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August 14, 2011

Engaging the customers – an airline travel experience – Part - II

7)      Ava scheme of scratch card:  This is a scratch card cum shopping card that is given to all the travelers. They can scratch and find out what their dame luck holds in store for them. They could be getting many thing including a watch, a Moserbaer DVD player, a 16 disk games encyclopedia, a classique watch and jeweler set, a sandwich maker or many such items. Depending on what they get on their scratch card they can claim the gift by paying handling charges of only 699/- rupees (about 14 dollars). They can also buy items like blackberry mobiles, Digital cameras, Skybags, handbags, gaming consoles, and many other at a very heavy discount. A variation of the same could be that travelers could bid for a product from a fixed base price. The highest bidder gets the product on arrival at the airport.  
8)      Advertising on the window pane: Not seen on Indian airlines but a popular method of promoting the product. When the window pane is down the advertisement is seen very clearly.
9)      Advertising on the food tray: that opens out in front of the passenger: A great place to advertise a company that is in vacation business. Also a great position to promote a company marketing laptops.
10) Advertising the plane itself: The aero plane itself can become a vehicle for advertising. PepsiCo painted one entire plane in its colors and the plane became one big moving advertisement. Albeit it is for people outside the aero plane and not inside it.

Sky is the limit for imagination of the airlines thinking of promoting products. The air hostesses, the stewards and the staff dress can have logos of companies, the quilts and the headphones that are supplied can be a plug for quilts and audio companies.

Why not think of engaging the travelers gainfully during their journey? Why not tarot card reading, astrology, palmistry and Mehendi for the women? Why not hold a small painting competition for all the young kids and announce a small price? Why not a host who can perform small tricks for the travelers?

Like North West Airlines has proved the interaction between the staff and the travelers is hugely appreciated and remembered. I warmly remember the friendly banter of the Ethiopian airlines pilots who gave us tips of when to look out for great sights.

In my first journey from Addis Ababa to Bahirdar I witnessed the great Nile gorge, the Tiss Abay water Fall and the Tana Lake which is the starting point of the longest river in the world, the Nile. And all this from 10 kilometers up in the sky! I thank the Ethiopian airline pilot for making my journey so wonderful and eventful.

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