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JetBlue Airways
Solution Overview

JetBlue Airways books Windows XP

Professional for efficiency, reliability, and
Published: December 2001

To maintain its high level of customer satisfaction and build even

higher levels of operational efficiency, JetBlue Airways implemented
Microsoft Windows XP Professional for all its users. The remote
support, easily customizable interface, and user migration tools
enabled the airline to implement Windows XP Professional without
additional training and support a widely distributed work force with a
small IT staff. In addition, JetBlue expects that the improved reliability
and security features, such as support for Smart Card logon, will
enable it to maintain a reliable, more secure environment for all users.

JetBlue Airways took flight on February 11, 2000, from New York City to Ft. Lauderdale,
Florida. Nearly two years later, it serves 18 cities across the United States with a fleet of new
planes equipped with roomy, all-leather seats, each of which features free LiveTV satellite
television offering 24 channels of DIRECTV. The airline not only reports a profit in its second
year of operation but also has received several customer-service-related awards. It earned the
highest scores of any airline in the Conde Nast Traveler 2001 Business Travel Awards and
was ranked #2 Best Domestic Airline for comfort and service in the 2001 Zagat Airline Survey.
Those kudos come as a result of a unique low-fare, low-cost business model that combines
superior operational performance with the friendliest service in the industry. To achieve all
those objectives along with profitability, JetBlue places a strong emphasis on technology. One
of the things I promised my bosses when I came on board was that we would always be the
most technologically advanced airline in the sky, says Jeff Cohen, Vice President and Chief
Information Officer. But one of the caveats was that we would never buy technology just for
the sake of technology, but rather to improve our efficiency and customer service.

Customer Profile
JetBlue, launched in February 2000, now
serves 18 cities in the United States with
one of the newest, most advanced fleets
in the world. It has served more than 3
million passengers and forecasts growth
of about 1,000 employees per year.
Business Situation
JetBlue is constantly striving to increase
efficiency and reach even higher levels of
customer satisfaction to build its
competitive edge. To achieve this, it
places a strong emphasis on new
technology across the companyfrom
mobile solutions for customer service to
notebook computers on board for pilots.
By implementing Windows XP
Professional, JetBlue was able to
increase efficiency while keeping IT costs
down, maintain the highest level of
reliability, and increase security.
Software and Services
Microsoft Office XP
Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Microsoft Visio
Microsoft Project
Microsoft MapPoint
Microsoft SQL ServerTM 2000
Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced
Server, including:
Internet Information Services
Terminal Services
Active DirectoryTM service
Microsoft Visual Studio .NET
Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server
Microsoft Consulting Services
Microsoft Product Support Services
Flight Speed Reservation System
Minisoft terminal emulation
Mobility, reliability, TCO, security,
knowledge management, line of business
Infrastructure Details
900 notebook computers
600 desktop computers
150 mobile devices

The airline operates 24 locations in 18 cities, with 2,100 employees. The majority of those
employeesfrom the reservations agents to office workers to pilotshave desktop or portable
JetBlues 500 reservations agents work out of their homes within a half-hour drive of the JetBlue
Reservations Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Reservations Center has 100 seats for training
new reservations agents and also houses the IT staff. JetBlue reservations agents connect to the
host reservations system over 56K dial-up lines and use voice over IP (VoIP) connections to
interact with customers. The IT staff supports reservations agents remotely by phone. And when
the agents have a hardware problem that cant be resolved over the phone or they need to
upgrade the operating system or application, they take their removable hard disks to the
Reservations Center to be reimaged or exchanged for new disks.
JetBlue pilots all carry notebook computers, which hold the required flight and air safety guideline
manuals. JetBlue is the first airline to equip its pilots exclusively with electronic versions of these
manuals rather than with hard copy versions, so the reliability of the operating system is critical.
All of JetBlues client computers had been running the Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
operating system since the airlines inception. However, in its quest to maintain the highest level
of efficiency and security, the JetBlue IT staff looked at moving to the Microsoft Windows XP
Professional operating system.
The chief factors driving the companys interest in Windows XP Professional were its reliability,
security, and remote support capability. Reliability is crucial for all operations from ticketing to the
pilots flight procedures. Remote support enables the airlines three-member IT staff to support
900 portable and 600 desktop computers in 18 cities. Even though we have only 2,100
employees, we are growing by about 1,000 people a year, Cohen explains. Its important for us
to be able to reach out to people and give them help. We believe that the new tools in Windows
XP give us a little bit more consistency in our IT support environment.
In addition, in the wake of the events of September 11, security is a big issue for every airline.
JetBlue is looking at a variety of solutions and expects to take advantage of the Smart Card
capabilities in Windows XP Professional to control door access at its airport and other sites.

To support a rapid implementation of the new operating system, JetBlue contacted Microsoft
Consulting Services (MCS) who recommended that JetBlue join the Microsoft Windows XP
Professional Rapid Adoption Program (RAP). Through that program JetBlue with the assistance
of Microsoft Consulting Services began testing the beta 2 version of Windows XP Professional
about two and a half months before the products release to manufacturing (RTM) code was
available. In this way, JetBlue could check the operating systems compatibility with the
companys applications and develop a deployment plan with the help of MCS.

