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Jet Blue Be Nimble…But Can You?

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By now, you’ve probably read about renegade airline Jet Blue‘s unlimited travel pass that allows customers to fly free between any of the airline’s 56 national or international destinations as many times as they want between September 8 and October 8, 2009.   Naturally, some deride the offer as a gimmick for JetBlue to make more money, pointing out that most of JetBlue’s tickets cost $99 each way and in any event, retirees or the unemployed are the only folks with the time to actually take advantage of the offer.  Still, even if JetBlue has a profit motive (and what business doesn’t?), with a little imagination, customers can extract great value from the offer.  For example, if you have a national practice, why not take advantage of the JetBlue fares to pay a visit to clients?

Jet Blue’s pricing model is a great example of an innovative and client-centric solution to the problem of declining air travel.  The $599 payment gives Jet Blue money up front, a significant benefit to cash flow.  Moreover, the “all-you-can-fly” arrangement “puts freedom and choice and options into the hands of it customers and prospects” as Information Week points out. Thus, it’s a win-win for all.

Information Week also asks this important question:

How about within your own company: if your CEO asks you to come up with a JetBlue scenario for your business, what new approaches would you come up with? Do you and your team have in place the flexible IT architecture and operations that will allow high-speed experiments along the lines of the JetBlue model, or you have to tell the CEO that it’s going to be 18-24 months before any unique plans can be put into place?

We solos must ask ourselves the same questions.  If our clients were to ask us for a fixed price model or novel fee structure, what could we offer?  And do we have the technology and infrastructure to deliver the requested service efficiently so that the proposal would benefit us and our clients?

Do you have a Jet Blue idea?  Share it below or drop me an email and if you like, I can feature it in a post.

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