From James Hong's blog:
is jetBlue apologizing too much? I think not.
I was impressed by the video of jetBlue's CEOKudos to jetBlue, I only like them more now.
Putting a human face to the problem and taking responsibility reminds people that his company is not comprised of robots.. it is comprised of real people who make real mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, so the situation becomes instantly more forgivable. Either the guy is a great actor, or you can tell that he cares.. and that matters a lot. One thing I learned from all my various gigs doing customer support is that people are willing to deal with problems.. they already know the world (and your product) are not perfect... but the one thing they aren't willing to deal with is feeling like you don't respect them or their concerns, and that you don't care. Making your customers feel this way is certain death for even the biggest companies.