Category Archives: Customer Experiences

What Keeps Giants Awake

Well hello there.

We hope you had a great weekend. We’ve been a bit busy lately - we had our launch party recently and have been prepping our next major update on the flightSpeak app. We haven’t really talked much about that, but we will shortly.

The air travel industry has also been busy – we’ve had drunk pilots (Seriously!?!?!), taxis providing runway lighting, and stepping outside the travel industry for a bit, the all-out threat of nuclear war. Not bad for April. Before we jump into talking about what we’ve been up to, we thought we’d take a look at one of the giants of the airline industry and find out what keeps them up at night. You guessed it – Delta Airlines (DAL).

DAL is massive. They currently own 574 aircraft, have ~78,000 employees, and command over 192 billion revenue passenger miles a year. That’s enough miles to travel around the world approx. 50 million times. My goodness. (By the way, our favorite group: Delta TechOps. Way cool)

Now that makes them not just big, but a BIG GIANT.

We spent some time taking a look at their annual report and tried to identify what keeps them up at night. We actually had a few surprises, as you would think that the world’s largest airline is immune to quite a few things. After all, giants have no dealings with mere mortals. What we found is actually the opposite- the giants of the industry are exposed to many of the other risks that other passenger airlines are exposed to, and even more so.

Here’s a little graphic we put together:

What We Believe is Missing.

Identifying risk factors is the first and easiest way to highlight areas where mitigation strategies need to be built and prioritized. We found something worthy of calling out though: Nowhere in the identified list of risks does DAL explicitly talk about the priority of the traveler experience, nor do they address the imperative of designing and maintaining a unique DAL customer experience that is 2nd to none.  While it seems this is a given, the omission of its mention from a GIANT like this is somewhat…mind-boggling.

One of our fundamental beliefs here at flightSpeak is that we believe that the traveler deserves a stronger voice in the travel experience. That means they get center stage and should expect not just to be chauffeured from point A to point B, but rather to have an unmatched experience in the sky. With so many carriers, that should be what keeping these giants up at night. We think of the fundamental questions such as:

  • Are our passengers happy?
  • Are they delighted with the experience?
  • Will they come back?
  • Will they bring friends with them?

We believe that there can be a measure of customer delight…and that’s worth losing sleep over. In our eyes, any sleep lost should be over YOU.