Happy April Fool’s Day!
Today is also the official launch of our completely redesigned website, thejoyofmarketing.com and the JOY blog. This blog is not going to be a personal diary or photos from everywhere I speak around the world (unless there is a marketing lesson attached). This blog is going to be focused on identifying real world marketing issues that can help us make better marketing decisions in our businesses. Marketing is something we must study and analyze every single day as it is always evolving. I hope you subscribe to the RSS feed, make comments and email me with any real-life marketing experiences you have had that I can share them here. You can reach me at [email protected]. I hope you enJOY!
Airlines. Nobody likes to fly (especially once you have been spoiled by flying on whcc’s private jet). But when you are boarding a plane to Florida, DURING spring break with a family of five, needless to say, it is a little stressful. Being in central Illinois, we don’t have many flight options. If we fly out of our city, we are forced to fly through the Bermuda Triangle knows as Oâ€™Hare airport in Chicago. Being that we would rather poke out our eyeballs with a hot stick than go through O’Hare, we drive two hours to St. Louis and fly Southwest. Southwest is in a separate terminal thus making the chaotic check-in and security much more tolerable. But the cattle boarding has MUCH to be desired.
The GOOD: I give them some credit. Southwest is trying to make flying a more enjoyable experience. They have empowered their employees to “entertain” while on the microphone. During a bit of turbulence, the pilot said “would the person jumping up and down, please stop.” Because they know nobody listens to the safety speech, the flight attendants add humor to get some laughs. On our short flight from Orlando to Ft. Myers, as the plane shot up, the flight crew tossed bags of peanuts down the aisle. They were flying down the aisle like bowling balls down a lane. The children were cracking up so this unexpected chaos made this hands down, the best flight ever. We also fly Southwest because you can re-price your flight if the price goes down after you purchase it and if you need to cancel, you can use that credit later. These are great benefits for parents.
The BAD: Because they don’t have first class or assigned seating, it is cattle boarding – first come first served. To have any chance of getting a choice of seats, you have to hop online EXACTLY 24 hours before the flight to get your boarding pass. We were pleased to see that we had one of the earliest boarding positions available. The disappointment came when we boarded the flight and saw that it was a connection and already full of people. Of course, it is human nature for the passengers on the first leg of the flight to spread out, thus making it difficult for families to sit together. They do allow parents with children four and under to pre-board and after my children had to sit alone on the first flight, I actually pondered for a split second teaching my (very tall) 5 year old how to lie.
The UGLY: It was SPRING BREAK full of families who were forced to split up from their small children because the other, anxiety-filled passengers who were less than willing to move. Even though I do believe in the overall kindness of others, when it comes to flying, people get ruthless, shoving their large carry-ons in the open compartment above and staking claim to their seat like the first settlers in America. It is going to take more than a disheveled mom to get them to move.
So, whose problem is this? I can’t wait to try JetBlue!