This week, airline pioneer David Neeleman introduced Breeze Airways, a new airline that will begin flying in the United States later this year. He dubbed it “world’s nicest airline” but offered few details how it would achieve that title. Here are my suggestions.
No Change Fees
Southwest claims it makes more money by not charging change fees than by charging them, because passengers make more changes, usually to higher-priced, last-minute fares. I have not seen empirical evidence to back that up, but it makes sense in theory.
Breeze Airways should also have no change fees. Let’s say someone buys a cheap tickets months in advance and later needs a change. Paper tickets no longer have to be re-issued. It’s now a painless process online. Just charge people the new price for the ticket and relegate change fees to the dust bin.
Generous Legroom + Well-Padded Seats
How about giving us all at least 32 inches of seat pitch? Since you project you can break even on 50% loads, why not get a little more creative and offer an onboard seat that is actually comfortable. In addition to legroom, don’t use those horrible Recaro slimline seats. Instead, use a nicely padded seat that doesn’t leave your tailbone sore after a two hour flight.
The thing I love most about Porter, the Canadian airline, is that every passenger is served a drink in a real glass. I know that’s such a minor thing, but it is a more dignified onboard experience and a small touch that shows that economy class customers are valued.
Breeze Airways could market this as protecting the environment by not using wasteful paper or plastic cups.
Premium Cabins With MINT-like Service
The best domestic flight I’ve ever taken remains a JetBlue A321 flight in MINT class from New York to Los Angeles. Breeze Airways plans a premium cabin and should seriously considering mimicking what JetBlue offers. Genuinely kind, warm, and compassionate service plus excellent food and bedding makes for such a nice onboard experience.
> Read More: JetBlue A321 Mint New York To Los Angeles Review
Lightening Fast Wi-Fi Provisioned For Everyone
AA is out with a new ad about wi-fi that is far too long, but makes an important point:
I also don’t want to travel on an airline without wi-fi. JetBlue already offers free wi-fi plus a paid high speed option. But if Breeze Airways wants to be “world’s nicest airline” it should offer complimentary high speed internet with sufficient bandwidth for everyone onboard to connect.
Streaming IFE + Tablets for Rent
Neeleman already suggested that there would be streaming IFE instead of seat-back TVs. Ok, we can work with that. Although people love seat-back screens and I’d recommend “world’s nicest airline” offer them, there is another solution. For those who do not bring along their own phones, laptops, or tablets, Breeze should offer tablets for rent onboard. And of course the library should be comprehensives and the internet sufficient for someone to log in and watch Netflix or Amazon shows online. Finally, don’t forget power plugs for every passenger with USB C!
We’ve seen shrinking lavatories, especially on the 737 MAX, that are so small you can hardly squeeze in. This needs to change if Breeze wants to be “world’s nicest airline”. Give us a little space, please. I’m not asking for the shower suite on Emirates, but maybe just a little elbow room?
Frequent Flyer Program That Makes Sense
I’m not asking for cheap redemption options on Singapore Suites and Air France First Class, but don’t offer a revenue-based program. Incentivize travelers on the margin who have discretion over which carrier to choose. Partner with Azul and offer reasonably-priced redemptions that actually encourage more travel, not less.
A Signature Touch
JetBlue’s signature touch is the Terra blue chips. Breeze Airways should offer its own signature touch, like a hot baked cookie for everyone (I know Midwest Airlines once did that). Think about it. Offer a hot cookie on every flight, no matter how short, no matter how long, no matter the time of day and watch the smiling faces. Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh baked cookies?
I realize that I may be dreaming, but these are my suggestion for Breeze Airways if it really aspires to be the “world’s nicest airline”. And you know something? I don’t think anything above is so far-fetched that it could not be implemented.
What do you think “world’s nicest airline” should include?