“Linda [Jojo]’s significant experience leading IT organizations and running complex business and consumer systems will be a tremendous asset to United as we advance our technology to become more efficient and better serve our customers and employees,” said Jeff Smisek, United’s chairman, president and chief executive officer.
Jojo joins United from Rogers Communications, Inc., where she served as executive vice president and chief information officer. Previously, she served as chief information officer for Energy Future Holdings Corporation, Flowserve Corporation and GE Silicones.
Goodness knows technology has been a weak spot for United. All things equal their mobile app is pretty good, but:
- The reservation system is fraught with problems. From the day they combined systems between Continental and United, moving onto the smaller platform, there were major issues. Lost revenue dwarfed the savings from the ‘owned’ software.
- Reservations have been inexplicably cancelled on partner airlines. Reservations get cancelled during rebooking.
- When schedules change with partner airlines on awards, and tickets need to be re-issued, that’s failed to happen and partner space can get lost. At the same time United’s systems have been known not to pass ticket numbers through to partners, causing partner reservations to cancel.
That’s just a few of the issues. The United legacy agents didn’t get sufficient training on the Continental reservations plaform. They had to roll out a new graphical front-end for the thing. And it’s still far more complicated than the earlier system.
The thing is patchwork, pieced together running upgrade processes with check-ins instead of doing true sweeps. Award pricing is similarly hacked together.
At the same time… the mobile app is pretty functional.
What advice would you offer to the new EVP and CIO of United if they want their technology to be flyer-friendly, the business to be profitable, and the airline operation to be world class?
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