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Posts from the ‘KLM’ Category

Air France – KLM to offer eTag, eTrack by end-2014.

March 29th, 2014

Kinny Cheng

Interestingly, Air France – KLM has bitten the bullet with their own bag-tagging and tracking solution, appropriately called eTag and eTrack, and is expected to go live by the end of the year.

It was only a few days ago that I posted my observations on Airbus’s own Bag2Go concept, which laid out the groundwork for a very similar solution.

(And “no surprise” to how Air France – KLM have gone with Samsonite for the special edition bag, a competitive stance against Rimowa.)

Off-the-cuff questions: Bag tag security concerns (e.g. ease/difficulty of changing the eTag’s display); and reliability of physically staying with its supposed check-in bag.

Paying for miles with your privacy.

March 28th, 2014

Drs. Andor Demarteau

Over the last several years, commercial companies have increasingly found social media as a new platform to strengthen their brands and give away perks, or at least pretend you have the chance of winning something.

Increasingly, these actions also seem to attract people towards social media. Because if you don’t have an account on Facebook or Twitter (the latter to a lesser percentage of usage), you simply cannot take part in the newest sweepstakes of your “favoured” brand.

I shall now look at two very different ways that airlines are making use of your social habits and profiles: KLM’s Meet & Seat program, and American Airlines’ current AAdvantage Passport Challenge promotion.

KLM: Meet & Seat

This KLM initiative is aimed at passengers who travel alone, and interested in sitting (or being seated) next to another passenger with similar interests for a particular flight. The idea is to share bits of your social media profile, from either a Facebook or LinkedIn account, so that other passengers, also choosing to share, can find a seat near a fellow passenger having similar interests and who is travelling to the same destination (for example, a conference or business meeting).

No perks, no costs. More importantly, the relevant data is removed from KLM’s systems 48 hours after the flight’s departure. Why 48 hours, and not directly after wheels-up, is a bit of a mystery. But at least there seems to be no harm done here (or is there?)

American Airlines: AAdvantage Passport Challenge

Another way of using social media, according to American Airlines, is to ask its frequent flyers to engage in a bit of fun…

Playing games relating to brand knowledge, and copying the correct answers from several blog posts on the Internet, will earn you 700 miles. A bit of fun for free frequent flyer currency — sounds okay…

At the same time, it attempts to get users to sell their own privacy (and their friends’ too) for a measly 350 bonus miles!

But the most miles earnable, rightly enough, is by flying with American Airlines, US Airways or one of their oneworld partners. Apparently, you can earn up to 500 bonus miles per flight taken, with bonuses possibly summing to over 9,000 miles depending on the number of achievements unlocked.

So if you fly often enough within the two months this program runs, sell your own and (possibly) your friends’ privacy, and play some games on which the answers can be found with a simple google, you could probably earn up to half a ticket or so. A Facebook account is a mandatory part of this deal.

But are those miles really for free?

Depends how you interpret this particular terms-and-conditions clause from AA’s web site:

12. USE OF DATA.  Sponsor will be collecting personal data about participants online, in accordance with its privacy policy.  Please review the Sponsor’s privacy policy at www.aa.com/privacy.  By participating in the Promotion, entrants hereby agree to Sponsor’s collection and usage of their personal information and acknowledge that they have read and accepted Sponsor’s privacy policy.

But is American Airlines the only “sponsor” profiting here?

Only the sun rises for free…

At least that is the lesson I was taught all the time as a kid.

Nothing ever comes for free, except the rising sun every day.

Ask yourself this the next time your favourite airlines tempts you to share personal information with them for some miles, or an interesting flight companion:

“What is the actual costs for me, my personal life and my privacy?”

Or have we already gone down this path too far, where privacy has become a commodity good only available to those who really care or can afford it?

Air France – KLM to involve iPads, Segways for check-in process.

March 14th, 2014

Kinny Cheng

Kerry Reals, writing for the Runway Girl Network:

Air France-KLM aims to arm its check-in agents with Apple iPads, bring them out from behind their desks and provide them with Segways so they can wheel themselves up to passengers in distress and solve their problems on the spot.

I trust KLM to get this sort of thing right.

But all I can picture in my mind is two-wheeler pandemonium at Charles de Gaulle or Schiphol!

While the check-in model has been slowly evolving thanks to various technologies of our time, significantly altering the process can and will create confusion. Change may be inevitable, but to what end?

The introduction of (Apple) iPads to assist with customer service related efforts is not new, and have proven to be an invaluable tool in dealing with queries, from the straight-forward Q&As to very-sticky scenarios.

Apart from giving customer service agents greater mobility, I can’t see how the Segways can create significant service improvements at check-in. If it were used on air-side, where agents have to move between gates for service-related issues, then this would be a no-brainer.

In this case, I would love to be proven wrong by Air France – KLM in this latest development of theirs.

I love simplicity.

August 28th, 2012

Kinny Cheng

One of my Twitter followers, @starflyergold, tweeted this picture over the weekend (click to enlarge):

KLM menu from 1960 (Tourist Class)

A KLM in-flight menu from the 1960 — for Tourist Class, apparently.

Although clearly lacking the expected “choice” airline passengers of today expect, I just love the overall simplicity that such a menu design presents.

Timeless.

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