The USA Today tossed three travel experts in a room and asked them to describe their dream airline. An airline that restores the grandeur of flight by focusing on passenger value and convenience. Pay attention airlines, and consider giving us the following:
- Awesome Flight Attendants: Fuse Southwest’s spirit, Virgin Atlantic’s British accent, and Singapore Airlines’ uniforms, and you have chipper, upbeat flight attendants that can make the most daunting flights feel welcoming.
- Decent In-Flight Entertainment: Take a page from JetBlue and Virgin America and cram a TV into the back of every seat. If on-the-go entertainment can sate a cadre of screaming kids chucked in a minivan, why not provide the same artificial calm to stressed travelers?
- Delicious Food: Seriously airlines, $5 for animal crackers? Every airline fails in-flight food service, but the long-haul carriers come the closest to getting it right.
- Luxuriously Large Seats: Airlines bring a trench warfare mindset to the fight for seat inches. Thankfully, airplane makers listened to consumers and are designing wider planes to give passengers extra-wide, extra-comfortable seats.
- Friendly Websites: Fuse power with simplicity. Airline websites should empower consumers with most of the same tools available to customer service representatives.
- Valuable Frequent Flier Programs: Stop neutering your frequent flier programs! Once designed to engender customer loyalty, the constant depreciation of frequent flier programs now reminds consumers that they come second to the corporate ledger.
- Amazing Customer Service: The dream airline is one we wouldn’t write about, except to praise. One that defers to its passengers, anticipates their needs, and honors its commitments.
The dream airline doesn’t exist, which is why airlines regularly rank below the U.S. Post Office on the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index. What would you dream airline have? Tell us in the comments.