“I will bring humanity back to air travel”. This was the gist of the message given by Jet Blue Airways CEO David Neeleman in February 2000 in New York City during the inauguration of its maiden flight from John F. Kennedy Airport to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. jetblue. com (2008). With initial capital of US$130 million, David Neeleman combined his experiences from three airline companies where he was previously connected and implemented an innovation of airline service marketing strategy centered on low cost fare and customer needs satisfaction that rocked the aviation business.
Since its inception, JetBlue was associated and maintained its own service brand positioned as low cost airline with high quality customer service. The branding extends to the employees in terms of benefits and stock purchase options. For three consecutive years since its inception, the airline tested its new brand of air travel within the US different states. When enough experience was collected as to consumers acceptance of its unique brand of airline travel, the company embarked into the international flight market. It was in May 2004 that an international flight flew from New York’s JFK
International Airport to Aguadilla, Puerto Rico (Peterson, 2004). Currently, JetBlue Airways flies to 54 destinations in 6 countries (jetblue. com, 2008). Jet Blue Airways’ business success is a proof of carefully analyzed plan of strategies centered on satisfying customer wants and needs. The strategies made the customer feel important and felt that Jet Blue cares for them (Jetblue. com/about/,2008). • They offer tasty snacks and drinks Snacks are needed by flight customers though it’s a 45 minute flight only much so in a 5 hour flight.
They provided this in response to the needs which they learned from customer complaints in most airlines. Instead of saying free snacks and drinks, they 2 present the message in a different way by saying “tasty snacks and drinks” • They provide serious R&R. “JetBlue has made red-eyes a thing of the past with the introduction of our new Shut- Eye Service™ on all overnight flights from the West. On these Shut-Eye Flights Customers are enticed to sleep with the help of a Bliss® Spa amenity kit containing breath-freshening mint lip balm, lemon+sage body butter, an eyeshade and ear plugs.
Then, just prior to arrival, customers are treated to a “good morning” service of hot towels, and Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and tea, orange juice or bottled spring water. “(“Why you’ll like us”, jetblue. com/about, 2008). To this date, this kind of service is the only one of its kind in the airline industry. JetBlue did this to differentiate its service from other airlines regarding care for the customers. • The company is offering great low fares with their own Bill of Rights. The customers, in their mind, JetBlue’s strategy is value for money fares, lower in cost than competitor airlines but with high priced quality service, their own way of aring for the customers. Satisfaction is guaranteed with customers’ Bill of Rights.
• Award-winning service Their service is with a smile, from the pilot to cabin attendant. Smile is a gesture meaning you are welcome, a great way of expressing we care. As of November 2008, the company garnered a total of 100 different awards including the most coveted Best Airline Award and Best Market Development Award (jetblue. com, 2008). • The company is offering a customer loyalty program This program is designed to maintain loyal customers and indirectly use them in he promotion of their brand of service called “ word of mouth”. The satisfied customer will always have the urge to tell others of their good experience with JetBlue. This is an excellent way and inexpensive promotional gimmick. 3 Signing up to the customer loyalty program is hassle-free because you can do it online. • Offering exclusive features of cabin flight The following features are one and only of its kind in the aviation industry: direct TV programming, XM Satellite Radio, Fox InFlight movies and free wireless. JetBlue made these amenities available to their customers without any additional harge unlike other airlines and they were the first to offer this kind of amenities.
• Widest legroom for the customer to stretch The airplane Airbus 320 has the widest legroom between the seat rows thus letting the passengers feel relaxed and enjoy the flight. This is the most important feature of JetBlue planes. • Jetting to Green “The Jetting to Green program offers JetBlue’s customers the opportunity to offset CO2 emissions generated by their travel. Upon completing their itinerary online, customers will have the option to link directly to www. carbonfund. org/jetblue to offset heir flight’s carbon footprint” (jetblue. com/green/, 2008, 1st para. ).
This is the latest addition to the marketing strategies of the company which is in lined with company social responsibility of caring for the environment. The customers can help in maintaining environmental sustainability. No other airline has thought of this; only JetBlue. With the company’s offer for stock option purchase and the social responsibility consciousness in the conduct of its strategic operation, in addition to its being customer needs reactive, anyone will be proud to be a part of the company.