Total Pageviews

August 14, 2011

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


A travel by an aero plane is one most exciting forms of travelling. Apart from the excitement of flying there is lots of status attached to flying. Unlike other modes of travel where the passenger can get off and stretch his legs, in air travel the passenger is totally captive for the entire duration of the journey. Let us examine how air lines companies peddle their wares to this captive set of customers.

1)      Fashion shows: This was a concept that was tried by Kingfisher Airlines (India). As the guests settled into their seats they were surprised to see models do the cat walk wearing the latest ensembles (a number of different items of clothing and accessories, put together to create an outfit) right in front of them. The passengers got a real eyeful and the fashion designers got a chance to get into the minds of the affluent Indian middle class. For reasons unknown Kingfisher has since done away with the fashion show in the skies.
2)      Gourmet meals: The best food is served in the airlines. At the end of the sumptuous meal one can’t but notice the small tasteful card of the gourmet chef or the hotel from where the food was brought in. A subtle but a very powerful plug for the concerned chef or the 5 star hotel.
For Kingfisher Airlines which belongs to the Vijay Mallaya Group, Food and beverages are a very good way to promote his liquor brands. So do not be surprised if on a overseas trip if you are served Kingfisher beer (the king of good times) or McDowell Whisky. Both alcoholic beverages mentioned are from the Vijay Mallaya’s group.
3)      In-Flight magazine: is a very good way to get the attention of the traveler. The very fashionable and highly colorful magazines not only serve to entertain the traveler but also allow the airlines to talk about itself and help promote its in flight shopping and in-flight food and beverage sale.
4)      In-Flight entertainment: Long flights can get very boring. In the bygone era there was only a very huge TV screen and all the travelers had to watch only the movies or the shows as dished out by the cabin crew. But not any longer. In the era of customization and comfort each traveler has access a small personalized TV. 7 to 8 channel programs are free but if one wants to watch the latest flick he has to pay for it – Pay for view.  
5)      In-Flight shopping: Most of the Airlines have in-flight shopping. In domestic sectors it can be watches, jewels, bags and others. On overseas journeys the in-flight shopping can take the scale of a duty free shop where items can be bought duty free.
6)      Extra payment for leg space, window or any other preferred seat: Noticing that some travelers have need for some extra feature, airlines have started charging extra for those feature. These were extended as courtesies earlier but have become to pay services in the recent times. Extra leg space, window seat or aisle or any other preferred seat can be had but for a payment. In fact it is better to be silent and opt for an extra if the same is offered at the check in counter.

No comments:

Post a Comment