I remember meeting some of the guys from Mexican LCC Volaris over a year ago at a conference and they were telling me about how they would refund the ticket price (with a voucher) if the plane arrived more than 15 minutes late, but I’m reasonably sure they no longer run this offer. At the time, that really stood out to me as a great way to build a start-up brand. So which airline got my attention today?

Before answering, I’ll tell you which non airline company got my attention with an advertisement that really gets to the heart of how to compete aggressively when you are the underdog with a new low cost business model. It is an ad for flat screen televisions.

Remember when Spanair went after Ryanair, but it was only lightly aggressive, so it didn’t get any cut through. You either build the brand through a positive message, or if you choose to attack a competitor then there can be no half measures about it. And this is what Kogan does so well in the video above.

When it comes to getting the message out in a positive way, Tripit have used their Silicon Valley ties extremely well to generate strong word of mouth – I saw something in The Beat recently quoting Google global travel manager Michael Tangney saying 4,000 of the 22,000 employees of Google are registered Tripit users! And whilst on Google, did you know that 1 in 4 searches done via an Android phone in the US is done using voice rather than typing.

But back to aviation. If you don’t know the following airline and you live in New York or Waskington DC, then if things go to plan, maybe a colleague or friend will mention them to you soon. From their own website:

OpenSkies is a unique airline operating direct business class flights between Paris (Orly Sud), New York (Newark Terminal B) and Washington (Dulles) at very competitive rates. Launched in June 2008, this premium subsidiary of British Airways combines the know-how of one of the biggest airlines in the world with the quality and commitment of a small airline that maintains a close relationship with its passengers.

And why are they hoping you will hear about them? Well, it takes a very confident airline to offer a non-voucher money back satisfaction guarantee, and OpenSkies have just done it. If you are not satisfied, tell them why, and get a refund. I like it; the terms and conditions for a refund don’t look onerous, so I just hope they aren’t inundated with freeloaders. Personally I would have tried to make the Ts & Cs a little tighter, but the more you let legal and other cautious types interfering with a bold plan, then the less chance that plan has of ever getting into the consciousness of consumers in the crowded market for trans-Atlantic aviation.

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