CEO David Neeleman: “We have no idea what to do with snow and ice on roads or on planes”
HARRISBURG – The Harrisburg Patriot-News reported today that Federal Aviation Administration filings reveal JetBlue Airlines is actually owned and operated by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. David Neeleman, who is listed as JetBlue’s CEO, is actually a low-level staffer in PennDOT’s northeastern highways division.
Both PennDOT and JetBlue claimed they were caught off-guard by the February 14 storm, and both blamed poor communications for the transportation woes. JetBlue hopes to be back in full operation on February 21; PennDOT hopes to have made at least one pass on its roads by that same date.
JetBlue passengers and Pennsylvania drivers both faced similar problems last week: being trapped for hours without moving, not receiving any information from officials, and being delayed for three or more days before arriving at their final destinations.
Confronted with the FAA paperwork, Mr. Neeleman admitted the truth. “I’m just a flagger for PennDOT. The higher-ups decided to go into other forms of transportation in 1999, and they put my name on the forms. I think they thought they were doing so well with the roads they could run an airline, too. Boy, were they wrong.” As for the poor service for both airline passengers and drivers, Neeleman quipped, “Well, at least we were consistent -- we treated them all equally badly.”