Flying can be a negative experience for many travelers and is usually the worst part of any vacation. Flyers are often hassled by the person in front of them reclining the seat or squeezing into a bathroom that barely lets them turn around to take a seat. All of these negative frustrations are increasingly becoming associated with the average flight experience.
However, airlines like KLM have taken notice of this alarming trend and are starting to take matters into their own hands. Through a series of new and improved services, KLM is starting to develop a more positive customer experience. Hopefully other airlines will start to take notice.
Meet & Seat Service
When flying alone, passengers often dread having to be squished between two strangers that they have nothing in common with to strike up a pleasing conversation. Nothing is worse than getting trapped in a never-ending, unpleasant chat that lasts the entirety of the flight. Well, KLM has discovered the solution to eradicate this problem. Their new Meet & Seat Service allows passengers to locate other passengers on the same flight that they believe would be interesting, for either personal or professional reasons. This is done through social networking sites, which gives unaccompanied travelers the ability to search through occupations, hobbies, and other interests. Once a good match is found, passengers are able to select this person and sit with them on the flight, while engaging in interesting conversation together.
The service is being met with disapproval from certain critics who argue that KLM is delving too far into the lives of their customers and invading their privacy. Others feel that the service is transforming the airplane into a high school cafeteria and a popularity contest. But, the critics fail to realize that the customers must willingly give rights to KLM for them to access their social media accounts. All travelers have the option to not participate in the service if they wish. For those who do engage in the service, they are guaranteed that the information will only be used to personalize their flying experience.
Be My Guest
In addition to the Meet & Seat Service, KLM launched Be My Guest in 2012. The campaign allows passengers to enter a virtual chat room and talk to famous Dutch celebrities, such as Armin van Buuren, Wubbo Ockels, Hella Jongerius, and Jeroen Krabbé. Of course, customers are much more willing and receptive to the idea of sitting next to someone who is a famous DJ or Hollywood actor.
During the chat, passengers will answer five questions to select which celebrity they would like to sit with on a flight. Then, the celebrities decide which of the participants they would enjoy taking a trip with to an exotic destination. For example, fashionistas may gain the tremendous opportunity of traveling to New York with supermodel Yfke Sturm for an unforgettable shopping excursion. The campaign has been an overall success and has won several awards for KLM.
Another new venture by the Dutch airline is a new hassle-free shopping service called Shop@KLM, which sells a number of products that are typically offered by airlines. Before a passenger boards the plane for their flight, they can go online to shop.klm.com to make purchases. The store consists of a wide variety of items, ranging from fashion accessories to electronics and travel necessities. Then, KLM will deliver the items the passenger already bought right to their seat when they board the aircraft. The service completely eliminates the hassle of carrying gifts and bags around. The enhanced and more convenient shopping experience is already starting to achieve increased customer loyalty to the airline.
KLM has also invented a new way to plan group trips conveniently on their trip planner. The service allows passengers to collaborate together on the internet to create the optimal travel experience. For instance, the app can link to each member of the group’s Facebook account in order to come up with a list of suggestions for travel destinations and activities.
Group members can also fill out short questionnaires or take votes on their interests. Without the headaches of countless calls and emails back and forth, passengers can compile all of the received preferences to plan the best itinerary possible. KLM is one of the first airlines in the world that has taken this innovative step to integrate social networking into the sales process, all on the same website.
In all, the Dutch KLM airline is embarking into a new strategy of business management that has been increasing their success and improving their customer’s experiences on-board. Integrating entertainment, social networking, and superb in-flight services has been the key to their gain in customer loyalty. It is plain to see that KLM is a company that truly cares about their customers, and is taking the extra steps to show it. Hopefully, other airlines will begin to follow suit and turn the trend of negative flying experiences around.
KLM is the flag carrier airline of the Netherlands and operates worldwide scheduled passenger and cargo services to more than 90 destinations. This is the oldest airline in the world still operating under its original name. KLM flights can be booked via their official website KLM.com or if you are flexible on dates the cheapest prices can be found on the Cheapflights website by visiting the following page www.cheapflights.co.uk/airlines/KLM/.