I’ve been travelling a fair amount lately and I’m beginning to get a little too familiar with the different airlines, airports and even gates. I am now starting to base my travel decisions on which airport and airline has the fastest and most comfortable security and boarding process.
Most Comfortable Experience
Delta at La Guardia is my preffered airline for business travel. The airline have adequate security lines, a comfortable modern terminal, and much bigger, newer planes. If only they had live Direct TV and a better online booking experience, I might call them my favorite.
Best All Around Airline
Personally, I think JetBlue has done the best job overall. They have managed to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack while creating a very desirable brand. Some of the highlights include: newer planes, better service, cheaper flights, live TV, more legroom, and best of all, you can book one-way or return from a different airport without a surcharge. The also have the most customer friendly, intuitive website which should be a prerequisite for all airlines these days.
Not too long ago, I was delayed on the runway with JetBlue for 3 hours at JFK (as were all planes). Before I could even think about calling customer service, there was a $100 voucher in my email. Instead of leaving a bad taste in my mouth, JetBlue won me over 🙂
The only problem with JetBlue these days is that their JFK terminal is overcapacity. There are seriously long security lines. The good news is that there will be another new terminal expansion before the end of the year.
Lastly, from a marketing perspective I believe that JetBlue has done the best job of creating a fantastic desirable brand remarkably, without wasting a fortune on traditional advertising. JetBlue has mastered the e-marketing – from its well-timed promotional emails and refined mobile site to its easy-to-use online booking function. I would love to read a marketing case study on JetBlue.
The Worst Airline
I try to stay away from American Airlines as much as possible – I’m not really sure how or why they are still in business (must be the name). This airline takes the cake in all categories: they have the worst lines at the airport, the oldest rundown planes, horrendous customer service, a website from 1998 and the worst in-flight routine. There’s nothing like looking out the window and seeing paint peeling off the wing.
I recently showed up to La Guardia airport for a business trip to Atlanta. After a 45 minute security line, I found out my flight was cancelled. The re-routed me through Chicago and I had to cancel all my meetings for the day. When I asked what my other options were, the gate agent told me to call the 1-800 number (which had a 32 minute wait at 7:45 am) thus ensuring that I will NEVER fly American Airlines again unless I absolutely must. A simple email this morning teling me that my flight was cancelled and what my options were would have gone a long way.
In the ultra competitive air travel market, I really don’t understand how American Airlines could be so poor.
I hear great things about Southwest and Virgin America. I would love to try them some day.
On another note, Thai Airways has the best food I’ve ever had on an airline. Believe it or not, their pad thai, green curry, and red curry rivals that of many well known Thai restaurants in New York!Tags: airline marketing, airports, American airlines, best airlines, customer service, delta airlines, jetblue, Marketing.fm, thai airways, worst airlines