Flight delayed…passengers cheer!

…said no one ever.

The carrier that inspired this post.

‘Ladies and gentlemen this is your Captain speaking, we’re going to be delayed by 30 minutes and as per FirendlyAirlines policy, that means everyone on the flight gets free Wifi’

Is what the Captain did not say, but should have! The first airline to – as a matter of policy- give all passengers free Wi-Fi when there is a delay will lock up enormous brand loyalty at very little cost. With the fixed cost asset investment made and advanced bulk bandwidth purchase agreements the cost is essentially the $216? (180 seats x $12 a flight x 10% purchase rate?) that would otherwise have been paid for it.

Voucher codes for all? Nope! Flight crew cant give em out….even they have to pay.

Tonight my flight home was delayed. I guess the oxygen bottle failed a safety checklist. An hourlong delay isn’t the end of the world by any stretch, but American Airlines as a company could have made it so much better. I knew I was going to miss my kiddo’s bedtime and started working to connect. First the captive wifi connection to pay portal failed, then the redirect from google failed. Eventually a flight attendant pointed me to page 117 of the inflight magazine saying to enter ‘aainfilght.com’ into my browser and I discovered the prices. I also found an FAQ answer about redeeming a promotion code. Excited I asked a flight attendant. She answered that they cannot provide access codes, they themselves must purchase access if they want it. When I explained why I wanted it she very kindly lent me her phone with unlimited cell data to facetime my kiddo goodnight. 90 Minutes after the planned take-off we were rolling again.

So a potential miss on customer experience by the company was redeemed by an awesome employee. But think of how big an opportunity American -and probably every other airline- is passing up on every flight delay. Imagine how happy-and busy- and distracted a plane full of people on an hour delay with free Wifi would be. Now think about the stories those passengers would tell their friends or on Twitter and the consideration in booking their next ticket.

I shared this feedback in the viasat chat app (they allow access to that for free from the plane wifi) and plan to on the AA portal when I get back on internet, and then….Twitter.

So come on all major airlines, who’s first to win at this easy CX opportunity?

Oh…. and PS. a bonus suggestion. Want customers to actually give you feedback? Give them an easy way! Not a hurdle with 30 different fields to fill in or you wont get your easy opportunity to learn….To the twitters!

Above the fold, dozens more required fields below it….