I love a feel-good airline marketing story, and KLM has just come up with an awesome one. I’ll let them describe it themselves:

Arnold Neuhaus recently turned 90. His great-grandson, Jagger, teamed up with KLM to surprise Arnold with the flight of a lifetime.

In 1935, Arnold Neuhaus took part in a KLM contest and won an airborne excursion over Amsterdam. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to collect and enjoy his prize at the time. In this video, Arnold’s seven-year-old great-grandson, accompanied by two KLM stewardesses, comes to pick “Grandpa Nol” up for an unforgettable flight, making a dream come true after 83 years!

How cool of them to honor this ticket so many years later in the same plane, and especially to have the guy’s seven year old grandson be the one to surprise him with it. Of course I wish they would show a little more of the experience, but what’s most important is that Arnold had a great flight, and I’m sure any more video footage would have made it less enjoyable for him.

While I love this video, British Airways has also been doing a phenomenal job with their “BA Magic” campaign, where they’ve been surprising people who could use some extra help with travel. It has been heartwarming to watch, and is a win-win — it’s great PR, and also makes people happy, so what’s not to love?

Well done on this video, KLM! While we’re speaking of KLM, I also want to say how pleased I am to see their transparency. They recently entered into a new contract with their flight attendants, and that will see them reducing economy staffing on some longhaul flights by one person. As a result, they’re modifying their meal service.

Rather than just marketing this as a huge enhancement and not mentioning the reason for it, they do a great job explaining why they’re making the changes and what’s changing, while noting that the total quantity of food will remain the same, and the quality will improve (that’s the part that remains to be seen).

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