This is a new series on Twisted Thinking. Now we could go a lot of places with this topic, but it is intended to show what happens when companies (or entire industries) get too focused on themselves and on short term profits and don’t think about the long term value of customer intimacy and providing true value.
Hands down, airplane pricing has to be the single best example of twisted thinking in the history of man. It takes the cake.
Where else would you:
- Discount your product if people will take three different airplanes (with three different crews, fuel for each one for three different take offs and landings and potentially three GDS segment fees) to get to their destination. Oh and three planes back as well, so multiply everything by two.
- Conversely, charge them more if they take a non-stop to their destination – your lowest cost option.
- Penalize your best customers by charging them more for aisle and window seats, when you could just offer the infrequent traveler a discount on the center seat and retain the good will of your regular customers.
- Charge the people sitting in the same row (assuming 3 seats on either side) on your plane up to six different prices for the same exact product, knowing full well that they may talk to one another and be upset with you.
- Not give a refund if a passenger has to cancel his/her trip, even though you know can resell that seat.
- Similarly, if the customer only needs the outbound and does not need the return flight, keeping 100% of the airfare.
- When redeeming frequent flyer points, make it easiest (fewest points) to take the 2 leg connection. That’s right, take a seat on three airplanes in each direction vs one, when those seats could have been sold to someone else.
If you did your homework on the last series, you will have already read the Go Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann and you will know that absolutely everything about this violates the first law of stratospheric success and seriously compromises several of the other laws as well.
At the risk of sounding like Jeff Foxworthy, I leave you with this.
If something makes you scratch your head, it just might be Twisted Thinking.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog – Passwords – the bane of my existence.