I was at a conference the other day and, whilst awaiting the first speaker’s presentation, I was chatting with the lady next to me. I am not sure how it came up in conversation, but the subject we started talking about was customer loyalty programmes and their associated loyalty cards.
It wasn’t the best of times, it was the worst of times, it wasn’t the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it wasn’t the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity …. So wrote Charles Dickens (or something very similar).
In the last month I was invited by an airline to contribute to a strategy day, an away day for their senior executives to ponder the bigger picture and how they might take their airline forward in the next few years. A few external experts such as me had been invited along to the strategy day. Our purpose was to provide some food for thought to catalyse discussion amongst the executives present.
There are plenty of opinions to be heard about the tech problems that British Airways suffered and the way the downtime was handled. It surely has to rank as one of the worst public relations disasters in the airline’s history.
Do you remember the story from 2009 of the flying Dutchman? He was looking forward to visiting his family in Wollongong and Tallong, just South of Sydney. Accompanied by his 15 year old grandson, they departed Amsterdam and after a change of planes at Halifax, finally touched down in Sydney. I guess they might have been surprised at how short the journey was as they had arrived in Sydney, Nova Scotia, not Australia. They had booked flights to the wrong place.
Who remembers the old days, when air travel was fun and exciting, when you didn’t need to buy a Business or First Class ticket to make the trip bearable? Sadly, travelling by air has become a chore; a grit-your-teeth and put-up-with-the-endless-queuing experience.