I Speed-Dated an Airline — Now What?

I Speed-Dated an Airline — Now What?

Congratulations! And… you should probably have a drink. Just one, though, because we need you to keep a clear head. After the adrenaline from that ever-so-brief encounter subsides, it’s time to put on your game face and find a way to keep the love alive. Fear not, The Quotient Group is like your savvy aunt who knows how the world really works and can keep you from texting TMI and ruining that great first impression you just made.

Now, don’t be fooled into thinking we’re air service consultants — we’re not. There are plenty of those who are really great at what they do, and that’s not what we’re good at anyway. But we are good at helping you decide what to say, when to say it, and how to deliver some really compelling materials that will catch the eye of your beau — that airline planner from a certain city in a certain western state. Or southern state. Or northern. Yeah, okay, there are a lot of airline HQs all over. We get it.

Back to the point — you need to know what to do next.

Ready? Set. Plan!

Got a pen handy? Here we go:

  1. Send a follow up email with a copy of your (hopefully brief) presentation that you shared with them in the one-on-one. Keep it short and sweet. Don’t ask for anything. Just say thank you.
  2. Plan your next touchpoint. Give it a couple weeks. They just got back from traveling to that conference where you met them and their inbox is probably just as full, or more so, than yours. But two weeks from now, send another follow up with some information they can’t find anywhere else. Don’t send FAA data. Do send an article about how a new HQ is opening in your catchment area, and drop a hint about how they also have offices in that one city to which you want service.
  3. Make a longer-term plan. Ideally, you’ll want to keep your planner in the loop with what’s happening in your community that is — key information coming up! — relevant to the city you’re pitching. Not only that, but you want to stay top-of-mind, too. Find a way to creatively drill into their brains what your community is all about as it relates to air service.
  4. Stay in-the-know. Stay informed about the airline’s business model, expansion plans, and marketing strategies. They’re all different and they each have a unique way in which they want to fill their planes. Like children or pets, every airline has a unique personality.
  5. Find another opportunity to connect in person. If you haven’t attended an Airport Roundtable Series event, you should know these are a great way to get face-time with airlines. Attendance is limited and there are lots of opportunities to get to know your planner on a more personal level. If you know the name of their fish, it will give you something personal to say in your next email. Trust us, it matters. And, full disclosure, we plan and speak at these events and we know we’re biased. But they really are fantastic!

You aren’t guaranteed to get the service you want on the airline you want, but with the right moves, you can create a relationship that will last if (and when!) a planner moves up and moves on, or you do. The aviation industry is all about relationships, so keep your eyes on the prize and don’t skimp on real human connection.