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29/09/2008 – I Love The Smell Of Jet A Fuel In The Morning
Periodically I am asked the question of “What gets you up and motivated in the morning.” The question has been asked dozens of different ways, but overall it is the same question of what motivates me to do what I do. I can give a few complex answers, some sentimental answers, but I’d prefer to leave you with the first answer that tends to pop into my head when I am asked this question………..
Robert Duvall has a famous line in the movie Apocalypse Now, “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.” I have not personally smelled napalm, nor do I think I’d enjoy the smell of napalm, but I can say this, “I love the smell of Jet-A Fuel in the morning.”
The distinct smell of ‘Jet-A’ reminds me that people are moving, planes are flying, and there are places out there waiting to be visited and explored. Whether I am bouncing through the world or helping others travel around the world, I am inspired by that distinct smell of ‘Jet-A.’
As I continue to work with flyers, be they photographers or corporate business travelers, I keep an eye on the airline industry. I watch trends, I follow schedule and route changes, play close attention to the stability and instability of airlines and I have recently turned my focus to a different direction with The Travel Strategist.
The newly created additional direction of The Travel Strategist is consulting directly with airlines on how they can better service their passengers. Airlines are losing money hand over fist due to a variety of reasons, the cost of ‘Jet-A’ topping the list. As the airlines lose money, more passengers seek out a ‘race to the bottom,’ in search of the lowest airfare. With the race to the bottom airlines need to pick up the slack and start aggressively seeking out how to attract their ‘premium passengers,’ and retain a loyal base of frequent business travelers.
Airlines have known for a long time that it is better to retain someone who flies 50+ last minute segments per year than market heavily to the couple who flies once a year from a cold destination to a warm destination during a peak travel period. Some airlines are currently shedding loyal flyers due to their ‘anti-customer’ tactics. These tactics may work for generating income from the infrequent traveler, but in the end will cost these airlines a steady stream of high-revenue passengers. These new practices by some are airlines are forcing many frequent business travelers to start looking for a ‘new home.’ With many high revenue passengers looking for ‘new homes,’ there is a lot of potential revenue up for grabs and the airlines shouldn’t miss their potential for seeking out these potential long term frequent business flyers.
When an industry is in turmoil only the strong survive. As travelers it is on our best interest to keep as many potential options available. When airlines collapse we all lose when it comes to our potential travel options.
Maybe we’ll get lucky and some airlines will think outside the box, work with some low cost high reward options and make their potential future customer base happy…….giving all of us travelers one more airline on the road to stability, ensuring more potential options exist as we make our travel plans.