Marketing Upsell Analysis: Continential Airlines

by admin on June 10, 2008

Traveling from Seattle to Boston last week, I was thinking about the airline’s attempt to up-sell me on an alternate, “faster” route home. It was actually impressive, and had most of the tricky pieces in place for a successful program. Almost, but not quite.

The details: Flying from Seattle to Boston via a change in Cleveland on a red-eye.
Enthusiasm level of flyer: very low.
Opportunity: At the automatic check in, they scanned my itinerary, and said they had an alternate flight that would get me to Boston sooner. Was I interested? Yes.
Details: Alternate flight would route me through Newark.
Benefit: I arrive in Boston 20 minutes sooner.
Cost: $50 to change flight.
Result: Continental fails to make a compelling bid for my $50.

Again, I was sort of impressed that they had compiled this info at the right place where if the offer were good enough, I would have agreed. Imagine the same scenario with just one or two extra details:

Opportunity: Continental tells me that my flight to Cleveland is 99% full. Alternate route through Newark is 50% full. Maybe they even go the extra step and give me an opportunity to lock out that middle seat next to me, or even a whole row.
Result: They have my $50 in a heartbeat. Maybe $100.

No doubt these opportunities will arrive someday, maybe very soon. The future belongs to marketing that provides immediate benefits and customer information transparency to make those decisions.

What Would Seth Say?

About Dave Matson

Dave Matson is the owner and operator of High Steppin' Searches. Dave Matson on g+

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