New York based JetBlue Airways Corporation, entered the airline travel business in 1998 with the goal of “making the experience of flying happier and easier for everyone.” They were succeeding and thriving in their goal up until Wednesday, February 14, 2007, when they suffered through a severe winter storm at the JFK International Airport. Their operations were jumbled forcing the airline to cancel more than half of their flights along the east coast, and it forced them to give refunds and vouchers; spend more money on employee overtime, and other storm related costs. Since then, things have gone back to normal for JetBlue there were many questions left to be answered for the company. There are areas that should concern JetBlue and be looked into within their company. These are some possible concerns.
A company cannot manage everything, and JetBlue unfortunately suffered due to an uncontrollable factor. The weather taking a turn for the worse, even more than expected, was the uncontrollable factor. Though the weather is not a real problem for the airline company, it is a genuine concern for the future of JetBlue. All airlines know they must deal with possible weather changes, however JetBlue did not know how to handle one of the magnitude that it was. This could be attributed to the transition from small company to larger company. Though, the main fail was more due to their technology department. Again this could be attributed to the transition the company was making; diffusion during the transition period. JetBlue may have been doing a great job up until the snow storm, however due to their meltdown it seems that their data was not up-to-date. Had their data and technology been updated, their system could have found a way to make things more comfortable for the passengers, or a way to advance the process of getting through the storm. Data is important and should be updated continuously as it affects revenue. If the data fails, then revenue for the company can go down. If technology fails, the company can spiral down. Due to the situation, the customers of JetBlue had a change in their perception of the airline company. Not only their perceptions, but also the customer’s expectations changed, so they expect less of the airline. Those customers who had a very negative experience during the storm now see the airline in a negative light and have bad feeling toward it. Those with a lesser negative experience may not see the company in such adverse way, but they may not have JetBlue as their first choice airline like they may have previously had. Then there are the spectators, who witnessed through the news and headlines. Since they did not experience first-hand the situation, they are susceptible to believing the negativity that was spread about the company. These perceptions and expectations of course are a major concern to JetBlue and to the future further success of the company. The customer perceptions are critical incidents in JetBlue’s service encounters. Negative perceptions lead to negative actual quality of the airline. Exceeding the customer expectations and leaving the customer with a positive perception of the company are needed to succeed in their target market. The negativity due to the situation and the decline within its target market, certainly wiped out any possibility of JetBlue having a competitive advantage in the target market of air travel.
JetBlue suffered due to a severe snow storm. The storm not only jumbled up their systems but caused very negative press for the airline company. News coverage and on websites, there was negative press and advertising of the company and their handle of the unfortunate situation that occurred. JetBlue needs to do some research (casual research) to find to what extent the negativity spread in their target market. The perceptions and expectations of the JetBlue customers were both severely and mildly...
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