JetBlue Hits Turbulence Case Study
What types of information systems and business functions are described in this case?
The information system described in this case is the Transaction Processing System (TPS) which is used to perform and record the day-to-day business transactions including reservations, paperless ticketing and baggage handling. JetBlue attempted to standardize its IT processes by utilizing a single vendor for its technological framework for all facets of its operations from logistics to passenger online booking tools.
JetBlue’s mission was customer satisfaction and retention. From the beginning, efforts were made to attract passengers. E-commerce in ...view middle of the document...
Passengers were stranded as JetBlue ambitiously attempted to operate while other airlines opted in favor of grounding. Consequently, JetBlue passengers were stranded in planes that were frozen or trapped - some for more than ten hours. This experience severely damaged customer satisfaction levels with the carrier as flights were subsequently cancelled for the next six days due to the debacle.
What people, organization, and technology factors were responsible for the problem?
JetBlue’s low headcount led to staffing issues during this crisis. Communication systems failed and pilots and flight attendants remained out of position for days with no one available to direct them. Reservation systems also failed due to overload and luggage was lost when a flaw in its electronic luggage tracking system revealed that there was no way to determine if a passenger’s bag had been retrieved, or not.
While upper management was obviously key in the decisions involving staffing, IT expenditures, lack of consulting and JetBlue’s actual operating decisions, JetBlue’s CEO was held responsible and subsequently removed.
Based on what you’ve learned in this chapter, what kinds of systems and business functions were involved in JetBlue’s problems?
JetBlue’s TPS was ill-equipped to deal with anything beyond the norm with respect to utilization. Additionally, a more sophisticated logistics application was needed as evidenced by additional days of grounding due to crew displacement.
Evaluate JetBlue’s response to the crisis. What solutions did the airline come up with?
Shortly after the crisis, public apologies were made by JetBlue’s CEO (David Neeleman). The airline acknowledged staffing issues and communication systems would undergo upgrades. Customers were promised that the carrier was committed to them.
How were these solutions implemented?
Communication software was introduced and employees were cross-trained in preparation for another such crisis. A passenger Bill...