by Milica K.
I recently found myself needing some fresh air (New Yorkers know what I mean), so I headed west to Montana for what I hope will become an annual father-daughter fishing excursion. The only thing that stood between me and Trout Heaven was six hours of air travel. Ugh. (Everyone knows what I mean.) Six hours spent feeling like a sheep being herded to the next farm. Six hours of routine transactions, devoid of personality or humanity. Six hours of—I’ll stop myself there because this story has a happy ending. Unlike this guy.
Arriving at LaGuardia, I was reminded that I booked a flight with … Frontier Airlines. You know, the rising carrier based out of Denver, CO? Yeah, well, I’d never heard of them. No matter, since I figured all airlines are the same in the year 2012. But my first peek at the gleaming plane suggested that these guys might be a little different. Its tail featured a crisp image of a fox, which I later understood was just one from a stable of “spokesanimals.” Frontier was already making my eyes and ears perk up, and I hadn’t even boarded yet. Once I landed in the state of Oro y Plata, I had a lot to say about Frontier:
1. It’s a whole different animal
Those are Frontier’s words, not mine. The editorial tone of the brand is consistently strong. Phrases like “be a social animal,” invite customers to participate in online contests and giveaways. And in a welcome twist of brand confidence, Frontier understands that sometimes air travelers just want to vent in a public forum. It’s one of the only carriers that overtly encourages travelers to “squawk a little.” And the airline follows up by addressing customer service complaints in a timely and professional manner on Facebook. The brand’s friendly tone is carried through to its in-flight collateral, where a bald eagle named Sarge guides you through the food and entertainment options in the cabin.
2. Customer influence on the offering
Frontier engages its 75,000+ Facebook fans in a “Choose Your Brew” competition that pins local Colorado breweries against each other for a chance to be served on future flights. People go nuts, because it’s beer and it’s easy to have an opinion. In fact, for what seems to be Frontier’s target audience of connected, sports-enthused 24-55 year-olds, it’s socially important to throw in your two cents. Especially when your vote makes a difference.
3. Regional pride
In addition to a showcase of Colorado beer, there are a slew of other products served on the flight that originate from the colorful state. The Colorado flag denotes these items throughout the service guide. Frontier is attentive to regional and seasonal activities, such as skiing and sporting events, and it tailors travel promotions around those occasions. Known as the airline that can give you a lift to national parks across America, Frontier’s expansive routes follow through on that promise.
At a time when the air travel has become increasingly commoditized, Frontier Airlines is refreshing in its genuine, well-considered attempts to connect with consumers, which in turn can have a big effect on brand loyalty. Keep spreading your wings, Frontier.