1.0 Jet Airways Introduction
Jet Airways is one of the major airlines in Indian, which is based in Mumbai and Maharashtra. As the largest airline, Jet Airways has been the market leader in the domestic market for a long period, which covers more than 400 flights every day to more than 76 destination place all the world around based in many international airport in India such as Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Delhi Airport, Bengaluru Airport, Chennai Airport, Kolkata Airport and Ahmedabad Airport and so on. (Jet Airways 2011)
As the finest international airline in India, Jet Airways is one of the airlines in the world enjoying a fast growth rate. It offers a variety of good services for customers choosing their airlines such as cabin services including domestic and international short haul and international long haul service, in-flight entertainment services, airport lounge service, frequent flyer program and so on, which win a large number of customers for Jet Airways. (Jet Airways 2011)
Due to its good customer services, Jet Airways has been the most favorable domestic airlines in India famous for its flower of service. In the following, we’ll investigate into its customer service in the marketing, HR and operating field by the flower of service model (Robyn 2010).
2.0 Customer service issues
2.1 Flower of service
Lovelock and Wirtz (2004) defined the flower of service for the service marketers, which is made up of one pistil and eight petals indicting the core value and these supplementary values in figure 1.0. The core spirit of the flower of service model is to emphasize the importance of strengthening the services of the core products to improve the value of core products and the competitiveness of the entire organization. And then we’ll estimate these supplementary services of the core product of Jet Airways to check whether this organization is effective enough to make full use of the eight petals of the flower to improve the product value and competitiveness.
Figure 1.0 Flower of service model
Source: Lovelock and Wirtz 2004
2.2 Information petal
In the information part, Jet Airways has done a good job. For example, it provides customers with the necessary and thorough information about the flights offered by Jet Airways through several easy and convenient means such as by its official website (http://www.jetairways.com), call services, sms services, a large number of advertisements including newspaper, magazines, television and other media, employees’ consulting service including the marketing staff as well as its own magazine named the JetWings a in-flight magazine (Robyn 2010) .
Via the various means to get necessary information about the flights by Jet Airways, customers can find out the fight schedules, availability information, ticket price and these promotional campaigns and so on much easier without wasting time and energy to go directly to the airport to ask for this information they wanted, which is also the reason why Jet Airways planed, decided and executed this information obtaining channels (Jet Airways 2011).
According to the flower of service model, the purpose of the information petal is to assist the core product to be more valuable and competitive (Parasuraman, A. 1998). The information service offered by Jet Airways may be very effective and convenient for customers to get what they want, which is considered to be good and excellent.
2.3 Consultation petal
As many customers may have some doubts and questions towards the choices of flight classes, the routines to their destinations and other related problem. The information offering assistance offered by Jet Airlines may not so versatile to remove all of these doubts from customers. Jet Airlines has taken this point into consideration and make a suitable plan to offer customers the consulting services to answer their questions and offer thoughtful service to customers. The online consulting service, e-mail consulting service, hotline consulting services and so on are executed by this airlines to help customers get better knowledge on their choices when flighting with Jet Airways. (Jet Airways 2011)
As the importance of the customer contact for Jet Airways to use the primary criteria to help it to classify the operation of its service and reflect their consideration and care for customers, Jet Airlines has make great efforts on this part. Figure 2.0 is the contact page in Jet Airlines’s official website which is made up many parts and contact services (Jet Airways 2011). In a word, the contact service offered by the airlines compared with other airlines company in India or even in the international market, its plan, design and implementation are worth mentioning and help it win a large number of customers and relatively strong customer loyalty (Lusch, Vargo & Malter 2006).
Moreover, besides the above efforts, Jet Airways’ human resource department also contributes to a lot. There is a series of training programs for employees in Jet Airways, especially for these frontline employees such as the staff in consulting department. These programs in HR department is to give employees more knowledge and information on their job and their company and then employees can give customers a thorough and relevant answers to remove their doubts and offer them some satisfactory suggestions on flight choices (Robyn 2010).
