This week’s featured link:
Joon, the new generation travel experience by Air France – Air France
I’ve made it clear how much I dislike Joon, Air France’s new airline-within-an-airline previously. Now we have more information and I hate it even more. This is entirely about a made-up lifestyle and has almost nothing to do with flying airplanes. How can I say that? That’s exactly what Air France says.
Joon is a fashion brand, a rooftop bar, an entertainment channel, a personal assistant … and Joon does flying too!
We finally have routes announced, and in each of these, Joon takes over all Air France service to Charles de Gaulle airport. Within Europe, Barcelona, Berlin, Lisbon, and Porto are first. Of course, this means that only millennials are now allowed to fly Air France from those cities since Joon is their only option. There will also be long-haul flights to the Seychelles and Fortaleza.
The more this begins to look like Ted at United (except for long haul), the more I dislike it. What a terrible, terrible plan. Then again, people in the ad business are impressed.
Two for the road:
COMMERCIAL AVIATION: Information on Airline Fees for Optional Services – US Government Accountability Office
If you like reading about airline fees, then you’ll love this report. The GAO dove in and looked at fees to see if there were still issues that hadn’t been addressed on the consumer side from previous rules. What GAO found is that yes, fares did decrease when bag fees were implemented. People who didn’t check bags paid less, but those who checked bags paid more. Well, yeah, no kidding. At the end, it mostly focuses on how sales through indirect channels are problematic and transparency is weak. Amen. Make those third parties fix their problems.
A Fond Farewell to the 737-300 – Southwest Stories
Southwest sends its 737-300 fleet off into retirement tonight with flight 68 leaving Houston at 1030p and arriving Dallas 1135p. It’s the end of an era, and one that most travelers probably won’t miss since the airplane was relatively loud and has no wifi. (Then again, it’s hard to argue that any Southwest airplane has functioning wifi.) Still, for the AvGeeks of the world, this is a sad day.
So maybe Joon will copy hotels that take away desks and remove tray tables.
And speaking of fees and research into airfares. Maybe the GAO can take a look at rental car fees as well if they want real excitement.
And hotels with the “resort fees” too – at least with rental cars you (usually) get an all-in quote up front.
I know I’ll get abuse for sharing this (again), but the 737 has never done it for me (plenty of other Boeings have, mind you); but I did like how the 737-300 looked when it first came out, with its fat, goofy intakes on the engines.
Apart from the fluffy marketing, I am having a hard time understanding what the problem is with Joon. Ted may have been a failure but outside the U.S. leisure oriented affiliates are filling valuable roles in mainline carriers’ networks. Witness Jetstar, Rouge and a bunch of newer units in Europe and Asia.
The fluffy marketing is the problem with Joon. The idea of trying to create an aspirational airline around a “lifestyle” marketing plan to appeal to a certain age segment is (at least the way they’re doing it) ridiculous. Jetstar., Rouge, and the other leisure subsidiaries don’t have this ridiculous “aim only at millennial” aspect, they just offer cheap flights for everyone.
They’re trying to cater to a lifestyle that a very small portion of the population belongs to. The majority of “milennials” are just normal people with better phones than their parents had. I don’t know how it went with previous generations, but it seems like people talk about “milennials” like they’re some exotic species.
Joon is even less useful than Ted since it doesn’t even eliminate the front cabin (not that the front cabin takes up much real estate within Europe anyway). I can’t really identify a single thing about Joon that will be lower cost than Air France, but maybe they’re just really packing the seats into the rest of the plane and/or paying the crew less (though I can’t imagine the AF unions would have stood for that)?
So is Alaska the only US carrier left with 737 Classics? I can’t think of anyone else still flying them. And I know those few remaining Alaska 734s only have a couple more months of service left before they head to the desert. Crazy that the Mad Dogs will end up outlasting the 737 Classics!
Ben – Yes, those Alaska 737-400s will be gone soon. Swift still flies them, I believe.
Once Alaska’s birds are gone, you’ll only be able fly a classic if you charter one. Swift, Miami Air, Songbird, Sierra Pacific & Xtra airways have a few.
“Joon is a fashion brand, a rooftop bar, an entertainment channel, a personal assistant … and Joon does flying too!”
At the risk of marking myself as a bit old, couldn’t help but think of this…new Shimmer is a floor wax…and a dessert topping!
Brett, I’ve subscribed to CF for years, but mostly your commenters know much more than I do, so I let them say it. In this case, I taught college marketing, so it’s right up my alley.
According to the AdWeek article, Joon is a “total travel partner”. I want to ask them to define that. What is a total travel partner? What does it do, fer cryin’ out loud? How does it benefit *me*?
In this case, it’s all about branding, and as you said, Brett, appealing to the Millennial generation. The problem, as I see it, reminds me of a fairy tale I read as a kid, “The Baker’s Daughter”. The baker’s daughter was a snob, to say the least. She offered to have her father supply the cake for a birthday party she was attending. Her father made a special cake for her, but the one she wanted was the BIG cake in the shop window–so she stole it and took it to the party. But…when they cut into it, it was actually a cardboard shell with fancy icing on top. Such is Joon. Fancy icing, but someone will soon take the knife to it and find no cake underneath.
That’s the big problem with branding. Be sure you can back up your claims for the long run.
Dick – Well, there will be lots of icing on this cake. It just isn’t that fancy. Sure there’s some organic food but you still have to pay for it.
And they are working with other travel partners to help with the whole trip but it hardly looks like a true managed travel experience. It’s just some hokey partnership that helps Joon make more money off travelers.
My biggest issue, I think, is that even if the branding was accepted to be fantastic, it’s still fairly useless. How many of the travelers going between Lisbon and Paris are actually solely flying that route? My bet is that most passengers are connecting and are really just Air France passengers who will stumble into a Joon experience on that connection. And then even those who are flying locally, many still won’t care. They just need to get to Lisbon.
Just to add to the Joon insanity-WestJet just announced (on the 27th) the name of their VLCC-SWOOP. Swoop name on the fuselage and the design on the tail will be in Magenta, and the rest of the plane White. Who says flying is boring and a pain, and CF does this mean Air France is now the worst airline ever-replacing Alitalia?
George – Alitalia isn’t dead yet, so no, it hasn’t been replaced. But as I tweeted earlier, we need Swoop and Joon to merge: https://fimgs.net/images/perfume/375×500.1251.jpg
I used to use Joop! In the 90s.
I thought this was a jab at Gwyneth Paltrow’s “Goop” brand which, when you think about it, is actually less ridiculous than Joon and Swoop.
The difference is that Swoop/Westjet aren’t prattling on about Millenials and a lifestyle. They just came up with a goofy name, rather than acting ridiculous in total.
I would like to see/hear an across the aisle podcast with Monsieur Mathieu, CEO of Joon (though he probably deserves a more fashionable title).
Let’s make Joon appeal to millenials as an employer by making the organization chart very flat, adding bean bag chairs and ping pong tables, and eliminating bosses. Then your dear Monsieur Mathieu can be retitled as the “Lead Team Facilitator” or some such nonsense.
“Ad people” are why I rage quit advertising
Joon-Flying High meets Soul Air??
Since it hasn’t been mentioned yet, Joon is presumably going to be officially pronounced about the same as the French word for young/youth.
The English equivalent would be AA launching a brand called Yung or Yooth.
Kilroy – No, it’s a hard J, Joon.