Flying High through Excellent Execution
"It's important for us to make sure that people get the response that they need."
A recent start-up similar to European low-fare airlines like RYANAIR® or EASYJET®, JETBLUE AIRWAYS® is a US based airline that is flying high when most others are experiencing turbulence. Since launching in 1999, it has flown over 8 million passengers and continues to grow at an impressive rate; its revenue for second quarter 2002 is 90.4% over the same quarter last year. Today's economic climate notwithstanding, investor confidence in JETBLUE AIRWAYS is reflected in its healthy stock price. It's easy to see why customers are drawn to JETBLUE AIRWAYS brand new planes equipped with satellite TV monitors and leather seats offer a luxury ride at a bargain price but which of the company's tactics translate to excellence in execution for any business?
Focus on the consumer
"It's not rocket science really," says JETBLUE AIRWAYS spokesperson Gareth Edmondson-Jones. "We understand that what passengers remember most about a flight experience is the crew." JETBLUE AIRWAYS uses the best tools available to train employees, but also recognize that interpersonal skills are inherent. "The first interview is largely behavioral. Skills are vital, but employees are hired for a positive attitude and a desire to look after people," says Edmondson-Jones. "We have found that if you put yourself in the mindset of your customers, it's the best way to make sure they get what they need."
During the second quarter of 2002, JETBLUE AIRWAYS completed 99.9% of scheduled flights with an on-time performance ratio of 85.8%. In rare instances when there are delays, travelers are kept informed with updates every 15 minutes. "It's important for us to make sure that people get the response that they need," Edmondson-Jones emphasizes. Not one to be satisfied with statistics, the airline's president flies the airline weekly to interact with patrons and ask for their feedback. This hands-on approach conveys a sense of responsibility to its passengers.
Efficient use of technology
JETBLUE AIRWAYS® uses technology to streamline the customer service process, implementing tools that are more cost efficient for them and more convenient for their customers. Its website was designed to help automate the system; users can access real-time flight information and purchase tickets online, thus reducing the need for as many ticket agents. A speech-enabled voice interface was installed on its customer service phone line, providing passengers with direct access to accurate flight information while allowing JETBLUE AIRWAYS representatives to devote time to customers with more complex questions.
JETBLUE AIRWAYS has done a great job of integrating its marketing communications. Each element - the specially designed tailfins on the planes, boarding passes, signage in terminals, kiosks and promotional merchandise - consistently drives home the airline's unique brand message.
Critics agree that JETBLUE AIRWAYS has achieved excellence in execution. It was recently voted the #2 U.S. Airline in the Condé Nast Traveler 14th Annual Readers' Choice Awards and received the highest score of any airline in Condé Nast Traveler's 2001 Business Travel Awards in the Coach-Only category. The airline was also voted #2 Best Domestic Airline in the 2001 Zagat Airline Survey.
JETBLUE AIRWAYS has a commitment to execution on all fronts that has been imperative for its immediate success. The company's strong brand message, efficient use of technology and open dialogue with consumers were all factors in establishing the airline as a contender. "We recognize that every situation must be dealt with as if it's the first time. I had a customer that once summed it up best," says Edmonson-Jones. "The best thing about JETBLUE AIRWAYS is it treats its customers as if they were partners in business."