JetBlue Founder Challenges The Government’s Coronavirus Response

News notes from around the interweb:

  • JetBlue founder Dave Neeleman, who was on the verge of launching a new airline when the pandemic hit, offers several challenges to U.S. coronavirus policy that come down to suggesting that we aren’t using the best science, or making the best data available to guide decisions. (HT: @crucker)

    Embraer 195 in Breeze Airways Livery, Credit: Breeze Airways

  • Capital One brings back gift card redemptions today. There were fulfillment issues earlier in the pandemic.

  • Cranky Flier writes about the American Airlines Contract of Carriage adding an adhesion clause banning class action lawsuits. If the airline’s evil lawyers who rewrote the AAdvantage program terms to explicitly say they had no obligation to deal with you fairly need any new inspiration they might consider a ‘first born’ clause.

    By the way American doesn’t like it when companies use these kinds of tactics against them.

  • KLM knows you can’t visit Holland now, wants you to enjoy it anyway.

  • A year ago I wrote about American Airlines intending to ditch Panasonic for international widebody internet, because their service is awful. We now know that new delivery Boeing 787s are coming with superior ViaSat instead.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. The Neeleman article is spot on. Policy is not adjusting to the data, and we are well on our way to causing more suffering and death through our reaction to CoVID-19 than CoVID-19 itself will cause.

  2. I dunno- for someone who is not a doctor, he certainly makes a lot of claims that I would only accept from an epidemiologist. Cherry picking data points, clearly got an agenda to sell.

    And to those of you who keep saying that quarantine actions are killing more people than the disease- really? Because I have yet to read a report of dozens of people found dead outside a New York mortuary due to watching too much TV at home. There are no facts to support that position.

  3. @George, I don’t think anyone is saying that the quarantine actions are killing more people than the disease right now. But they will in the long run if we don’t stop this indiscriminate lockup. For just one example, people are missing normal medical checkups, screenings, elective surgery that don’t result in death today, but could be identifying and treating conditions now to prevent deaths later. Many governors are seeing the wisdom of opening things back up. I will call Monday to schedule an elective procedure.

    In broad terms I agree with Neeleman that we need to protect the truly vulnerable, while allowing those whose odds of suffering great harm with the disease are low to get back to living their lives.
    Putting all of those under 45 back to work now would do wonders. For them the greatest danger is going back to work is the drive to the workplace. They do need to then avoid visiting their grandparents in the nursing home – but they can’t anyway under the current regime.

  4. Mr. Neeleman’s questions all have answers, and can be summed up as: his underlying data and statistical assumptions are wrong, and, responses reflect an “it can’t really happen to me or people like me” attitude as opposed to fixing the problem. If ten of his airliners were crashing every day his answer wouldn’t be “we need to fly more planes so the denominator is larger.”

    There is no reason to accept even the current levels of “suffering and death” when we could be doing what South Korea has done, employing stay at home orders until nationwide testing and tracing is ramped up. Testing is to detect outbreaks as they occur and quash them, not to cost-benefit-analyze for an acceptable number of preventable deaths.

  5. People like :Doug: and Mr. Neeleman’ ignore the fact that this virus is incredibly contagious. Probably far more contagious than anything we have ever experienced before. Just look at how easily it spreads in nursing homes once it enters. So, even if it proves to be statistically less fatal per infection than the flu, this virus could have killed far more people because far more people could have become infected.
    They did not become infected because of the social distancing practices that the states mandated. The WH has done almost nothing except (importantly) ceasing international travel and throwing money at people. The Trump crybabies look at the low numbers and say “we over-reacted”, while honest people see the real results of the states actions.

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