In negotiation, the one thing that really strengthens your position is the ability to walk away from the deal.
After yesterday’s post about how annoyed I was by airline pricing strategies, I came across one today that completely shows how to make the customer experience an enjoyable one. Norwegian Airlines at each point showed me the complete cost of the ticket each including all charges. At the end, it displays the cost with the tax that was charged as you can see in the little summary below.
Stockholm – Oslo
Friday 28. jul 2006 18:30
Flight DY817 – Low fare
1 Adult 100 €
Oslo – Stockholm
Sunday 30. jul 2006 15:50
Flight DY812 – Low fare
1 Adult 75 €
Total price (all inclusive) 175 €
Taxes account for 33 €
Web service charge 0 €
One area where airlines could really improve consumer experience is in the area of pricing. Generally when booking a ticket over the internet, taxes, fuel charges and various add-on prices present the consumer with a price much different from the one quoted in the intial screen. The end result is that I feel ripped off even though experience has taught me to expect it.
Airlines may argue that some prices are not charged by them and this leads to my second peeve about the airline booking experience. If I miss or have to cancel a flight, why can’t the airlines retrieve the taxes and other refundable fees automatically? Or should I say, why can’t they be forced to do it by regulation. This is money that they haven’t earned and doesn’t belong to them. I wonder if there is a business opportunity to retrieve this money from airlines and charge a fee for doing so. Like a central clearing house for return fees.
Remember your goal is to meet some great people and find the interesting in them. Now that you have read this you are ready to go from small talk to Big Talk. Make it meaningful.
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