September 13, 2012

A Day in the Life: Product Development

Welcome to A Day in the Life, where we take you behind the scenes at JetBlue to learn more about the important jobs that work in concert together to run a major airline. This time, we visit with Caroline, Ashley and Donny from Product Development, one of the most innovative teams at JetBlue.

Ever wonder how those scrumptious Terra Blue Chips that we freely hand out made its way onboard our flights? From giant decisions like onboard Wi-Fi and designing our new fleet, to smaller (though no less important) choices like what snacks and movies we offer, our Product Development team is responsible for innovating and creating the best possible customer experience.

Caroline, Donny and Ashley are three of the nearly ten people who are focused on developing our products. Of course, there are many others from just about every workgroup here, from Inflight and Airports to Marketing and beyond, who work with the Product team from the moment a light bulb idea is born and throughout the entire process as it comes to fruition.

From left to right: Ashley, Donny, and Caroline

Everything that the Product team touches is conceived and executed through a highly collaborative, cross-functional process. Data is collected for new products and offerings from customer surveys and crewmember panels, with feedback from every level at JetBlue across many departments to evaluate the feasibility of a given idea. A big part of the team’s job is serving as a spokesperson and a negotiator to translate what the various players want and to find a solution that matches everyone’s sensibilities from a experience, brand, technical, and financial standpoint. Depending on the project, outside players like the airports, the FAA and other business partners will be an integral part of the decision-making process as well.

Though Caroline, Donny and Ashley have a shared goal of keeping JetBlue’s offerings fresh and of value for customers and our company’s balance sheet, they oversee very different areas of development at JetBlue. The three travel a lot, whether to observe the customer experience or test out new products in the airports that we serve, or to meet with business partners. The job also involves some very unique tasks like traveling to Kazakhstan to launch a satellite or staying late at work for a wine tasting for our onboard wine selection.

Caroline spends her days divided between the current inflight airport customer experiences, which includes everything from the boarding announcements to what’s the new snack we’ll offer onboard (SECRET REVEALED: stay tuned for a new holiday snack coming to a plane near you), and everything in between. Her job involves looking at every touchpoint in the JetBlue experience from the moment a customer sets foot on the curb outside the airport until they get off the plane at their destination. Her goal is to ensure customer satisfaction throughout that entire travel ribbon.

Ashley spends her days with LiveTV, ViaSat and media content providers, as well as many of our JetBlue engineers moving the connectivity project and in-seat power projects forward. As we near the date when we’ll begin to outfit our current fleet with the new technology, Ashley is entrenched in ensuring that the process is streamlined and flowing as efficiently as possible given the many moving parts and players.


Donny has been focused on developing and delivering the A321 customer experience, and spends his days working with multiple business partners, our engineers and brand team, to define everything from seats, to lighting to lav designs on our new fleet which we’ll start flying next year. His job is very forward-thinking, answering questions like, “What should JetBlue look like in ten years,” and “How can we continue to refresh our look and feel and offerings and still maintain our core product and service?”  To that end, he has also recently partnered with our airports team on the Airports of the Future project and will be analyzing the long-term vision and strategy of our Even More product suite.

The team relays that the most exciting part of their job is that they get to work on some of the most innovative projects that impact all aspects of the customer experience. The most challenging part? Working within the matrix of stakeholders and facilitating solutions that meet all the needs of those players. All in a day’s work for the Product Development team!

Check out the previous editions of A Day In The Life and meet Frank and Jerry in Technical Operations, Kristi in Customer Support, Rick, an Executive Coordinator for our CEO, Chris, Lashonne and Jaclyn from  Brand Design Jeff and Greg from Schedule Planning, Loretta in Security, Chris in InflightMorgan in Social Media, Don in Air Traffic System Control, and Mike in Ground Operations, and stay tuned for the next edition!

Posted by in A Day In The Life | Permalink | 6 Comments | Share on Facebook | Share on Twitter

Leave a Reply