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Jet Blue

  1. in other news
    When Did Big Companies Turn Into Big Companies? As a natural and somewhat hilarious result of the sixties values trickling up to the boardroom, our leading goody-goody megabrands are suddenly, and seemingly all at once, beset by crises of conscience. JetBlue is spraying mea culpas and defying its own industry’s lobbyists by hastily jerry-rigging a customer bill of rights. The weekend brought a soul-searching memo from Starbucks chairman Howard Schulz, bemoaning, of all things, the “commoditization” of his brainchild. (As we already noted, wasn’t that the whole point?) Today, to complete the trifecta, the Times is ringing the alarm over the perceived “straying” of Whole Foods.
  2. the morning line
    But How Does He Feel About Trans Fats? • In the no-brainer firing of the year, the Health Department has divested itself of the inspector who gave a passing grade to the famously ratty KFC–Taco Bell. The shuttered place, meanwhile, became a locus for some fun public art. [NYT] • Underreported amid the possible culprits of yesterday’s Wall Street carnage — China, Cheney — were horrendously timed technical glitches at the NYSE: At some point, trades were done via paper tickets. [NYP] • Add a federal investigation to the list of JetBlue’s headaches: The U.S. Transportation Secretary is calling for an official look-see into the recent snowstorm stranding of passengers on the JFK tarmac. American Airlines will get its own probe for a similar incident in Austin. [amNY] • The Thurmond-Sharpton Roots-on-acid miniseries continues to play out: The senator’s biracial daughter, Essie Mae Washington Williams, is reprimanding the reverend for “overreacting,” saying “[my father] did many wonderful things for black people.” [NYDN] • And meet Gerard Mortier, new director of the New York City Opera, whose farewell production on his previous job was a staging of Die Fledermaus with cocaine, incest, suicide, and Nazis. Welcome!!! [CBS News]
  3. the morning line
    Poor Joe Bruno • We’ve heard some incriminating things about Joe Bruno, Albany’s top Republican, lately; he’s been enmeshed in some fishy investments and nepotistic dealings, and the FBI is all over him. Now comes the most shocking revelation: All this hustle and the dude isn’t even rich. [NYT] • The Health Department on the shuttered KFC–Taco Bell that became one of West Village’s main attractions this past weekend for its scampering rats: “It doesn’t look like the inspection that was done … met our standards.” What do you mean? There’s not a drop of trans fat on these babies! [WNBC] • Apparently state senators were serious about protesting the $1.3 billion sale of Brooklyn’s subsidized enclave Starrett City to an -private equity group. After the obligatory photo ops glad-handing the residents, they’re actually trying to pass a bill that will block the deal. [NYP] • More grief for JetBlue: Last night’s relatively light dusting of snow caused the now-extra-cautious carrier to cancel a whopping 68 of today’s flights. Yeah, we’d be unloading that stock right about now, if we had any. [AP via CBS News] • And how can you tell someone’s got a touch of Oscar envy? James “King of the World” Cameron will hold a press conference in New York today — to declare that he has found Jesus’s grave. [amNY]
  4. the morning line
    Viva Sullivan County • Governor Spitzer has approved a “Las Vegas-style” gambling den in the Catskills. The Mohawk tribe will run it, despite the casino being 400 miles away from its reservation, and the state will get a 25 percent cut. That is, if environmentalists and the U.S. Secretary of the Interior get on board. [NYT] • Call us twisted, but we love watching JetBlue continue to flagellate itself over last week’s stranding of its JFK passengers; the CEO of the formerly cuddly airline is scripting a my-bad TV ad and proposing a “customer bill of rights” that will financially penalize JetBlue for such things. [NYDN] • The Brooklyn District Attorney’s office seems eager to reinvent itself as a telenovela. An ADA was suspended for allegedly passing witness info to her boyfriend, a defense attorney; that’s one day after a female investigator was accused of a dalliance with a jailed mobster. How soon before evil twins show up? [NYP] • Next up for Bloombergian rezoning: the Garment Center. Crain’s predicts “a flurry of buying and selling.” Luxury condos? Actually, no, just newer and better offices. Whew. [Crain’s] • And you can always rely on the City Council for an offbeat ordinance proposal. Today, the honor goes to Councilman Simcha Felder, who wants warning labels on coffee. [amNY]
  5. the morning line
    Not Leavin’ on a Jet Plane • Jet Blue, the generally beloved low-cost carrier, made a lot of people’s shit lists last night: It stranded hundreds of JFK passengers on the tarmac — on immobile planes — for up to ten hours. On Valentine’s Day. Let’s hope, at least, some romance bloomed in the forced close quarters. [amNY] • The Daily News is issuing a Cesar Borja mea culpa. The paper that had lionized the late cop the most says it had no factual basis for calling him a “volunteer” (he wasn’t) or implying he had rushed to the WTC site on 9/11 (he didn’t). [NYDN] • In a development the Post — and just about only the Post — finds “shocking,” it turns out Hillary Clinton had signed a $200K contract with a consulting firm headed by a prominent South Carolina politician days before said politician endorsed her. [NYP] • That classic New York boogeyman — stray sidewalk electricity — is back. This time, the victim is a pet. Not even twenty minutes of mouth-to-mouth CPR could save the terrier named Boston Bob, apparently electrocuted when he stepped on a manhole cover. [NYDN] • And speaking of classic boogeymen: Apparently, Son of Sam’s apartment in Yonkers is a bit of a tourist destination — with a Times profile that eerily smacks of a real-estate listing. (“Apartment 7E, a studio with sweeping views of the Hudson River …”) [NYT]