How airlines can personalize services for their top frequent fliers even more [Customer service idea]

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I’ve had status on American Airlines for five years running now. The last two were as executive platinum- their top level.

The service and perks are nice and include:

Systemwide upgrades

Drink and meal in main cabin

Frequent and free upgrades to first class

Free premium economy (main cabin extra)

While customer service when done by humans is never 100 percent consistent, it’s been nice and good.

And then we have customer delighters – like when flight attendant Tim offered me a snack pack on the short Cedar Rapids to Chicago flight on a 1-class cabin 145.

Others included when the flight attendant called me by my first name when she was checking if I was willing and able to assist in the exit row.

It’s the small things and technology can help us get those small customer service things right.

American already had their iSolve devices that tell them who had status and allows flight attendants to hand our extra miles for things like broken tray tables, non-reclining chairs, etc. I’ve gotten 4,000 miles once when a chair didn’t recline.

They already know so much about us! So why do flight attendants need to keep asking me what I want to drink or eat?

It’s virtually the same every time:

Morning flights (especially when there are meetings later):

Coffee, black

Orange juice, no ice

Beef jerky and those mustache cookies

Afternoon and later:

Gin and tonic

Water, no ice

Beef jerky and those mustache cookies

Sure, there are some varieties when there’s a meal on longer flights, but those long flights seem rare for me. I averaged 1,000 miles per segment flown in 2018, which is a high average with three paid trips to Europe over 100,000 miles flown.

But really, I’m predictable. Couldn’t they just have that in their computers and bring out “the usual” and not waste time writing it on the dot-printer paper?

Or to really maximize the customer experience for the next six months they could say:

“The usual, Mr. Trappe?”


That would be a delighter, which is Kelsey Guetschow’s term from our customer-focused book.

Then later once we get used to that they can just bring it out.

Heck, I would even put my standard orders into the system myself. I already put preferred seat location and such in there.

Technology can and already does help us personalize customer and prospect experiences. This is another way.

Phase 2:

Recommendation based on likes – like Netflix. “Since you like Gin and Tonic we thought you might want to try…”