On December 17, 1903, two men changed the way of travel forever. No, I am not talking about cars or trains. I am talking about one of the greatest inventions of the twentieth century. Wilbur and Orville Wright invented flight. (Grolier, 1999) This invention sparked a concept of traveling in the air. This kind of travel would allow people to get from one place to another quickly. It would save time and money. If a person could travel for Los Angles to New York in one day, it would be a something that was never heard of. A person could even travel across the ocean to other countries. During that age, flight was very exciting and important. It was a new concept for the world. It was an important concept that they did not realize at that time. They did not understand that the dream that they had would someday revolutionize the way that we travel.
Airlines are still a very important part of our world’s economy. In fact, the world would not function without them. People from every country use airplanes. An airline company has to be able to handle different cultures, ethnic groups, and financial groups. They also need to be able to handle the growth of passengers for the coming years. Mike Beirne says that U.S. Department of Transportation statistics suggest that international passenger traffic may actually increase. (Brandweek 1999) When you look at all of these factors, you can see that the coming years are going to be a role coaster for the airline industry. The airlines company that suite the majority of these people will get the bulk of the business. Because of this there are going to be many changes in the airline industry. The airline business is going to have a marketing frenzy. We can expect every company to make changes to their current planes. The reason that they are going to make changes is that they will want more of the business. If a company does not change, they will be left behind and eventually be put out of business. In this paper, I will show you different marketing techniques that will win over travelers.
One Marketing strategy that airline carriers are implementing into their airplanes is a better seat. Mike Beirne say’s, “Not those skinny torture chairs that force passengers’ knees up to their ears when the person sitting in front leans back, but rather the cushy kind, with lumbar supports, headrest and greater pitch so road warriors can sleep in bliss during a 20-hour flight to Hong Kong.” (Brandweek 1999) You know what he is talking about; he is talking about those two by fours that are surround by fabric. Instead of having these kinds of seats, airline companies are making the seats more comfortable. They are also making them more convenient to all that want to flight in them.
Frequent travelers select an airline company that has comfort and hospitality almost before they select a company with a good safety and on-time performance. My dad is a good example of this kind of person. When my dad is looking at what airplane to use he usually looks at a plane that is comfortable. My dad is a big man and he needs a lot of room so this is very important. He also looks at the safety record of that company, but he a lot of the time looks at comfort first. The reason that he does this is because all companies are safe. If they were not safe, they would not be able to be in business.
Airline companies are spending a lot of money to adopt this knew marketing strategy. They are starting to understand that travelers want more luxuries and comfort. People in today’s society want more comfort then did in the past. Because of this concept, airline companies can bump up their prices and still have people wanting to flight.
Southwest Airlines is one of the airline companies that are looking at a different marketing strategy. One way in which they are doing this is by implementing a program that was introduced in 1991. This program is a program where friends fly free. It is like a coupon that says buy one get one free. In today’s culture, everybody is trying to get something for nothing. If these business are marketing this kind of strategy there are not going to be many people that will pass up the offer. (Advertising Age 1996)
Southwest airlines also had a promotion that stirred up a lot of business. They offered 25-dollar tickets to non-stop flights. By offering tickets at such a low price, it affected the whole market. It made all other companies drop their prices so that they could have some of the business. This is a very good strategy because it allows a company to control the market. Southwest Airlines is a big player when it comes to the airline industry. They have a lot of pull on the market. With Joyce Rogge as their VP-advertising and promotions, the company is sitting pretty. She is very bright and is always coming up with new and innovative ideas on how to sell to the public. (Advertising Age 1996)
Another marketing strategy that is familiar to us is the “air mile”. The “air mile” is a simple concept to understand. It goes like this; the more miles you fly the more miles that you will get free. This is a good thing for those people that travel international a lot. It is also good for the person that does not travel all that much. The reason that it is good is because a person can get free miles with every trip that he or she goes on. The more miles you pay for the more miles you get free. Some credit card companies offer miles with every use of their card. This is not only help the credit card company, but it is also helping the airline company.
Everyday technology is advancing and showing us new ways in which to do things. Technology is something that affects everything in the world and airline travel is no exception. A couple of years ago it was rare to see a video game machine, but know they have games smaller than calculators. We have TVs that are flat and the size of a watch. We have Laptops, Computers, cell phones, Fax machines, and an assortment of other tools that people use everyday.
“Airlines’ marketing fads have a habit of backfiring. Now they may have strapped a new albatross around their necks: in-flight entertainment. Airlines are spending over one million per aircraft to put in a ton of chunky electronics that adds as much to fuel consumption as twenty extra passengers-but does not always work.” (The Economist 1995) The airline companies see this as another way to market their planes. Companies are now implementing state of the art audio and video equipment to planes. They are doing away with those hard to see white screens. Airline companies are now installing TVs to every seat on the plain. They are also adding data ports so that business people can get on the Internet. They also offer phones to anybody that wants to use them.
I have explained several different marketing strategies that airline companies are now trying to implement into their plains. These companies are trying to get as much as the market as possible. The only way that they are going to get the market they want is by coming up with new marketing strategies. Some of these strategies might not work and again some might. If a strategy works then a company might do well. If it does not work then it will do poorly. The only way to advance a company is by trying new things. A company needs to stick its head out into the marketing world and hold on because it is a bumpy ride.
Beirne, Mike. “Airlines to Tout Seats of Pleasure in Effort to Win Over Road Warriors.”
Brandweek 4 Jan. 1999: 12.
Gleason, Mark and Michael Wilke. “High-Flyers, Yes, but in Different Airspaces.” Advertising Age 7 Oct. 1996: s30.
Wright, Orville and Wilbur.” 1999 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. CD-ROM. Mindscape. 1998.