As a kid, the highlight of any flight would be visiting the cockpit to see the pilots at work and look out through the panoramic windows. That was pre-9/11 and today's high security makes it highly unlikely that airlines will allow anyone into the cockpit.
While the visits to the cockpit are something of the past, I have often wondered what else happens behind the scenes in the airline world. How is food prepared? How many people handle my luggage? What is the service like in First Class cabins?
If a plan in the works by American Airlines becomes reality, we will soon get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of airlines. According to Jon Bird, American Airline's creative manager, the company is looking into building a video series showcasing what happens behind the scenes at the airline. The video series would be part of the airline's strategy to inform and engage customers and prospects, Bird said during last week's Social CRM 2011 conference, organized by Our Social Times.
"The real focus is to provide information. There is a huge demand and this would be a great opportunity to tell our story," Bird told me after his presentation. He emphasized that American Airlines wanted to show the different efforts that go on behind the scenes and that consumers don't normally get to see. "It will give passengers a glimpse at our culture in a bid to improve the customer experience," Bird said, although he was careful to point out that this plan is still in an embryonic stage.
Bird said it is not yet known what the videos would focus on and the airline is considering asking its customers what they would like to know about. The videos are likely to be hosted on American Airlines' YouTube channel.
While this plan is still in the works, if it becomes a reality it will be an addition to the arsenal of social media communications that American Airlines is using to interact and engage with its customers. Bird said the airline puts a great deal of emphasis on listening and is trying to respond to all social media comments immediately. Bird explained that when a passenger complained via Twitter that he was treated badly by airline employees, American Airlines called him, listened to his experience and gave him some complimentary Aadvantage miles. Later he tweeted that the airline was "delightful." Bird said: "The personal touch has been crucial."