What About the Little Guys?

In the last couple of weeks I have been on three different airline; Qantas, REX and Jetstar. The service I got varied with each one. More importantly, it varied against my expectation.

The first flight was Qantas. To make things easier for them they now have autobaggage book in. In fact, it is ok for the traveller too, unless you have unusual luggage. I had a guitar with me. The auto check in wanted to charge me an extra $30 as I had an extra bag. I spoke to the assistant (when I could find her) and had a conversation about luggage andwhat was allowed in the cabin etc.  This was from the premium airline. I had 25kg allocation and still I was hassled.

Compare that to REX airlines. When I booked I noticed that the luggage allowance was 15kg. I knew I would be over with the guitar, amp and other things I had so I rang them to try and buy more luggage allowance as it is usually cheaper to buy beforehand than at the airport. I was advised that I could only get it at the airport. I steeled myself for the $5.50 per kilo extra I would have to pay (I guessed about $40) and then checked in when I was in Sydney. At check-in the bag and guitar weighed a total of 22.5 kg. As I waited to be told “That’s $40 please” he actually said, “Let’s say that’s 20kg and there is no extra charge. By the way, would you like an exit row? It would be more comfortable for a guy your height.” I was stunned.

In an age where the focus is cost cutting and bottom line focussed (particularly in the airline industry), it was a delight to get great service. This service continued on the flight – but that’s another story.

As a small to medium business, how can you beat the big guys at their game? As a big business, what can you learn from the little guys?

Leave a Reply