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10/04/2009 – Why Do Flyers Choose A Specific Airline : My Son’s Opinion
Recently I have been very focused on business and policy issues related to airline travel. My focus on what attracts frequent flyers to airlines has been driving much of my research and been useful to clients…however my four year old son Max brought up an aspect of customer attraction that I have overlooked.
Sitting on Max’s bed, looking out at his shelf with toys sits a KLM 747-400, Virgin Atlantic 747-400, Southwest Airlines 737-700 and a US Airways 757-200. While chatting with Max at bedtime he reminded me he wanted to visit “the last airport you were at.” My last trip had been to New York (JFK) , Milan (MXP) and Amsterdam (AMS), so I asked him which airport and he told me the one where I bought him the KLM baggage tag.
Upon further prompting I again enquired why he wanted to visit the Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport (in fact I already knew the answer) and he paused and asked for his KLM plane. With the plane in his hand he flew it around my head and told me “all the planes there are light blue, and light blue is my favourite.”
Before Max and I had this conversation the other night, we have had it before. Max loves Thomas The Tank Engine, and Thomas is blue, and similar in colour to both KLM and Korean Air. Max has expressed an interest in flying with both the airlines and loves to look at photos I have shot on a photo assignment at Incheon International Airport (ICN) and any photos he can find shot at AMS on Airliners.net.
So with all this research I have been conducting on the passenger experience, frequent flyer benefits, in-flight service, ground service, baggage allowance, flight transfers, lounge comfort, seats, meal service, etc, etc etc, I have overlooked a very important issue to the future frequent flyers of the world…
…does looking at the exterior of the plane make you smile and want to fly.
Hopefully I’ll be able to take Max on an outing to KLM’s hub airport at Amsterdam’s Schiphol International Airport in the near future. If we’re lucky he’ll get to fly on a KLM MD-11 and a 747-400, they are his favourites but for now that trip has to wait, but hopefully for not to long.