In a recent blog post, I wrote about the “Rope to Nowhere” where I described how airlines attempt to reward their best customers by having them walk on the left side of a rope calling them “preferred customers”. While the practice of allowing them on board earlier is clearly an advantage, is it a good business practice.
Yesterday I flew up to Boston for a business meeting and arranged my flight on Jet Blue. Now I usually enjoy JetBlue because of their in-flight video capability and 2 by 2 seating in comfortable leather seats. But yesterday’s flight pointed out a great business process that rewards customers and helps improve their operational efficiency.
It was a throwback to an old era when we were boarded by seat rows beginning in the back of the plane. I was in row 8 and was in the last group to be called. But by the time I made it halfway down the ramp, I could immediately see the difference in passenger comfort. There was no long line of people to enter the plane. I went right on board and just had to wade through a few folks putting up their bags before I got to my seat. I threw my bag up in the bin and grabbed my seat. No concern about bin space or getting me to my seat easily.
This efficiency helped us get seated quickly and we headed out and arrived in Boston 15 minutes ahead of schedule. All in all, it was a nice, easy and sensible way to fly.