When the RTM version of Windows XP Professional was released, JetBlue deployed Windows
XP to all its corporate operations (except for the finance group) and airport locations
simultaneously. (Because of year-end considerations and the requirements of specialized
applications, the finance group will be moved to Windows XP Professional in Q1 of 2002. The
deployment team used the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard to move user profiles to a server,

wiped clean the hard disks, and reloaded the new Windows XPbased image and applications.
At the same time, the team upgraded the Reservations Centers 100 desktop computers in Salt
The deployment team used Image Cast to create approximately 15 images that included
Windows XP Professional, Microsoft Office XP Professional, and additional applications specific
to the users job functions. The images were installed on servers in all 18 cities that JetBlue flies
to, in the Kew Gardens, New York corporate offices, and in the Reservations Center in Salt Lake
City, and were then downloaded automatically to desktop or portable PCs.
The images ranged from 1.4 GB for a standard user to 3.0 GB for a pilots notebook PC, and
took between 15 minutes and a half hour to install. In fact, JetBlue was able to deploy the
images, including Windows XP Professional and applications, to 600 desktops in five days. The
migration tools made it possible to move the user profiles, so the deployment team could refresh
the desktop and retain each users settings, which was not possible in the past. Not having to
reinstate the customizations that users had made to their Windows 2000based desktop saved
an hour or two per desktop.
The 500 reservations agents upgraded their systems by bringing the removable hard disks to the
Reservations Center for reimaging. With Windows XP Professional, the reservations agents dial
into a Cisco 5300 router, which connects them to the Hewlett-Packard 3000 computer running the
Open Skies reservations system and connects their IP phones to the network. When a call comes
into the JetBlue reservations line, it is routed to the next available agent, who handles the call
using VoIP.
As of mid-November 2001, JetBlue had installed the new operating system on a total of 750
computers, including all of those for airport operations and many for the reservations agents. The
next phase of deployment is to pilots, engineers, and the finance group, which will be started in
January 2002. JetBlue is also involved in the Joint Development Program (JDP) for Microsoft
Windows .NET Server and will be rolling out beta 3 of that system to test servers in December.

Flexible interface eliminates training time

To be consistent with the companys commitment to increasing efficiency through up-to-date
technology, JetBlue executives looked closely at the impact on its work force productivity of
changing the operating system. The company evaluated the benefits of a change in terms of
support time and the length of the learning curve. With Windows XP that simply wasnt an issue,
Cohen says. You could set up Windows XP Professional to look exactly like Windows 2000
Professional if you wanted. If you use the new interface, it really doesnt take much effort to find
the same programs that you used in the past. One of the big selling points for the executive team
was that there would be no costs for training current users to run the new operating system.

Increasing efficiency while keeping IT costs down

With 500 reservations agents in Salt Lake City, and an additional 1,600 employees spread out
across the country, the JetBlue IT staff of three has its work cut out for it. The Remote Assistance
capabilities in Windows XP Professional enable IT professionals to remotely control end users
PCs to troubleshoot problems and see exactly what the user sees on the screen. Windows
Messenger real-time audio and video capabilities will also be used by the IT organization to

When a computer breaks, or

we upgrade hardware, we use
the Files and Settings Transfer
wizard to move the users
profile off to a server and then
bring it back onto a new
desktop. It saves IT a lot of time
and users get their desktops
back they way they were
without having to recustomize
them. It means that we can
support more users without
having to add IT people.
Vice President and Chief Information
JetBlue Airways

interact with users to provide training and to resolve system problems. These tools enable the IT
department to resolve problems faster, save travel time, and help reduce end-user downtime.
Another big benefit comes from the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard, which saves a significant
amount of time on hardware additions or replacements. The wizard enables the IT staff to easily
migrate a users data and application settings to a new computer. When a computer breaks or
we upgrade hardware, we use the wizard to move the users profile to a server and then bring the
profile onto a new desktop, Cohen explains. It saves a lot of IT time, and users get their
desktops back the way they were without having to recustomize them. It means that we can
support more users without having to add IT people.
The resulting efficiencies allow JetBlue to maintain a ratio of one technical analyst for every four
or five stations (airports). Were a little over our one-for-five ratio right now, and thats okay
because Windows XP enables us to handle most of the support issues remotely, Cohen says.
Most airlines spend about 5 percent of revenues for IT. JetBlue spends only 1.5 percent of

Nonstop reliability
JetBlue is the first airline to equip its pilots exclusively with electronic versions of flight manuals
on notebook computers. To comply with Federal Aviation Administration regulations that require
every pilot to have up-to-date manuals at all times, the company issues every pilot a notebook
computer upon joining the company. Up-to-date copies of the manuals are stored on a domain
controller at each JetBlue station. JetBlue developers used Microsoft Visual Studio .NET to write
an applicationcalled BlueBookthat enables the pilots to connect their notebooks to the
JetBlue local area network at each airport and check their manuals against the distribution file
area. If the manuals need updating, the application automatically updates them.
Reliability is critical to ensuring that pilots have the required procedures documentation. The 32bit computing architecture and fully protected memory model in Windows XP Professional
provides the necessary high-level system uptime.

Increased security
Security has always been a big issue for airlines, but after September 11, it has taken on even
greater importance. JetBlue is considering biometrics and smart cards to control door access at
both its airport and other sites. Windows XP Professional and Microsoft Windows .NET Server
can support those security solutions, enabling JetBlue to implement the latest technology into its
existing systems.
JetBlue is also working with Microsoft Windows XP and Windows .NET Server product groups to
implement certificate issuing for remote users. The only dial-up access that JetBlue supports is
for the reservations agents. Other remote users access the JetBlue network through a virtual
private network (VPN). The company is moving from a VPN system in which workers are
authenticated with a user name and password to a VPN system in which they use certificates to
access the network. Windows XP Professional will enable users to get certificates remotely,
which allows us to be more efficient across the board, Cohen concludes.

For More Information

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This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR
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Windows XP Professional gives you the freedom to do what you want at home and
at worksimply, reliably, and securely.