July 19th, 2013
Something is happening at the family counters in Frankfurt and Munich! Even from a distance children and their parents can see where they get their boarding passes and check in their baggage: a great archway with Lu and Cosmo, the two Lufthansa mascots, invites children to take part in check-in. As a family you walk along a red carpet to the counter where Lufthansa staff will take your baggage without fuss and hand you your boarding passes.
You will also be given a copy of the ‘The Family Pilot’ brochure. This contains valuable tips on the location of children’s play areas, baby changing units, family-friendly restaurants, pharmacies and the nearest viewing terrace.
The family counters are located in Frankfurt in Departure Hall B at counters 336–338 and in Munich in the departure hall at counters 422–423. The counters are open to parents and their children up to 12 years old.
Mascots — check.
Visibility — check.
Involvement — check.
Parental guidance — check.
Sounds like a winning formula to me!
July 19th, 2013
A senior executive at one of SkyTeam’s member carriers expressed admiration for these new, smaller partnerships. “Alliances are a thing of the past,” he told me. “It’s a bad solution to a problem which is basically about to disappear: that consolidation is impossible. The barriers [to consolidation] are going to fall sooner or later.” He added that, out of the three main alliances, Star has made the most progress towards unlocking merger-style benefits, for example by cutting costs through shared procurement. But such advances still fall short of true consolidation. “What Etihad is doing: hats off to them,” he concluded. “It’s a much better way.”
This one paragraph sums up the true worth of alliances in 2013.
It’s not simply just about partnering under a single brand — but also the ability to maximise the relationship through the generation of scaling economies, whether it be (shared) cost reductions or maximising process efficiencies between the involved carriers.
Etihad’s efforts, specifically in forming partnerships with selective carriers, could probably be called “the renewed way” of achieving the aforementioned. Theoretically, the direction of all the carriers involved should be in unity. But with more members gained, the scenario becomes increasingly similar to how it is with the current airline alliances — give or take.