Posts tagged with "Southwest Airlines"

As Airline Satisfaction Climbs to Record Highs, Line Blurs Between Low-Cost and Traditional Carriers, J.D. Power Finds

Alaska Airlines Ranks Highest among Traditional Carriers for 12th Consecutive Year; JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines Tie for Highest Rank among Low-Cost Carriers

Is this the golden age of air travel? According to the J.D. Power 2019 North America Airline Satisfaction Study, SM a combination of newer planes, better ticket value and improved customer touchpoints have driven overall satisfaction with airlines to its highest point in history, up 11 points (on a 1,000-point scale) from last year’s record-setting performance. The surge is driven by significant improvements among traditional carriers, while satisfaction slowed with low-cost carriers.

“Airlines continue to deliver on the operational side of air travel,” said Michael Taylor, Travel Intelligence Lead at J.D. Power. “New technology investments have dramatically improved the reservation and check-in process. Fleets are newer and travelers generally feel that they are getting great value for their money. These improvements have been most profound in the traditional carrier segment, where customer satisfaction has climbed considerably.

“While low-cost carriers have historically had the highest levels of customer satisfaction in our study, due to a strong sense of value for money among customers, that line is starting to blur as traditional carriers improve their services and operations,” Taylor added. “The one area where both traditional and low-cost carriers can still improve, however, is in in-flight services. It continues to be the lowest-ranked factor in the study, as many airlines still struggle with in-flight entertainment, connectivity, in-seat power, and food service.”

Following are some of the key findings of the 2019 study:

  • Record-high customer satisfaction: Overall satisfaction with airlines increases 11 points to 773, continuing an eight-year trend of satisfaction improvement.
  • Improvement is driven by traditional carriers: This year’s significant gains in customer satisfaction are driven by the traditional carriers, whose segment satisfaction score improves 22 points from 2018. The low-cost segment—while still having higher overall satisfaction than the traditional carrier segment—declines 6 points from 2018, thus driving a segment convergence in satisfaction.
  • Tech investments in reservation and check-in systems pay off: The reservation and check-in experiences are the most satisfying portions of the airline experience, driven by investments in digital check-in technologies, self-service kiosks and a concerted effort among airlines to improve the efficiency of the pre-flight process.
  • In-flight service remains a stumbling block: In-flight services, such as seatback entertainment, food service, and Wi-Fi continue to be the lowest-ranked part of the air traveler experience. Specific in-flight amenities that have the greatest positive effect on customer satisfaction are fresh food, seatback games and seatback live television.

Study Rankings

Among traditional carriers, Alaska Airlines ranks highest for the 12th consecutive year, with a score of 801. Delta Air Lines (788) ranks second and American Airlines (764) ranks third.

Among low-cost carriers, JetBlue Airways (817) and Southwest Airlines (817) rank highest in a tie. For Southwest, this is the third consecutive year at the top of the J.D. Power ranking.

Among Canada-based airlines, Air Canada (729) saw its customer satisfaction score declined 5 points from 2018. WestJet (758) saw its score increase 11 points but remains below the low-cost carrier average.

The North America Airline Satisfaction Study, now in its 15th year, measures passenger satisfaction with airline carriers in North America based on performance in seven factors (in order of importance): cost and fees; in-flight services; aircraft; boarding/deplaning/baggage; flight crew; check-in; and reservation. The study measures passenger satisfaction among both business and leisure travelers and is based on responses from 5,966 passengers who flew on a major North American airline between March 2018 and March 2019. The study was fielded from April 2018 through March 2019.

For more information about the North America Airline Satisfaction Study, visit https://www.jdpower.com/business/resource/jd-power-north-america-airline-satisfaction-study.

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J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services, and data and analytics. These capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth, and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power has offices serving North America, South America, Asia Pacific, and Europe.

Devon Gilfillian: Winter Wonderland

Devon Gilfillian ushers in the holiday season with an infectious, soulful take on Winter Wonderland. Download it here!

“I decided to cover ‘Winter Wonderland’ because it takes me back to being a kid in Philly, watching inches upon inches of snow fall to the ground and praying for those three extra snow days to be added to Christmas break,” explains Gilfillian. “It takes me back to Pops making silver dollar pancakes on Christmas morning, and singing Bing Crosby’s version of this tune. I wanted to hold on to the nostalgia I feel from this song but also put a modern soul spin to it.”

Hailed by Rolling Stone as one of the most exciting young artists in Nashville’s burgeoning soul scene, Gilfillian will close out 2018 with a December 6 show at Academy Center of the Arts in Lynchburg, VA, where he will open for Mavis Staples, and a performance at Jack Daniel’s Music City Midnight: New Year’s Eve in Nashville.

He will join Brothers Osborne on the road next spring. The run kicks off on March 21 at The Fillmore in New Orleans and includes an April 3 show at The Novo in Los Angeles. Gilfillian will also perform at the 2019 Shakey Knees Festival in Atlanta. See below for itinerary. Tickets are on sale HERE.

