Hello. I flew your airline from NYC to Cleveland recently, and it was a very decent flight that took off on time and landed early. I had no complaints.
On my return trip, I arrived at the airport a little early and realized when I reached the concourse that a flight was due to leave in 20 minutes or so. I think you know where this is headed.
I decided that it wouldn't be a bad idea to see if I might take the ealier flight instead of waiting another hour and a half for my plane. Upon reaching the gate for the departing flight, I saw that they had just started boarding Elite Access; so I approached an agent. After waiting a few moments, I inquired about availability on the flight and if I might be able to depart earlier.
The flight was half empty and the agent checked my ticket and then quoted me a "change fee" of one hundred and fifty dollars. Now I fly quite often and asked her what the fee would be to fly standby. Again she consulted her screen and quoted me a fifty dollar fee. Aha!!! Well that's a little better.
I decided to wait for my flight in order to warn you that your business is in danger. Do you know why? If you're a savvy business person, I'm sure you do.
This employee just passed up the chance to make an avid fan, who's a frequent flyer and small business owner, in order to make a quick buck.
I'm already thinking that I'll submit this letter, without your business being named, to several publications as a warning to other struggling businesses.
If this young lady would have quoted me the first price and then said something to the effect that she would check to see what the price would be for standby; I would have probably done just that. If she would have let me fly on the half empty flight without a charge seeing that I already had a paid ticket and the flight was half empty, you would have earned a fan who would tell everyone about the experience. Of course exactly the opposite will now come to pass.
How can struggling companies guarantee that their doors will stay open in hard economic times? How do you make sure that a majority of your customers pass along your information in a positive light almost certainly guaranteeing you more business? By doing something special for each and every person at every available opportunity.
From my standpoint and opinion, it seems that your company was just attempting to turn a quick buck with no concern for my comfort or for my future business. The flight was not full. I had a paid ticket. The flight had barely started boarding. It would cost the airline nothing to take on one extra passenger. BUT the goodwill it would have garnered would have been worth...priceless.
As things stand, I'll now think twice before booking my flight with your airline and it's partners. Of course I will also go out of my way to recommend another airline to my partners and contemporaries.
I just wanted to warn you. Your business is in danger.