jetBlue is making major changes to their systems this weekend, starting on Friday afternoon and scheduled to finish on Saturday, that are expected to interrupt their operations throughout their network. These upgrades are for the reservations and flight scheduling systems that run the back-office functions at the carrier, and the upgrade is nothing short of huge. The new system, SabreSonic, allows for a number of new features to be included in the booking, ticketing and operational processes that the carrier deals with on a daily basis. It means that things like interlining and codesharing with other carriers will be possible, allowing for tighter integration with partner Lufthansa, for example.
Just how significant are the interruptions to operations during this upgrade? Very is an understatement. Here are some of the details that jetBlue provided to their customers:
- Travelers will be unable to book flights or make changes to reservations. If your matter is urgent and you need to book a flight or make changes to flights during this period, you can do so only at the airport.
- Flight status will be unavailable.
- Online check-in will be unavailable.
- Reservation agents will be unable to book flights or make changes to reservations. If your matter is urgent and you need to book a flight or make changes during this period, you can do so only at the airport.
And that’s just for making new plans. At the airport things are going to be pretty bad, too. Again, from jetBlue:
- Check-in and bag-drop lines will be longer during and immediately after the transition.
- We recommend that you arrive at the airport:
- Two hours before your scheduled departure for domestic flights.
- Three hours before your scheduled departure for international flights.
It is going to be a rough weekend for customers and the fact that it is snowing in New York City right now probably isn’t helping things. Of course, the carrier will be monitoring the weather situation and can always pull the plug prior to starting the changeover. No matter what, this change needs to happen and the carrier will come out of the deal in a better situation. Here’s hoping that they can make the transition with minimal pain for their customers.
Fortunately I’ve got 6 weeks until my next jetBlue flight, plenty of time for them to work the kinks out.
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Hmm. Flight status unavailable? Surely they have some system for their internal use that tells them what the status of a given flight is, no? How else would they be running their operation during the weekend? (“oops, there’s one of our planes, wonder where that came from and who we should load on it next”). If this was United we’re talking about, I would stop right here, but with a newer, smaller and more agile company like JetBlue ot wouldn’t seem like rocket science to expose that data on the web. Maybe just not their highest priority, though?
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