Winter Wonderland follows the singles Truth, High. and Troublemaker. Troublemaker, which was praised by Rolling Stone as a raucous heaping of swampy soul and rock, was heard during 2018 NFL Draft programming/advertising. Gilfillian performed the national anthem before Round 1 of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Gilfillian, who is featured in the Frye Americana Roots campaign and was recently named as a Southwest Airlines “Artist on the Rise,” grew up outside Philadelphia and moved to Nashville to pursue music full-time. In 2016, he released his debut EP, which NPR Music said, “captures his exuberance and musical openness, setting the stage for what promises to be a brilliant career.” Gilfillian is currently working on his full-length debut.

Winning Loyalty Programs

Research shows increasing your customer retention rate by five percent has the potential to increase your profit by up to 95 percent. With the potential for a payoff like that out there, it’s absolutely imperative to consider as many ways as possible to hold on to your existing customer base. A proven method of accomplishing this is rewarding repeat customers with special offers in an effort to strengthen your relationship with them. Here are a few examples of winning loyalty programs to consider.

Make Points of Purchases
Perhaps the most common loyalty program, point systems entice customers to make a set number of purchases to earn a valuable reward. The key here is to make it easy as possible. Southwest Airlines had one of the simplest point programs ever devised by an airline. For every 10 flights you took with the airline during a calendar year, you got one free. Take 20 you got two, take 30 you got three, 40 got you four and so on. Easy to understand and easy to redeem it was one of the all time great frequent flyer programs. You can follow the airline’s lead for your ebook store. For every 10 books a customer buys in a year, they get one free. The key is simplicity. People got very upset when Southwest switched to a more complicated program.

No Fears of Tiers
As you’re strategizing ideas for how to sell an ebook online, consider instituting a program in which rewards become more valuable as your customers move farther up the food chain. Let 10 purchases get a customer a relatively inexpensive gift, while 30 garners them a better gift and 50 earns an even more valuable one. You can assign level designations as they make more purchases too. Purchasing 10 items within a certain time period qualifies them for “Silver Status”. Buying 30 makes them “Gold” while 50 turns them “Platinum”. Along with gifts can come ever more desirable perks as customers reach the upper tiers. These can include benefits such as chats with authors, sneak previews of new titles and opportunities to purchase new ebooks before they’re published.

It Pays to Play
Subscriptions and memberships are excellent ways to reward loyalty and get customers to make purchases in advance. Plus, they get a feeling of importance because they belong to your site’s VIP group. Wineries have been doing this with wine clubs for years. Similarly, the Amazon Prime strategy rewards users with fee two-day shipping; free streaming videos and a host of other benefits non-members don’t get. Remarkably, providing Prime benefits costs Amazon more than it makes in fees for them, but it serves as a loss leader. The company loses money on Prime memberships, but more than makes up on the purchases its Prime members make.

A Coalition of the Willing
By partnering with other merchants, you can allow your customers to earn discounts on other products and vice versa. This gives them the ability to turn their book purchases into currency on sites offering other things in which they have interests. Getting to know your clientele will serve you well as you determine what partnerships will be most beneficial. If your site caters primarily to a female shopper, then teaming with other sites offering products in which women are most likely to have an interest can be quite successful. The key is building a willing coalition of partners to which your customer base can relate.

These are the four examples of winning loyalty programs are the most common you’ll find. Of course, there are a number of ways within each category to incorporate your own nuances. This will make it uniquely your own and ideally make participating even more attractive to your ideal customer.

Kirby Chambliss × Hot Air Balloons

Pilot takes to stunning skies to mark National Hot Air Balloon Day in style.

Kirby Chambliss switched chicanes for hot air balloons in a novel and eye-catching display to mark National Hot Air Balloon Day.

Some 99 years after Indianapolis Motor Speedway held its first event, a hot air balloon race, the Red Bull Air Race pilot commemorated the anniversary in some style. Here is all you need to know:

  • The display was put on from his Phoenix, Arizona, home – he has a runway in his back garden – with a series of hot air balloons set up on the ground akin to pylons for him to weave through.
  • The American pilot then took to the skies as the balloons were released and showed some of the aerobatic skills, which have made him one of the world’s leading pilots by swerving in, out and above the balloons.
  • Of the venture, he said: “The reason we did it is because the up-and-coming race in the United States will be at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the very first event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was a hot air balloon race. Weaving back and forth between the balloons is a bit different than doing that around our pylons because the balloons are quite a bit wider, and you can’t hit the balloons!”
  • Chambliss currently lies eighth in the Red Bull Air Race Championship with a podium finish in the opening round in Abu Dhabi.
  • He will compete on American soil, where he is a two-time race winner, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on October 6-7 for its round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.
  • The 58-year-old is a two-time world champion in the series having been crowned in both 2004 and 2006. He also boasts 10 race victories.
  • Growing up, he was a motocross rider but always dreamt of being a pilot and, aged 24, became the youngest ever commercial pilot for Southwest Airlines. Four years later, he was a captain. He fuelled aircraft growing up to earn enough money to fly himself.
  • He is married to a fellow pilot, Kellie, and lives on a ranch aptly named Flying Crown Ranch.

Discover more Red Bull Air Race content HERE.