Got a very interesting comment in response to my recent blog post on flight delays, and I thought Id share it with you:
Folks, I work for a major airline, and I chuckle when you say that you will pay more for more legroom, better food, wider seats, etc. A few years ago, we invited our Platinum and Gold Medallion passengers to a luncheon to garner their suggestions as to how we can improve our customer service.
They suggested these same things, plus better airport lounges, better onboard entertainment systems, faster check-in procedures, improvements to frequent flier programs, and so on. My airline spent millions based on these suggestions only to learn that the customer will only follow the lowest priced ticket. So based on our experience – yes, you would certainly like for us to provide all of these things to you; BUT, you will fly AirTran if they have a cheaper ticket.
Hank, you have a point, but I also have to say, as a “Whistle Blower” you left a serious cookie crumb to your airline identity. Hmm, Medallion…Could that possibly be Delta? And surely many of us know that AirTran is one of the competitive thorns in Deltas side.
That said, I have to agree that your comments were well-taken; you only have to look at all those small-town stores that had to shut down because customers flocked to the uber-cheap Wal-Mart. Its not always convenient to shop Wal-Mart; most of the stores are on the outskirts of town, but no one seems to mind, as long as the price is right!
So where does that leave us? Is PRICE the only thing? Could airlines add some comfortable touches without raising prices, and create new brand loyalty? Will we have to pay for every bit of customer-service?
I’d like to hear from readers: is price all you care about? This question fascinates me, because I get so many conflicting responses, I’d love to get a big discussion going on this.