JetBlue to Launch First-of-Its-Kind Self-Boarding Program Using Facial RecognitionMay 31, 2017
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) today announced it will collaborate with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and SITA to test a new paperless and deviceless self-boarding process as part of ongoing trials to implement a biometric exit process in the future. JetBlue will be the first airline to integrate with CBP to use biometrics and facial recognition technology to verify customers at the gate during boarding.
The program will start in June on flights from Boston*s Logan International Airport to Aruba*s Queen Beatrix International Airport. Customers can participate without any prior enrollment or registration.
Customers who opt in during the boarding process can put away their boarding passes and devices and simply step up to the camera for a quick photo. The custom-designed camera station will connect to CBP to instantly match the image to passport, visa or immigration photos in the CBP database and verify flight details. The customer will be notified on an integrated screen above the camera when they are cleared to proceed to the jet bridge. The setup will move JetBlue crewmembers from behind the counter to interact with customers and assist throughout the process. JetBlue will issue iPad minis to crewmembers, giving them mobility to monitor and manage the boarding process while interacting with customers.
**We hope to learn how we can further reduce friction points in the airport experience, with the boarding process being one of the hardest to solve,** said Joanna Geraghty, executive vice president customer experience, JetBlue. **Self-boarding eliminates boarding pass scanning and manual passport checks. Just look into the camera and you*re on your way.**
SITA, the global provider of IT, communications and border security solutions to airlines, airports and governments is providing the technology and connectivity to perform facial capture and integration with the CBP database as well as integration with JetBlue*s departure control system. If successful, the program will show how technology can make the boarding process simple and seamless for the traveler while enhancing U.S. national security through the implementation of biometric exit.
**CBP looks forward to engaging closely with air travel partners, like JetBlue, to better understand how CBP*s biometric exit program will support their efforts to streamline the travel process by using advanced biometric technology,** said CBP*s Office of Field Operations, Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, John Wagner. **By transforming current business operations, airlines and airports will have the opportunity to use verified biometrics to ensure a seamless and consistent process for travelers.**
Jim Peters, chief technology officer, SITA, said: **This biometric self-boarding program for JetBlue and the CBP is designed to be easy to use. What we want to deliver is a secure and seamless passenger experience. We use sophisticated technologies to enable biometric checks and for CBP authorization to be sent quickly to the airline*s systems. This is the first integration of biometric authorization by the CBP with an airline and may prove to be a solution that will be quick and easy to roll out across US airports.**
Self-boarding builds on JetBlue*s efforts to innovate the airport travel experience. JetBlue recently debuted its self-service **line-less** lobbies with new interactive kiosks featuring the latest personal, helpful and simple technology, including self-bag tagging and self-bag drop capabilities that increase efficiency and reduce frustrating airport lines. JetBlue*s new lobby launched at New York-JFK last year. Based on positive customer response, JetBlue has brought the new lobby design to Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, San Juan, Newark and Atlanta with more coming in 2017.
Spirit Airlines* Shareholders Elect Dawn M. Zier as New Board MemberMIRAMAR, Fla., June 19, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Spirit Airlines (Nasdaq:SAVE) announced today that its shareholders have elected Dawn M. Zier as its newest board member, effective June 16, 2015.
**We are looking forward to Dawn Zier becoming a member of our board,** said Spirit*s Chairman of the Board, Mac Gardner. **With Dawn*s demonstrated leadership and consumer marketing expertise we will add an experienced voice to help best position Spirit*s Bare Fareâ„¢ plus Frill Controlâ„¢ model as we continue to implement our growth strategy.**
**I am impressed with the strategy that the management team has articulated to drive growth in this category,** said Ms. Zier. **I*m looking forward to partnering with President & CEO Ben Baldanza and the rest of the Board.**
Since November 2012, Ms. Zier has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Nutrisystem Inc., a leading commercial provider of weight loss products and services, and as a member of its board of directors. She has led the turnaround of Nutrisystem by successfully changing the trajectory of the business and delivering customer and shareholder value with seven consecutive quarters of year-over-year growth. An engineer by education, Ms. Zier has spent most of her career in marketing, keeping her finger on the pulse of global consumers. Before joining Nutrisystem, Ms. Zier spent 20 years at Reader*s Digest Association, a global media and direct marketing company, serving in a range of leadership positions, most recently as president of the company*s international business. Before joining RDA, Ms. Zier held positions at AT&T, Chase Manhattan Bank, and Prodigy Services Corporation. She has an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management as well as a Master*s of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT. She received her Bachelor*s of Engineering degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Spirit Delivers What Customers Want MostMIRAMAR, Fla., March 17, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Customers are starting to understand Spirit Airlines (Nasdaq:SAVE) is different than other airlines. The message sent has been successful: those differences save them money on travel, which has led to the airline*s rapid growth and popularity. In fact, Spirit has seen a 40% growth in customer satisfaction according to internal surveys. This growth has also led to Spirit being included in the Department of Transportation monthly Air Travel Consumer Report beginning this year. Most airlines will only focus on the area of the report where they perform well - not Spirit. The Ultra-Low Cost Carrier actually wants consumers to better understand what the report says and focus on what is important to consumers, even if it means drawing attention to the areas where they didn*t score so well.
