Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 12, 2014 03:09 PM
As the tragedy and mystery around the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and its 200+ passengers continues to grip the headlines, the airline itself is showing what it takes to handle a full-scale disaster of this proportion real-time, with the whole world watching.
A dedicated microsite has been posting a series of statementssince the plane was reported missing four days ago, including: “Malaysia Airlines' primary focus at this point in time is to care for the families of the passengers and crew of MH370. This means providing them with timely information, travel facilities, accommodation, meals, medical and emotional support. All these costs are borne by Malaysia Airlines."Continue reading...
ready for takeoff
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 12, 2014 12:51 PM
If you need to vomit while flying Spirit Airlines, be sure to take a moment before you let loose and check out the bag. It may have the logo of some enterprising brand on there.
Spirit is going after every dollar it can and has opened the doors for brands to advertise on pretty much everything on its planes. Skift.com reports that for just $30,000, a message can be placed on 150,000 “air-sickness bags” for a three-month run.
The low-cost Spirit already has one of the highest profit margins in the industry, according to Skift, and was the first to charge passengers for bringing on carry-on bags. It also charges them for snacks, drinks, pillows, and blankets and “Spirit flight attendants even make an on-board pitch to sign passengers up for Spirit co-branded MasterCard credit cards.
Skift reports that the Spirit ad rate card offers brands the opportunity to put their logo on window panels, bulkheads, overhead bins, tray tables, in-flight menus, flight attendants’ aprons, and Styrofoam cups. Brands can even wrap a complete Spirit plane in its messaging for a full year for $400,000.Continue reading...
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...