Airline companies are increasingly turning toward technologies to enhance customer service and JetBlue Airways Corporation (JBLU) is no exception. The New York-based carrier announced that it will provide all inflight crewmembers with iPad minis to better serve the passengers.
Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) tablets will be initially provided to the crewmembers of JetBlue’s premium service Mint, which offers flight between New York and Los Angeles, while crewmembers of the soon to be launched Mint service between San Francisco and New York will also receive an iPad. Moreover, JetBlue is planning to cover its entire fleet by Apr 2015.
The 7.9’’ tablet will act as a payment device to handle on-board purchases and will be equipped with a translation tool for the convenience of foreign language speakers. In the future, JetBlue also plans to offer information about customers’ previous purchases, including which drink or chip flavour they have preferred. Meanwhile, the device will also allow crew members to access their schedule and review their transportation information.
Along with iPad Mini the carrier also introduced the In-Flight Service Assistant (IfSA) app, which will allow crewmembers to identify passengers who might need special care as well as those belonging to their frequent flyer program.
In Nov 2013, JetBlue started proving its pilots with iPads, now handing the smaller version of the tablet to its crewmembers will equip the carrier to respond in urgent situations within the flight without losing time. For instance, crewmembers will be able to address technical issues or medical emergencies by video conferencing thus efficiently attending to passenger safety.
Of late U.S. carriers have been focusing on customer service to lure customers in a competitive environment. Being in the same boat, JetBlue has also been upgrading its on-board features, which includes introduction of the superfast Fly-Fi service and becoming the first U.S. airline to allow use of gate-to-gate portable electronic device.
The introduction of tablets for the crew staff along with the app is a shot in the arm for the JetBlue’s award winning customer service. We believe, deployment of iPad mini across its entire fleet will allow JetBlueto hold a service edge over other carriers thus grabbing some of their potential customers.
JetBlue currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better ranked stocks worth considering within this sector are Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV) and Save Airlines Inc. (SAVE) both of which sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).