**The DOT provides a comprehensive report, but it is a lot of data that can be difficult to understand,** said Spirit*s President and CEO, Ben Baldanza. **We want consumers to be able to focus on the important information the report provides that actually shows how carriers are taking care of their customers.**
According to the DOT, Spirit performs well in these categories:
â€¢ Spirit is far and away the leader in lowest airfares and total price, even after adding options.
â€¢ The January report shows Spirit was among the best when it came to fewest canceled flights and fewest lost pieces of luggage, two areas consumers get most frustrated with regarding air travel.
â€¢ Spirit had a high number of complaints - although they weren*t the worst on the list. Spirit has embraced complaints as a tool to help educate customers on the airline*s unique model.
Best Fares, Best Price
Spirit continues to lead the industry in the lowest price for airfares - which is the measure that most consumers rank as their highest priority when choosing an airline. DOT statistics show that Spirit*s fares are on average 42% less than other airlines.* That equates to a potential savings of nearly $770 million for Spirit customers.**
For decades most news stories regarding the DOT report focus on **delays** and **complaints,** two areas that may seem on the surface to be a clear reflection of consumer frustration. Spirit CEO Baldanza contends consumers have been steered into thinking those categories are a true reflection of performance, while they can be highly misleading.
**Don*t get me wrong, we don*t ever want to have a delayed flight, and we want to have zero complaints; but we*re in the airline industry and those things are going to take place with every airline,** added Baldanza. **The fact is many airlines *game* the system when it comes to on-time performance. When you understand this fact and understand the different nature of complaints, it can quickly change your perspective.**
Spirit had 71.3% of their flights arrive on-time, just below the industry average of 76.8%, although almost 20% of those delays were due to weather, airport, and security issues. While there were other airlines whose performance was worse, Baldanza suggests **delays** are a part of the airline industry. Most air travelers have experienced a delay; but it doesn*t adversely affect their trip. However, when an airline cancels your flight, it can ruin a vacation or destroy a business opportunity.
**That*s why Completion Factor - or fewest canceled flights - is a measure of taking care of customers that should also be considered,** says Baldanza. **At Spirit we*re committed to getting you to your destination on your flight, even if it means taking a delay.** The DOT report shows Spirit ranked near the top of the industry only canceling 1.1% of their flights, compared to the industry average of 2.5%.
In the January DOT report Spirit ranked second for the most number of complaints. Baldanza points out there is a relatively small number of complaints, and the specific nature of those complaints is often overlooked.
Spirit had 7.99 complaints for every 100,000 passengers. That means that 99.99% of Spirit*s customers did not complain to the DOT about their service on Spirit. **I can*t think of any company that would change their practices based on complaints from such a tiny fraction of their customers,** added Baldanza.
The airline*s reading of the DOT report shows business model complaints make up 35% of Spirit*s complaints.
**When a customer is upset that we have more seats on the plane than other airlines or they don*t like that we charge $3 for a soda, that*s a business model complaint and is much different than if we don*t provide the service we promise,** says Baldanza. **Our business model saves people a lot of money, and that*s what we*re all about at Spirit, so we*re not going to change in those areas. However, if we lose your luggage, or make a mistake of some kind, we will work to fix the situation and make it right. While we always want to get better, we think the DOT report shows that we are successfully doing the things that the vast majority of our customers care about most, like not canceling your flight or losing your luggage - and we do this while saving customers a lot of money!**
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