The main psychic lesson is the feeling of control: with a sport bottle,
passengers are back in control of their water supply, not at the mercy
of open glasses which must be consumed or lost (who can leave the tray
table down in coach? who will risk turbulence?). Very subtle, and very
With the $1 million grant, ...
While I am impressed by the mastery of the frequent flyer/reservations
system that our intrepid mailing list leader has achieved, I think you give
UAL a little too much credit for figuring out the fundamental principle behind
customer satisfaction in America:
You must make everyone feel special.
Speaking as a representative of the freelance/contract society, I feel
comfortable saying that if I did my job as badly as anyone that works for an
airline, no one would hire me. It is even less likely that I would be given a
million dollars to reiterate what had already been learned in marketing
classes in business school. The winner in this conest is without a doubt the
subcontractor that convinced UAL to give them a million bucks to hand out
monogrammed bottles of water and restate the obvious.