In 2009, Andy Rooney, one of my favorite curmudgeons (may he Rest In Peace), did an air travel bit on 60 Minutes.  I always enjoyed his segments and as I flew home this holiday, I remembered this one with a smile.  He was, of course, sarcastic and at times cynical, but his overall point was right on.

Rooney said the airlines had a lot going for them.  He said “all people like to travel because they want to be anywhere but here.”  He went on to suggest that “getting there ought to be fun.”

I agree.  It’s like everything else we know in the business/advertising world; the experience is what keeps our customers coming back for more.

Cheers to U.S. Air for listening to their focus groups.  They’ve made me a loyalist and I honestly enjoy the vast majority of my coast-to-coast flights with them. Here’s why:

  • We all value our time.  How about flying out of your hometown (thanks to the William M. Thomas terminal), making one stop in Phoenix and 7 hours after initial departure landing somewhere close to the Atlantic?
  • There are still some great host/hostesses serving as flight attendants.  Most of us still enjoy the stereotypical 50’s flight attendant from a favorite vintage ad.  You know, the happy ones who welcome you with a smile like you’re a guest in their home.
  • WIFI is awesome.  That is all.
  • Dividend Miles work.  Great benefits and flexibility – refreshing.
  • We all value our time.  Wait, I already said that.  On time departures and arrivals are the new norm.  Who doesn’t like that?

Rooney’s idea applies universally.  Is your business making whatever you do or serve enjoyable?   Are you listening to what your customers like and what they could do without? (ie:  airline ‘meals’)

It’s always been about the experience.

It ought to be fun.