Airline Outsourcing–To Utah

Thomas Friedman’s new book, The World Is Flat, offers a treasure trove of blogfodder. Here he visits David Neeleman, the president of JetBlue Airlines, who talks about why he uses stay at home moms in Salt Lake City Utah to make all of his reservations.

“He calls it ‘homesourcing.’ JetBlue has about 400 agents, taking reservations, in between babysitting, exercising, writing novels and cooking dinner. At a previous airline, Neeleman found that the work-at-homes took 30% more bookings, just by being happier. They were more loyal, and there was less attrition. So when I started JetBlue, I said ‘we’re going to have 100 percent reservation at home.’ The quality we get here is far superior (to India), employers are more willing to outsource to India than to their own homes, and I can’t understand that. The productivity we get here more than makes up for the wage factor.”