US Airways Learns to Communicate Well

Technology, US Airways

I know I probably talk too much about US Airways on this blog, but I often find interesting things that they’re doing. One of the biggest sore spots in the merger between US Airways and America West has been the website functionality. After they merged the sites earlier this year, there were plenty of complaints from both sides. To help manage these complaints, US Airways has put together a very good communication strategy.

I thought it was just a one-off last month, but after receiving another one yesterday, they appear to be sending monthly progress updates out to those who sign up. I like the email because it gives me a ton of useful information and it’s in a very friendly tone that resonates well with me. It sounds very America West-like and not (old) US Airways-like. Here are some highlights:

  • The two reservation systems will be merged in the second quarter of 2007. That will solve many of the problems that exist today
  • The old Shop by Price feature from the usairways.com site will return in late 2007 due to popular demand in a modified format. As they say, “What many customers didn’t know was that because gathering those fares was an enormous data request – impossible almost, given the technology; data was ‘cached’ for many hours at a time and often when clicking through on a particular day it turned out that fare wasn’t available after all.”
  • They are redesigning the web check-in process in the second quarter of 2007

They’ve even given interesting statistics including the fact that 25% of all US Airways bookings are made on the usairways.com website now.

You can find all this information on their website at a page devoted to enhancements and bug fixes.

What they don’t include on that page but they did include in the email is a list of the best and funniest ideas they’ve received from customers. Here they are:

Best

  • Fax my Web Check-in boarding pass. Working on this for the new Web Check-in.
  • Seat preferences should work for upgrades. Seems obvious – When you create a profile and set your seat preference (e.g. “aisle”) then the web site should look at that preference when you upgrade.
  • Save payment information. You can store your credit card info in your profile. However, many wrote in to suggest that when entering information at time of purchase there should be a way to have that information stored in your profile.
  • Redeem miles on Star Alliance partners. Allow redemption of Dividend Miles for travel on Star Alliance member carriers over the website.
  • Miscellaneous improvements to shopping process. Too numerous to mention, many of your suggestions will be incorporated into future versions of usairways.com
  • Better compatibility with non-Explorer browsers. For those who do not use Internet Explorer, several requests were made to make sure essential tasks could still be completed on our website.

And, the Funniest

  • Web page layouts look like “circa 1998.” Ouch!
  • Close the Philly airport
  • No children under the age of 3 in the first 15 rows of the airplane
  • Make your airline either a “pizza airline” or a “Starbucks airline” – you can make a fortune

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1 comment on “US Airways Learns to Communicate Well

  1. Thank you US Airways! I have just signed up for your frequent flyer program and will be flying your airlines from now on.
    I currently fly first class when I travel which is frequently. The ‘other’ airlines tout a quiet, comfortable and relaxing experience in first class. Yeah right! But what they do is another story ‘Screaming babies and disorderly ‘ferrel’ children welcome.’

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