
-Check the airline’s website, Tripit and other apps for flight information

I also always track the inbound aircraft, which is especially important if you’re flying from a destination where the airline only has one flight a day (and is not a hub) so you know they then can’t leave early.

For example, my wife, son and I were in Bermuda a few years ago, heading to London. Just before leaving for the airport, I learned our flight was delayed by 12 hours. We obviously weren’t going to hang out in the airport for 12 hours but you can bet I kept tracking the status.

This also happened to one of my reader’s kids just the other day. Reader Paul wrote: “Just this past Sunday our daughter and son in law were booked on Alaska Airlines flight 40 scheduled to depart from SFO to Orlando at 7:15 AM. Because a one hour delay had been announced, they, along with their 1 1/2 year old daughter, made a leisurely visit to the Alaska Lounge only to subsequently discover the delay had been shortened to 1/2 hour. A race to the gate enabled them to make the flight but they were reassigned to two center seats due to the “late” check in.

As Paul wrote: “This is an uncommon situation but it’s obviously not a good idea to assume that a posted departure can’t actually be shortened by an airline.”

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10 Comments On "Is JetBlue Playing an April Fools' Joke or is This a Glitch? Regardless, An Important Lesson Involving Delayed Flights"
  1. Jeff|

    Jeblue is having major problems out of Westchester. Every flight is late, sometimes 4 hours or more. Today, April 2, every Jetblue flight is late. No other airlines show late flights. Weather at HPN and the areas in FL JB flies is perfect. This clearly is an airline issue. Are they short on pilots or crew?

  2. abraao dias pinto|

    My sons was supposed to fly to Guayaquil from JFK yesterday afternoon. The flight was delayed 4 hours before being suddenly canceled. My son had to wait another 3 hours to get his luggage back and be put in a new plane today at 11:20am. As soon as he arrives at the airport this morning, after he spent an hour checking in because the late reschedule had not made it to the central reservation system, his new flight was delayed by another 3 hours first and 1 more hour later. Story still developing. He will miss the wedding he was supposed to attend tonight. Not sure yet if he will go to Ecuador or not. Apparently there have been countless JetBlue flights delayed or cancelled since yesterday. JetBlue is doing a very poor job in informing people and compensating them for the incidental expenses, like taxis back to the city or hotel for people who connected in NY. A lot of people in tears last night.

  3. A. Tarca|

    The last 3 Jet Blue flights my boys and I have taken have been terrible. This past summer, on our non-stop flight back to Los Angeles from Costa Rica, Jet Blue added a stop in FLORIDA to pick up a flight attendant. We arrived at LAX over 8 hours after our original time. Compensation was minimal and they also ran out of drinks and snacks indicating that they were not able to restock in Florida. Last week, on our non-stop flight from Burbank to JFK, Jet Blue added a stop in Arizona to refuel. We were told it would take 15 minutes, it took close to 2 hours to get back in the air. Compensation was minimal. On our way back from JFK to Burbank, Jet Blue rerouted our destination to LAX and then we had to stand outside the airport waiting for a shuttle to take us back to Burbank. We arrived in Burbank over 2 hours after our original scheduled time. We got no compensation for that. I’m beginning to wonder if any Jet Blue flights go as planned.

  4. steve jenney|

    JetBlue is a HORRIBLE airline…when are people going to understand this? During Spring break 3/15 thru 3/20 my family travelled on 5 separate JetBlue flights..BOS/MCO, HPN/MMCO, /HPN 2x T and MCO/PVD ALL WERE ATLEAST 2 HOURS DELAYED ! Three were on antique Embraer 190’s that were FILTHY two with restrooms not functioning and. two with non working TV’s! It is an airline that once was great….no more….OVERRATED! OVER PRICED! I would much rather fly Delta with a connection in ATL or American with a connection in Charlotte than fly crappy Jet Blue who? Oh how we miss our AirTranny!

