PARTNER STORY: No compromise needed. How Jetstar Connect offers a customer experience close to traditional interline without the associated costs and complexities.
Jetstar Airways is a fully-owned low-cost subsidiary of Qantas. It is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, and operates both narrow-body and wide-body aircraft. Apart from its Australian and New Zealand operation, it operates Jetstar Asia in Singapore and Jetstar Japan in Japan.
Jetstar selected Dohop as the technology provider behind Jetstar Connect, the airline’s connections platform. It launched in 2019 with Tigerair Taiwan as its first partner and has since added new partners such as IndiGo in the summer of 2022.
Jetstar has been part of the interline community for many years, but usually only one-way partnerships. Other airlines have been selling Jetstar flights, but as a low-cost and a ticketless carrier, Jetstar has not had the capabilities to sell other airlines’ flights. In 2017, Jetstar started looking for a solution that would allow them to sell interline itineraries on jetstar.com. During the discussions between Jetstar and Dohop, it quickly became clear that a self-connect solution like Worldwide by easyJet would not be suitable in Jetstar’s case because they operate in a region where international borders remain, and countries retain their own visa policy. The requirement for customers to go landside at the connecting airport would make the offering a lot less attractive, so the two parties agreed to launch an MVP that seamlessly aligned the offering of each airline, both in the booking flow and during travel.
“The proposition of Jetstar Connect is centred around offering customers seamless connectivity, and that means taking away the hassle of passengers having to collect and re-check their baggage. We want passengers to enjoy their flight journey and have their bags waiting for them at their final destination.”
says Tiffany Juan, Manager Airline Partnerships at Jetstar.
With self-connect out of the question, Jetstar and Dohop worked together to create a solution that would surpass the usual offering and include luggage through-check.
Dohop made sure that when a booking was generated, both connecting airlines would get access to the full PNR in their respective system and be aware of the entire itinerary. This allows the airline that provides the first flight in a connecting itinerary, be it Jetstar or a partner, to issue the boarding pass for the whole trip. Check-in agents get visibility into all the journey legs and include a luggage tag to the final destination.
Alignment and a common vision are key
Consistency and seamlessness in the customer experience are important to Jetstar so it was crucial that the booking flow on Jetstar Connect would look and feel like Jetstar.com.
The ancillaries, including luggage offerings, are also aligned between the connecting airlines, so the type of luggage, be it a 7kg carry-on or 20kg checked-in luggage, offered by both Jetstar and its partners is synchronized and reflected on the booking page. When choosing ancillaries for a connection, the passenger chooses only one bundle, which will be reflected on both legs of the connecting journey.
The flexibility to adjust the ancillary offering to that of Jetstar has been one of the drivers for choosing new airline partners for the Jetstar Connect platform.
“The first criteria we look at when choosing an airline partner is their flying schedule and having a common connecting port. Singapore is a key strategic transfer hub for Jetstar, so we have been focusing on making the transit experience there superior for the customer. Product offering and alignment is key to offering customer choice in how they travel, so the capability of bundling bags, meals and seat selection with that of an airline partner is very important to us.
Other technical criteria that makes a partner a good match is the ability to accept credit card payments and relevant currency setups.”
In the future, Jetstar plans to continue to offer the best of both worlds through the Jetstar Connect offering: a customer experience as close to traditional interline as possible, without the associated costs and complexities, adding more airline partners and continuing its network expansion and growth.
“Our goal for Jetstar Connect is to turn it into a well-known platform that complements our Jetstar brand by inspiring more people to travel to new destinations!”