As we all know, the airline industry today is extremely interested in two major trends – Big Data and ancillary revenue.
Everyone is seemingly talking Big Data, but what is it exactly and how does it help an airline to make money? And then, of course, we have the whole song-and-dance between passenger and airlines around ancillary revenues and customer experience.
A lot of airlines today are fixated on the point that the only way to make more out of their passengers is to charge them large fees for trivial and additional requests and, of course, to call them “stupid” for not reading the fine print.
For an industry which practically invented the concept of customer experience as part of the pre-flight and inflight services (remember United hiring its first stewardess in 1930s, or the on-board food services, the romance and adventure of the job) as well as some of the most successful customer loyalty programs (airline miles being at the forefront), it is quite disheartening to see it struggling for survival due to runaway oil prices and employee unions.
But just like any other industry sector, it’s time to get creative, not combative.