Jet Blue and West Jet

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JET BLUE AND WESTJET: A tale of two IS projects

1. How important is the reservation systems at airlines such as WestJet and JetBlue. How does it impact operational activities and decision making?

Over the past years, customers have been heavily relying on airline reservation systems to book their tickets, reserve seats, pay for the tickets and also check-in online. For customers, this has been a very convenient method and they are able to easily plan their trips. For the Airline companies, these systems have the whole flight inventory managed. They have all the flight information stored and records are maintained. It also provides a platform for communication between other airline companies for their “code-sharing plans” and agents or other ticketing offices can see real time information about the bookings and availability of seats. Since both parties rely on these systems they are of big importance to airline companies. For example, we see in the case of WestJet, the amount of chaos created after a delay of switch to another version of the system. Airline reservation systems have impacted operational activities and decision making. They have made it easier to maintain accounts with other airlines and internal processes between departments are more efficient since the “minus, plus” is done online. There has also been growth in faster service times which leads to increased customer satisfaction since customers can plan, book and pay online. Airline companies are able to make good strategic decisions on which route to monopolize on and how to improve their service by accessing past records about their customers stored by the system. However, on the flip side of the coin, customers’ decisions are also affected during booking times. For example, if the reservation systems are slow and not user friendly, customers can get frustrated and look for other alternative airlines.

2. Evaluate the risks of the projects to upgrade the reservation systems of...
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