  5. Kathleen Grugan|

    We also had major flight delays this week on Jet Blue flying from Providence, RI to Fort Myers FL. On the flight to RSW on March 24, I first got an email saying it was delayed but to arrive on time anyway in case things changed. Then got an email saying the flight was once again on time. Got to the airport and it was once again delayed by an hour. The flight was delayed for a third time resulting in a 3 hour delay overall. We got to Fort Myers very late and spent a very long time hanging out in the airport. The return flight was even worse! Same scenario….delayed, arrive on time though, etc. In the end that flight was also delayed 3 times resulting in a 4 hour delay from the original time. We arrived in Providence at 2:30 am! The staff at the gate were rude and disinterested. They blamed it on weather. however, there were no weather problems for all the other airlines when I looked at the arrival /departure monitor. There were, however, a LOT of Jet Blue flights delayed. Jet Blue used to be my “go to” airline but I will not fly them again if I have any other options. They are truly the worst!

  6. Rob|

    You’re actually wrong. ALL of florida has been on a ground day program all day and is now in a ground STOP.

  7. Ginny Deering Hoag|

    I have never flown JetBlue and never will. I booked a non-stop flight from EWR to LAS leaving at 7:13pm on May 19th. They changed the flight to depart at 4:20pm with a stop over in BOS. WHAT? My 5.5 hour flight is now about 11 hours. Nope. Cancelled and rebooked another non-stop flight with them from JFK to LAS departing on May 20th. FIVE MINUTES after I booked it, they changed my flight right back to departing on May 19th at 4:20 and stopping in BOS! Oh no you didn’t. CANCELLED immediately and booked American Airlines! I will never, never, ever fly on JetBlue ever! Delta, United and American are now the only three airlines in my vocabulary.

  8. John|

    Now y’all acting as if JetBlue’s major problem isn’t actually because they primarily operate out of the east coast where all the weather occurs (especially Florida) and once that happens – they are impacted for days.

  9. Teddy Alphonse|

    No Airline affiliation.

    It appears that folks never check the weather map before travel. Everyone arrives at the airport and expect a perfect world scenario.
    My experience has taught me to check the weather channel before my flights. NO FAIL. There may not be weather at your point of embarkment or even dis-embarkment, however the flight path may be affected by atmospheric weather events.
    Folks need to educate themselves with the different weather events which may affect their flights for example the famous jet stream.
    I see were folks complain about their non-stop turning into a refueling stop; that is an example of the jet stream affecting flight performance. It’s called a headwind. ( Do we need an explanation on what a headwind is ? ) Would we rather run out of fuel and fall out of the sky or perform a refueling stop? 🤔🤔🤔
    Are folks familiar with the term “domino effect”? It may be a small shower event, however in the large metropolitan areas flights are managed by air traffic controllers. The FAA. Not the airline.
    Whenever there are weather interruptions, with it comes air traffic control delays and ground stops ( G. S. — where ATC closes a particular airspace/airport to both incoming and outbound flights ) flight crews trimming out due to FAA mandated duty rest times, flight duration times being longer either due to flight paths being rerouted around weather systems or having to perform what’s called a Tech-stop for more fuel.

    Too often angry and frustrated passengers take out all their frustration on the airport front line employees. ( really ? ) Remember they are there with us navigating the delays and cancellations. They are not responsible for delaying and canceling our flight.
    Many of us will say “ well they are face of the airline right now” and we are right!!! HOWEVER they are not punching bags. They are human beings just like the rest of us. They do take flights and are affected by delays and cancellations just like the rest of us.
    Don’t get me wrong…..Everyone travels for a reason. PLANNED or UNPLANNED and as humans we get frustrated when our plans are suddenly interrupted. We must look at the bigger picture before we subject others to our raft. Some even resort to violence. Place ourselves in those frontline employees shoes 👟, how would we feel if a passenger assaults our family member for simple doing their job?
    YES!!!! They are human as well and do get frustrated …….. who wouldn’t having a bunch of screaming folks who refuses to see reason or understand what’s actually happening.
    Some of us are quick to say “that agent is so rude”. What would we call your actions? We moments ago cursed them out and wished all hell on their lives. Isn’t that rude? And yes we paid for a service with our hard earned dollars 💸 but does that really give us the right to abuse those employees? We all have jobs. How would we feel and how would we react if someone came to our work place and attempted to disrespect us? We would call security to escort them out or refuse them service right? So what’s different in this scenario?
    We are quick to post videos to social media expressing our frustration and inadvertently making a fool out of ourselves.
    In my many years of air travel and being affected by delays and cancellations, I have developed a different perspective on how I treat others. Especially if they have no direct effort in the interruption.

    Food for thought.

  10. Johannes Den Holt|

    Food for thought, Teddy? You’re a morbidly obese yenta. Shut up.

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