Figure 2.0 Jet Airlines ‘contact us’ chart
2.4 Order taking petal
Talking about the order taking service of Airlines, we can see it owns all the measures and means offered by airlines companies in the world market. Customers can book their ticket based on their own preference by phone calls, call centers, online booking system, ticket office, fax, agents and so on. To best service customers, the HR department in Jet Airways works hard to improve the knowledge and skills of employees in this company. The same as its contribution to the consulting part, HR department in Jet Airways also implemented many training plans and activities for its staff engaging in the order service including the basic skills about how to answer the call wisely and politely, how to catch the major point of customers request, how to better assist customers to book their ticket and how to make customers feel satisfactory for the services they received. Furthermore, to motivate the working passion of these employees, HR department of Jet Airways has set up some reward system to motivate the working morale in this company. (Robyn 2010; Jet Airways 2011)
Thanks for these efforts, the total revenue about US $2.63 billion prove the success of this company and the satisfactory level of customers towards their service (Jet Airways 2011)
2.5 Hospitality petal and safekeeping petal
These two parts may be the most important aspect for a service industry such as Jet Airlines. Because the customer service is one of the determinants for its success, which required on the job training modules to help employees in Jet Airways to act attentively and passionately towards customers’ needs (Baum 2002). Besides these training programs offered by HR department, Jet Airways has decided to build up a training school and make it come true in 2008. This training school is to nurture its working staff from the student period, which is to foster a lifelike environment and offer more part time working chances for students in Jet Airway so as to really reach the actual working life and observe the changeable requirements and preference of customers towards the airlines companies (Robyn 2010; Jet Airways 2011)
Moreover, this training school operated by Jet Airplane also affords the obligation to nurture pilots to optimize the pilot staff with the full usage of simulator and facilities in the ground school training so as to ensure the safety of the flying experience of customers with Jet Airlines (Robyn 2010; Jet Airways 2011)
Besides the quality of pilots contributing to the high safety level of Jet Airplanes, these facilities insides the airplanes of this company is also worth mentioning. The airplanes used by Jet Airways are Boeing 777-300ERs and Airbus A330-200 which are safe, spacious and good facilitate (Vijay 2009). That is to say, these facilities used by Jet Airline improve the safe ratio of its flights, which should be ensured.
In brief, these HR strategies and operating programs do make Jet Airlines become the best choice for domestic customers in India and a good choice for international customer to fly with. It has done a good job.
2.6 Exception petal
Besides the above good aspects of customer service offered by Jet Airways, its special services such as meal preferences service, entertainment, special amenity for the old and young, and some necessary medical services in-flight are also well designed and executed (Robyn 2010; Jet Airways 2011). For example, the in-flight entertainment tool shown in figure 3.0 named JetScreen offering audio video for customers on the required program, which has more than 100 movies, 80 TV programs, 11 radio channels and a 125 titiles’ CD library. Such kind of entertainment resource all for class passengers flying with Jet Airline wins the preference of customers (Vijay 2009).
In brief, these services offered by Jet Airlines are necessary and crucial for any airlines. So these jobs achieved by Jet Airline are a necessity for its business, there is also a need to improve these services for customers to improve their satisfactory rate (Park & Robertson 2004).
2.7 Billing and payments
Besides the common billing and payments means such as charge splits, travelers check, payment by E-mails, credit card and so on, Jet Airways induces customers by many promoting means. Its marketing department has carried out the special payment privileges for those frequent flyers, who can enjoy a certain amount of ticket discount via the accumulation of flying miles or some special meals in-flights. Besides this, Jet airlines also offered customers with hotels reservation services and chauffeur booking services with a low price during its promoting period. With the low cost and passionate supplementary services, Jet Airplanes enjoys a good development. (Robyn 2010)
Moreover, to reduce its cost and provide customers with a lower price and high quality flight experience, Jet airways has executive the code sharing programs with many airlines all over the world to reduce its operating cost (Robyn 2010). And according to Ito and Lee (2007) the code sharing program is relatively useful for airlines to save operating cost and then offer customer more cheaper price.
In brief, in this point, Jet Airways effort to help customer save more money is worth speaking highly of, which is also one of the reason why so many customers choose to fly with Jet airways.
The customer services offered by Jet Airways discussed in the eight petals are good or else it can’t become a warm welcomed Airline in India and even in the international market. But, we’ll still offer some suggestions for this company to make a further improvement due to some weak points.
In the first, in the in-flight service part, Jet Airlines has banned the meat products as check in baggage, which arouses many complaints from customers and even results in a customer loss. Although, the aim of Jet Airlines is to make the flying environment more comfortable, this kind of ban isn’t seemed worth trying (Robyn 2010; Jet Airways 2011). For the service industry, the customers’ preference and perspectives should always be considered first. Since, customers show the negative attitude towards this services aspect of Jet Airlines, we suggest it to remove this ban to maintain its customers (Joseph, Brady & Hult 2000).
In the second place, we also suggest Jet Airlines to improve its focus and effectiveness in dealing with customers’ feedbacks. In this point, although, Jet Airlines has set some compliant box, it doesn’t work properly. The setting of the compliant box is more like a prop rather than offering these airlines a access to listen to the ideas and suggestions from customers (Robyn 2010; Jet Airways 2011). As we have emphasized the importance of customers’ ideas and satisfaction towards the service airlines, we suggest Jet Airlines to make more practical modification in this part to offer customers more satisfactory service (Joseph, Brady & Hult 2000).
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