With more than 100 flights a year I get my fair share of “airport stories” and this one has a twist!
Chelsea and I were finishing up my book tour and headed on vacation with my parents. I am flying to Miami, she is flying to Panama City Beach so I wait by her gate because my plane is scheduled to leave an hour later than hers.
After 30-minutes of sitting, we get the announcement, “Ladies and gentleman, I have just been informed that Flight XYZ will be delayed due to a part that needs to be replaced on your airplane.”
Now usually this is where most airlines end their announcement with a “sorry for the inconvenience, please come up to the counter, wait in line and we will book anyone on another flight looking to still make their connections!”
Delta decided to handle it differently and this is how they made 200+ potential upset flyers… happy, satisfied and went above and beyond what they needed to do.
1st – They Effectively Communicated
From emails, to phone calls to messages and updates every 10 minutes, the Delta crew communicated what was happening and let their flyers know what they knew. As soon as we knew the flight was delayed I received an email saying how they could fix it. I received a phone call letting me know ways they could make it better and the crew said they were there to help with whoever needed assistance.
2nd – They Passed Out Food, Snacks and Drinks
Instead of saying sorry they showed they were sorry. They brought out first-class snacks for all passengers, drinks and even went one step further and ordered 15 pizzas for all passengers so they didn’t have to order food while they waited!
3rd – They Provided Options
They gave people options to communicate. You can download the Delta app, you can call one of 500 customer service representatives to reschedule your flight or you can talk to a gate agent at the counter. They gave options to communicate and respond in the way that was easiest for their customers.
It was great to see a global company taking initiative to communicate effectively with their customers, if all companies did this when a “mistake” occurred, their customers would be happier and their retention would be greater. Plus, not to mention, we live in a digital world and as I was looking around I noticed people posting their snacks on Instagram and Twitter.
So they made the conversation online go from frustrated to thankful and let their customers communicate how well they handle mistakes that arise. They might have spent $200 on this, but think of the customers they kept, the PR they received and the example they set! If all airlines, and companies, handled situations like this (communicated effectively and provide options) we as customers would be a lot happier! Thanks Delta for setting an example. As always…
Question: What is your favorite airline story?