Management Information Systems
JetBlue Hits Turbulence
CASE STUDY n February 2000 JetBlue started flying daily to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Buffalo, New York, promising top-notch customer service at budget prices. The airline featured new Airbus A320 planes with leather seats, each equipped with a personal TV screen, and average one-way fares of only S99 per passenger. JetBlue was able to provide this relatively luxurious flying experience by using information systems to automate key processes such as ticket sales (online sales dominate) and baggage handling (electronic tags help track luggage). Jet Blue prided itself on its "paperless processes." JetBlue's investment in ...view middle of the document...
JetBlue's technology strategy helped create a pleasing flying experience for passengers. As pres dent and chief operating officer Dave Barge i "Some people say airlines are powered by this airline is powered by its IT infrastruc: JetBlue consistently found itself at the top of J.D. Power and Associates customer satisfaction sur JetBlue believed it had learned to work lean and smart.
The big question was whether JetBlue would be able to main:rategy and its success as the airline grew. I nd of 2006, the company was operating 5 > .:ts daily in 50 cities and had $2.4 billion in annual revenue. Along the way, JetBlue committed to purchasing a new plane every five -.rough 2007, at a cost of $52 million each. Through all of this, JetBlue remained true to its formula for success and customers continued to return. February 14, 2007 was a wake-up call. A fierce ice storm struck tin York City area that day and set in motion a string of events that threatened JetBlue's sterling reputation and its stellar customer relationJlue made a fateful decision to maintain its the belief that the horrible weather •eak- JetBlue typically avoided pre-canceling e passengers usually preferred to have a delayed arrival than to camp out at a terminal or check into a hotel. If the airline had guessed corDuld have kept its revenue streams intact customers who were scheduled to fly icry happy. Most other airlines began canceling nights early in the day, believing it was the it decision even though passengers would be inconvenienced and money would be lost. ier airlines were correct. Nine JetBlue _ ates at John F. Kennedy ional Airport and were stranded on the >ix hours. The planes were frozen or trapped by iced-over access roads, as was xjuipment that would de-ice or move the ftssengers were confined inside the planes i and one-half hours. Supplies of food and e planes ran low and toilets in the .began to back up. JetBlue found itself in of a massive dual crisis of customer and public relations. flue waited too long to solicit help for the ied passengers because the airline figured that rould be able to take off eventually. i, the weather conditions and the delays or illations of other flights caused customers to xxl JetBlue's reservations system, which could not handle the onslaught. At the same time, many of the airline's pilots and flight crews were also stranded and unable to get to locations where they could pick up the slack for crews that had just worked their
Chapter 2 E-Business: How Businesses Use Information Systems
aximum hours without rest, but did not actually go •~e. Moreover, JetBlue did not have a system place for the rested crews to call in and have their ognments rerouted. The glut of planes and displaced or tired crews JetBlue to cancel more flights the next day, a mrsday. And the cancellations continued day after r nearly a week, with the Presidents' Day day week providing few opportunities for •king. On the sixth day, JetBlue cancelled...