Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 13, 2014 03:46 PM
It's a bit ironic that the world's oldest airline is also the most innovative.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is known for implementing tech-savvy initiatives to make traveling easier—and more fun—for its global passengers. And now, the airline has introduced a new way to pay and set up flights through social media.
Passengers on KLM's five weekly nonstop flights between Chicago's O'Hare Airport and Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam can now pay for airplane tickets, rebook a flight, make a seat reservation or arrange for extra baggage on Facebook and Twitter.
It's really no surprise, since the airline industry is one of the most socially-active, and KLM tops that list.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 24, 2014 11:04 AM
JetBlue may have had to cancel nearly 475 flights due to the snow and ice conditions in the Northeast earlier this week, but at least it wasn't pummeled by PR gaffes like after last year's Valentine's day tarmac incident.
Thankfully, JetBlue and a lot of other airlines have learned to communicate better with their guests, especially on social media—an improvement that can be seen on the bottom line, too. “Shares have tripled since March 2009, loving life alone in an airline sector that has recaptured the ardor of investors,” Bloomberg Businessweek notes.
“JetBlue has actually profited from the fact that fares are up and restructuring got majors out of markets like San Juan—or US Airways (essentially the rebranded America West) retrenching from Boston—where JetBlue can then swoop in and grab slots,” said Roger King, an industry analyst with CreditSights, according to Businessweek. “They still offer a better leisure experience than the others: TV, leather, more legroom.”
Indeed, JetBlue is ranked among the best low-cost airlines, but that doesn't mean it's immune to major problems like those caused by extreme winter weather this year.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 20, 2013 05:46 PM
United Airlines has had a rough go of it lately, especially since it merged with Continental Airlines back in 2010. "These past few years, in many ways, have felt like we've been managing a merger and not an airline...and now we get to manage an airline," United Chief Executive Jeff Smisek admitted, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The airline has become a bit of a punch line for its policies and slip-ups, including boarding passengers with window seats first to its ranking as the least satisfying major airline on the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index. And the fees, oh the fees.
So the airline has announced plans to both improve its profitability and performance, USA Today reports. Of course, part of the plan is to add on more fees and “optimizing” the ones it already has. The airline figurs it can make an extra $700 million annually that way resulting in “$3.5 billion in ancillary revenue by 2017.” Those extra charges could be for such things as “priority boarding, roomier seats, and/or less-stringent rebooking rules,” according to the Chicago Tribune. That doesn’t exactly sound like it will help those satisfaction ratings, though.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 12, 2013 03:42 PM
With the completion of an antitrust agreement with the federal government to shed dozens of slots at airports in major cities around the country, especially Washington Reagan and New York LaGuardia, American Airlines and US Airways are cleared for the takeoff of their merger to create a third heavyweight airline network in the US market to compete with Delta and United.
The $11 billion merger still must clear final, expected approval of the court handling American's bankruptcy, which is slated for this month. Final government approval of the merger now is expected by mid-December. And by early January the two brands essentially expect to become one in their customer-facing operations and communications.
"This is a common-sense solution which addresses regulatory concerns," Tom Horton, CEO of American and incoming chairman of the combined company, told a conference call. "It will benefit customers, [our] people and investors. It's a win-win-win."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 30, 2013 01:52 PM
Virgin head Richard Branson has never been afraid to spice things up a bit. His companies, like Virgin America, also have a bit of a flair for the dramatic. Throwing inhibitions to the wind, the airline had debuted its new safety video—a humorous song-and-dance number that runs through the air travel rules that most passengers snooze through.
An update to its current animated video, the new version features everything from sultry flight attendants to dancing nuns—and is admittedly hard to take your eyes off of, and certainly pushes the in-flight safety dance trend further than, say, Cebu Pacific Air's dancing safety demonstrations.
But as Ad Age notes, Virgin's video may wear out its welcome a whole lot faster: It “initially charms but then quickly becomes kind of exhausting," it comments. That probably isn’t the reaction Virgin was going for, though those that fly Virgin often are likely to feel that way after having to sit through the Glee-like performace a few times.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 15, 2013 05:57 PM
Iberia Airlines, which merged with British Airways in 2010, has kept its national pride intact as the airliner carries out a rebrand across its fleet and service.
The airline worked with leading brand consultancy Interbrand on its new visual identity and brand experience, including a new livery design that makes greater use of Spain's national colors, red and yellow. Its iconic crown remains on the tail, but moves to a smaller location on the fuselage.
Its new logo features a bold 'Iberia' typeface and a new symbol that's reflective of the old 'IB' logo. The new look will officially debut through mid-November, but the extent of the rebrand goes far beyond a paint job.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 1, 2013 06:41 PM
The digital age is saving airline pilots from lugging around the pile of manuals and maps they used to, with American and United Airlines investing in iPads as the pilots' digital flight bag. But not everyone is privvy to the leading brand's tablets.
Delta pilots, too, are converting flight bags to digital, but the pilots aren't very happy with the airline's choice of provider. Delta struck a deal with Microsoft for 11,000 Surface 2 tablets rather than distributing iPads, the tablet of the world’s new # Best Global Brand, Apple.
But Delta's decisions don't take into account its pilot's favorite tech brands, and instead are focused on the $13 million in fuel and other costs that the airline will save annually now that the crew doesn't have to lug the heavy manuals on board.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 20, 2013 02:49 PM
It’s been 17 years since United Airlines urged prospective passengers to “Fly the Friendly Skies.” But the airliner is bringing back the tagline in a new campaign that is also one of its largest.
It isn’t just the skies that are friendly in the new United ads, either. The airline touts itself as “legroom friendly,” “online friendly,” “shut-eye friendly,” and even “EWR friendly,” in reference to the call letters for Newark Liberty International Airport, the hub of Continental Airlines, which United merged with back in 2010.
The new campaign will kick off this wekeend during NFL games, the PGA Tour championship, Sunday's Emmy Awards telecast and the season premiere of 60 Minutes on CBS, according to the New York Times. The ads also feature the iconic George Gershwin tune, “Rhapsody in Blue,” part of the brand’s campaigns since 1987.Continue reading...