Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Open Letter to Delta Airlines

Dear Delta,

First, have to prefix this letter with the following; being a million miler, I love flying with you and the little perks I get; like my wife being upgraded to first class on a 14 hour flight, while I hanged in the back with the kids - MAJOR POINTS for me _and_ you :-)
However (and here is the rub), I'm ticked at your ticketing system (kinda funny this play on word :-) about how it interacts, or most likely does not interact with our corporate travel department. See, I have an upcoming opportunity to travel coast to coast one week after another. When I submitted my two travel requests to fly Delta, Corporate kicked it back saying that Delta is more expensive ($200 and $300 more) than Virgin on one and AA on the other. Grrr, you don't fight Travel in these economic times. And...well I kinda wanted to try Virgin as I heard so much about it, but AA, no way! Had to admit defeat and take what was given to me, and then I started thinking. I do travel on one of these submitted trips very often and Delta _must_ know this. They _should_ have "bent" a little on the price for my business. I've been reading "Free: The Future of a Radical Price" by Chris Anderson (BTW, you can get his book for free) and I'm not saying I have to fly for free, but hear me out. What if you offered a free system that allows corporate travel departments to enter my frequent flier number, my upcoming trips, and (here is the important part) a form of a bid for these trips. In my case, $200 and $300 dollar less that the "list" price.
You, given my history and preferences, can look at me "holistically" and can accept that bid. Propose something that is close, say within $40, the "bend" which Travel will accept the difference, after all they _are_ trying to accommodate me. Or you can totally reject the bid. What I mean by holistically, is that in today's world of data mining from me (you have over 10 years worth of travel info on me), my fellow travelers and other external information, you _should_ be able to determine a price point (even at a _small_ loss today) that is acceptable to both parties, as you _will_ make it up and be profitable later. I'm sure somewhere in the bowels of your IT department you are brewing something like that. If not, then you should look at these recommendation engines (like what Amazon and Netflix has) for your frequent fliers. Anyway, this advise is free on the hope that such a holistic system will exist. Looking forward to traveling with you when the price is right to Corporate.



harley said...

thanks for turning us on to Free: The Future of a Radical Price.

But no longer free ;^(

however, the 7 hour audio is :^)

Lee said...

Sounds like a business opportunity.

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