I’m booking a flight back from Seattle to San Francisco (actually San Jose) and can’t let the opportunity pass to learn from the best – and the worst. Here are some screens that came back after a search for flights this Saturday – conducted just now at 11am or so in a coffee shop in Seattle.
They do the basics right – everything I need is on one page and I can make a decision very quickly. An excellent job.
Next: Virgin America
It’s even simpler than the Southwest site, though sadly they don’t yet fly to San Jose.Another superb job, and they deservedly got my booking to fly here from San Francisco International.
For some reason I tried United – an airline which I refer to as UNTIED and have sworn never to fly again after a 50% or so record of losing my bags and fantastically poor on-board and check-in service. Their website didn’t change that verdict.
(I swear this wasn’t set up).
After booking the Southwest flight I decided to book a couple of internal Air New Zealand flights for when I get back. After entering my search I got this brick wall of death:
It felt like a big “F-You” from Air New Zealand to everyone offshore (or maybe more than that). Frankly I am pretty annoyed and considering just staying in Auckland instead of going home for the night. Yes – that’s what I will do.
Airlines, like all stores, can win or lose a customer at each screen. When we run a search for flights then the next screen should show decent results, let the customer select the day, flight time and class of flight and commit to travel. The process needs to feel friendly, to project professionalism and the sense of reliability and safety that airlines must have infused through them. The values of the website need to reflect the values of the business. Air New Zealand and United failed at this – and goodness knows how many customers they lose as a result. I expected it from United.