Posted by Barry Silverstein on May 24, 2011 01:00 PM
While airlines may seem to be cutting back on services and charging for everything from baggage to pillows, there's one little item that remains a hold-over from days gone by — the swag bag.
For decades, airlines have handed out small bags with elite branded amenities to their first class travelers in an effort to treat them deferentially, in much the same way celebrities are showered with gifts when they attend awards shows and other exclusive events.
The subtle difference today, however, is the fact that some airlines are looking to the practice as a new way to generate revenue — by selling the bags to economy-class passengers, and splitting the proceeds with the brands providing the goodie bags.
Peddling first-class travel kits to those seated behind the curtain in economy is a growth industry, it seems.Continue reading...
brands under fire
Posted by Abe Sauer on May 20, 2011 11:00 AM
The problem with making a bad PR gaffe is that subsequent PR gaffes become magnified in significance. Take United Airlines, which has run into its second 9/11-related oops in a week.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 18, 2011 11:30 AM
Turning to other "airline brands under fire", Southwest is losing its mojo and needs to work on restoring its reputation.
As Kenlie Tiggeman told NBC News, the airline, once revered as a trendy alternative brand in a highly competitive industry, needs sensitivity training. Tiggeman and her mother, Joan Charpentier, were on a layover in Dallas on Easter Sunday, when a Southwest employee singled them out (along with another passenger) for their weight.
After a very public 45 minute conversation about their weight and clothing size, they were told by an agent they were — in words Southwest is still living down — “Too fat to fly,” said Tiggeman. "I asked him what the weight restrictions were and he said that he didn't know, just that we were too heavy to fly.”
Did Southwest learn anything from last year's Kevin Smith debacle?Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on May 18, 2011 10:00 AM
United and Continental went public with their merger today, launching a page on their single website (United.com) to detail the first major public-facing merged branding, in addition to talking up the changes on their new Facebook page (facebook.com/unitedairlines) and Twitter feed (@united).
Highlights unveiled today for what's now the biggest airline in the world include newly aligned check-in and boarding processes, the linking of the airlines' MileagePlus and OnePass loyalty programs, new branding (including blue carpets and signage) premiering at Chicago's O'Hare airport, a new Premier Access VIP service for "elite" travelers, news on the in-flight menu being introduced this summer (including "new custom coffee, and the beer selection on domestic flights will feature Heineken, Budweiser and Miller Lite" — but no Corona, as Continental offered), and details on self-service check-ins.
One lowlight on what should have been a big day: reinstating the flight numbers of the downed flights on 9/11.Continue reading...
customer relationship management
Posted by Barry Silverstein on April 22, 2011 02:00 PM
These days, consumers can hardly make a purchase without being exposed to some kind of loyalty rewards or frequent buyer program.
They get cards punched when buying a cup of coffee or a bagel. They get "member discounts" at supermarkets. They get credits on merchandise from retailers. They accumulate points good towards free flights and hotel stays from airlines, hotels, and credit card companies.
So why aren't customers redeeming them?Continue reading...
ready for takeoff
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 20, 2011 03:30 PM
Call it a serene, green, social machine.
Following a $383-million upgrade, Virgin America is promoting its revamped terminal 2 at San Francisco International Airport for its eco-friendly features, abundant skylights, artwork, a "recompose" area past security checkpoints, “hydration stations” for refilling reusable water bottles, kids’ play area, and multiple recycling stations.
As fliers enter the 640,000-square-foot terminal, which just opened on April 14th, they're invited to check out the revamped terminal by checking in via Facebook and Foursquare.Continue reading...
ready for takeoff
Posted by Shirley Brady on April 4, 2011 02:30 PM
AP looks at the 2011 Airline Quality Rating report, an annual ranking of US airlines by academics, based on US Dept. of Transportation statistics. The goal of the joint project between Wichita State University and Purdue University is "to improve quality and performance in the airline industry."
The discount carrier AirTran bumped top-ranked Hawaiian out of the top spot, which was followed by JetBlue, Alaska and Southwest. Regional airline American Eagle ranked last among the 16 airlines. Also in the bottom five were Atlantic Southeast (15), Comair (14), Mesa (13) and United (12). Click here for the report.
ready for takeoff
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 31, 2011 04:00 PM
Qatar Airways has been voted the third best airline in the world, according to Skytrax’s 2010 survey of 18 million international passengers, who also voted it as having the best Business Class Service and catering. But the airline won't be happy until it makes #1.
So starting on April 1, it's launching its biggest travel promotion to date, pegged to the airline’s 100th destination, the historic Syrian city of Aleppo, which launches next week (April 6).Continue reading...