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JetBlue ramps up mobile offerings with iPhone app, refreshed mobile site

JetBlue Airways is aiming to make traveling smoother with an iPhone application and a new mobile site that lets users plan, book and manage their trip itineraries via their handsets.

JetBlue’s new mobile initiatives are the first phase of digital ambitions from the company that are aimed at making the travel booking experience more personalized for users. In addition to a mobile Web site and iPhone app, the company has also launched a new Web site.

“We are going to start shifting to giving users specific content and leveraging information from their mobile devices,” said Jonathan Stephen, head of mobile at JetBlue, Forest Hills, NY.

“When developing, we looked at what a user can do on an app versus in a mobile Web site and realized that we wanted to make the experience more personal inside an app,” he said.

Mobile wings
According to JetBlue, mobile traffic accounts for 10 percent of the company’s Web traffic.

One of the main purposes behind updating the mobile Web site was to let JetBlue users easily access their account with a log-in button in the top right-hand corner of the page.

The new mobile site also strongly promotes the JetBlue’s in-flight services that the company is known for, such as its snacks and entertainment options, at the top of the page.

For JetBlue’s first app initiative, the company chose the iPhone platform because it saw a large chunk of traffic being accessed by the devices. JetBlue also has plans to launch for other platforms such as Android in the future.

“Mobile Web is starting to offer the bells and whistles of apps, but we find that we can do more with a mobile app,” Mr. Stephen said.

The iPhone app’s main features let JetBlue users book, check and access information while on the go.

The JetBlue app also uses push notifications and location to keep users in the loop with specific messages about their travels.

The app is equipped with social media features that let users share their travel plans with friends and family.

Specifically, the pick me up feature lets travelers send detailed information including airport directions and flight status information via email, SMS or social media.

The app uses location to detect when a user lands in their destination city and lets travelers view weather and other relevant information.

Quick travel
JetBlue is not a newbie to mobile.

In August, the company reported 39,000 interactions with a rich media advertisement (see story).

Offering both a mobile Web site and app is a smart way for an airline such as JetBlue to maximize its reach and target consumers.

The new line of mobile products is the beginning of JetBlue’s push to be a leader in the mobile travel industry in the coming years.

“For us, we want to be where our customers are,” said Michael Stromer, vice president of customer connections at JetBlue, Forrest Hills, NY.

“The initial mission behind JetBlue is to bring humanity back to air travel, and we are trying to do that with these initiatives,” he said.

“When we think about mobility, we want to influence customers while they are in the mode of travel.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York