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Big planes, big data and a big opportunity

December 10, 2012

Big planes, big data and a big opportunity


As many of our life experiences form the best of insights, it was when booking a trip back to London that got the BrandHook office thinking about how airlines could seize the initiative, embrace ‘big data’ properly and truly deliver a customer centric experience.

I used to fly nearly exclusively with Qantas. I did what they wanted me to do – I had my credit card linked to their loyalty program, I would seek them out as the first alternative for domestic and international travel, and I would actively recommend them.

Something happened though – for someone who is cursed with the worst air travel experiences known to mankind, I can’t pinpoint the exact experience but it probably rated in the top 5 of my top 50 worst plane experiences. From that moment on, I chose Virgin as my airline of choice – and again, I adopted the behaviours that they would want. They also exceeded many of my expectations – I’ve written about the Sydney Priority Check In Service before (and will continue to talk about to it anyone who listens) and sent me in free upgrade in recognition of me becoming a Gold Member. The welcome packs are first class and they deliver on price, which domestically is my main point of differentiation.

So, when booking an upcoming trip to London, I was faced with a $2,000 price difference and had to return (somewhat reluctantly) to Qantas. So in the year where we’ve talked about customer centricity and big data, what are Qantas going to do with me?

If they truly remembered me, they would recall that I was a valuable customer – 9 international long haul flights in a year was the peak of my travel, but for 5 years I would average 4 international and 8 domestic flights. They would know that after reaching the dizzy heights of Platinum membership, I’m now down to the lowly Silver membership (does that even get me into the lounge anymore). They will know that I haven’t flown with them for over 3 years.

I see this as their chance. They have me for 26 hours (probably longer if my track record of worst flights continues) and could use this as an opportunity to surprise, delight and impress.

There’s my big data and silver membership card on the table Qantas … it’s now over to you.

*Please note, for those flying to London on the 13th of January, I would seriously consider changing flights

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