If you’re a regular flyer on Alaska airlines, they know what you like to drink and remember it each time you fly. Boarding and settling down in business class, the flight attendants will bring you your favorite beer or cocktail, unbidden…just because they’ve taken the time to make a note of it.
A story in the Wall Street Journal this week by Scott McCartney outlined how airlines are trying harder and harder to get to know their passengers, with hopes that a little TLC can be a salve to lost baggage and late flights. Someday, the story says, a passenger who shows up after such an incident will be given a free pass to an airport lounge to make them feel better.
It’s called CRM, customer relationship management. and new computer systems will provide a complete history of how much each passenger has flown, how much they spent per mile, and a detailed litany of all that they’ve suffered–from baggage delays to missed connections. The airlines have found that since so many people get upgrades, it’s no longer the status that it once was. So the idea is to use their knowledge of travel history to get more personal. That might mean a more tailored email with an offer they know you’ll love, such a discount to a place you’ve been traveling to every year.