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Being Authentic

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Planes and people and more!

Today I am going to discuss a commercial that most, if not all, of you have seen.  It is a Delta Airlines commercial.  See it on youtube here.  I have done my best to transcribe the text from it below.  It is read by veteran actor Donald Sutherland and I believe that they did a very good job of getting their point across to most people.  I am sure they are counting on most people getting hoodwinked by their premise.  However, it did not sit well with me even after my first viewing of it many months ago.   I have good “BS Radar” and I keep it activated most of the time.  Read the text of the commecial below and then my review below that.

An airline has planes and people… and the planes can seem pretty much the same.  So, it comes down to the people.  And whether their working to make flying better…or, just workin’.  Because bad weather, congestion, the price of oil, those are every airlines reality… and the solutions aren’t going to come from 500 tons of metal and a paint job…they’re going to come from people.  People who know how to put themselves on the other side of the counter…people who love this industry because of its challenges, not despite them.  Delta people, who made us the biggest airline in the world and then decided that, that wasn’t enough.

They did not make it very far into the commercial before my “radar” was going off.   In the second sentence the whole thing fell apart for me.  Delta wants to compete in the marketplace and wants you to believe there are only two things that an airline has and one of them is, “pretty much the same”.   Planes and people are the only things an airline has?  I don’t think so.  I can think of a couple things that I believe are very important that they forgot to mention.  What about flight selections and prices and add on fees?  Those are probably the biggest things that I care about when it comes to an airline.  As a matter of fact, those things are very rarely the same between airlines.  My contention is that the planes and the people are all about the same – lousy.  I fly about 4 or 5 times a year and I usually use Delta but I also get to experience Air Tran and Southwest (now the same airline) and one does not stand out above the other. 

I don’t really blame Delta or any of the airlines that much because air travel in the post 9/11 world has become an experience just short of torture.  The air travel experience will no longer be enjoyable with its stupid pat downs, long lines, paperwork and dealing with surly fellow travelers.  So, if you want to believe it is all about planes and people go ahead, I will look for convenient flight times, low fares and low add-on fees.

The lesson today is to keep your “radar” on at all times as a consumer and be very careful what your message is as a business owner.  Your customers have their “radar” on and you don’t want to lose credibility by trying to hoodwink them.   They are smarter than that and deserve better from you.

 Have a great week being authentic.

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