Sample Apology Letter:
Analysis of the JetBlue Apology
This sample apology letter, received by one of our readers from JetBlue
Airways, includes all of the elements of a perfect business apology.
a well written and masterfully crafted customer-centric letter and a classic example
of the Art and Science of
apologizing. We can all learn a lot from the strategies and
statements used by JetBlue.
||Dear JetBlue Customers,
|This short statement at
the top of the page expresses humility and remorse. It also sets the
tone in this sample apology letter.
|We are sorry and
embarrassed. But most of all, we are deeply sorry.
|This paragraph gives a specific and
detailed account of the incident and takes full responsibility for
It is worth noting that although the catalyst
was a winter storm that NO blame is placed on itfull
responsibility is taken by the company.
|Last week was the worst
operational week in JetBlue's seven year history. Following the
severe winter ice storm in the Northeast, we subjected our customers
to unacceptable delays, flight cancellations, lost baggage, and
other major inconveniences. The storm disrupted the movement of
aircraft, and, more importantly, disrupted the movement of JetBlue's
pilot and inflight crewmembers who were depending on those planes to
get them to the airports where they were scheduled to serve you.
With the busy President's Day weekend upon us, rebooking
opportunities were scarce and hold times at 1-800-JETBLUE were
unacceptably long or not even available, further hindering our
|Here, we see that they
recognize their role in the situation and acknowledge the hurt and
||Words cannot express how truly sorry we are for the anxiety, frustration and inconvenience that we caused. This is especially saddening because JetBlue was founded on the promise of bringing humanity back to air travel and making the experience of flying happier and easier for everyone who chooses to fly with us. We know we failed to deliver on this promise last week.
|This paragraph details
their commitment to
change and shows customers the preventive measures being taken to
ensure that this type of situation will not happen again.
||We are committed to you, our valued customers, and are taking immediate corrective steps to regain your confidence in us. We have begun putting a comprehensive plan in place to provide better and more timely information to you, more tools and resources for our crewmembers and improved procedures for handling operational difficulties in the future. We are confident, as a result of these actions, that JetBlue will emerge as a more reliable and even more customer responsive airline than ever before.
now offers the recipients of the letter a form of restitution and
compensation. This cleverly crafted commitment to change (through a
Customer Bill of Rights) will shed a positive light on the company
from both existing and future customers and the public at large.
JetBlue also understands the
Art of Apologizing by providing a link on their website to a
video message from the CEO and author of the letter. This unique
approach is what makes this a perfect sample apology letter.
|Most importantly, we
have published the JetBlue Airways Customer Bill of Rightsour
official commitment to you of how we will handle operational
interruptions going forwardincluding details of compensation. I
have a video message to share with you about this industry leading
*Note how this is the
first and only time in the letter where they use the word 'I' as
opposed to 'we'. This underscores the personal connection that
the founder and CEO of the company is trying to establish with his
expresses regret and lets customers know that the company is hoping
continue the relationship.
||You* deserved bettera
lot betterfrom us last week. Nothing is more important than
regaining your trust and all of us here hope you will give us the
opportunity to welcome you onboard again soon and provide you the
positive JetBlue Experience you have come to expect from us.
how the last paragraph is 'You' focused. They 'humbly' give the
customer back all the power.
Founder and CEO
This sample apology letter can be used as a template for any
business situation requiring an apology. Its brilliance lies in the manner
in which the elements of a perfect apology have been woven into the letter
and in its clever use of language. It is succinct, well-written and properly
punctuated, and conveys a sense of responsibility and professionalism.
Read our commentary on
The Perfect JetBlue Apology.
another sample apology letter or
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