Priority Access

4,407,996. That is my total accrued mileage on American Airlines.  There are a few perks to recognize the brand loyalty this number represents.  There are nifty luggage tags, they’ll give you a snack or drink on the plane without an additional charge, you can board early, they don’t charge you to check a bag and if you do check one, they put special “Priority” tags on them.

Until last week, I wasn’t sure what the “Priority” tag on my luggage accomplished – it had not assured a bag would not get misrouted and it certainly didn’t mean I got my luggage any sooner.  The “VIP” experience vanished at the carousel as I stood waiting and waiting with all my fellow travelers for bags to arrive.

Until last week.   My husband, John Murphy and I flew American Airlines from Seattle to Corpus Christi with a plane change in Dallas.  Our  bags had been tagged with the “Priority” tags when we checked them in Seattle and – for the first time in my traveling history – our bags were the first to arrive on the carousel in Corpus Christi.  I assumed it to be like the lottery – play enough and you are bound to win once in a while.

We went from Corpus Christi to Dallas to visit more family and friends for a few days – same thing.  Priority tags, bags among the first onto the carousel.

At the end of our week long visit to the Lone Star State, we again checked our bags for the return flight home.  Standing at the carousel at Sea-Tac Airport, every bag that came up in the first batch – including ours – had Priority tags.

Our bags were on a total of 5 aircrafts in 3 different airports and yet each time, they were within the first batch of delivered bags and every bag on the carousel ahead of ours also bore “Priority” tags.

I’m not sure how American Airlines has accomplished this feat; airline executives have told me segregating luggage in the belly of a plane is challenging.  Yet as a consumer, it’s been on my list of wants for a very long time.

What does your customer want?  What would they be willing to pay more for?  What industry issue have your competitors not yet solved or even tackled?  What would inspire loyalty among your customer base?

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One Response to “Priority Access”

  1. jolene Says:

    Sunny, we are always trying to figure out the best perks. Thanks for the tip.

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