If you're looking for some examples of how to get personal and engage with your guests, take a page from Captain Flanagan of United Airlines...
- He mingles with passengers in the gate area
- He makes gate announcements himself, updating passengers about weather conditions and sets realistic expectations for delays
- He uses his cellphone to call United operations to ask about connections for passengers
- He passes out information cards to passengers with fun facts about the plane; he signs two of them, whose owners will win a bottle of wine
- He snaps pictures of animals in the cargo hold to show owners their pets are safely on board
- He writes notes to first-class passengers and elite frequent fliers on the back of his business cards, addressing them by name and thanking them for their business
- He personally calls parents of unaccompanied children to give them updates
- He instructs flight attendants to pass out napkins asking passengers to write notes about experiences on United, good or bad
- He orders 200 McDonald's hamburgers for passengers if his flight is delayed or diverted
"I just treat everyone like it's the first flight they've ever flown."
Not exactly what you expect from an airline...that's the beauty of it, the power of surprise.
Thanks to Church of the Customer for the pointer.