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The Proper Course Toward Consumer Satisfaction
The issue facing Air France is, effectively, a public relations situation.
Given the safety standards of
airplanes, it is evident that in this day and age, what happened was an abnormal occurrence.
the lack of communication between the captain and the passengers with respect to the actual
severity of the situation, it stands to reason that the occurrence has discouraged some Air France
passengers from repeat visits.
In response to this situation, Air France has a number of options, but
the major option is the fundamental choice between doing something and doing nothing.
from the basic choice, Air France can pursue an active course of reparations, including offering
refunds and frequent flyer miles.
It can also seek simply to explain to passengers on the flight why
the flight was derailed, or rather, why the engine inexplicably failed.
A third option Air France has
open is a simple apology, which, while not overly reassuring, will at least convince passengers that
Air France cares for the welfare of its customers.
To determine which of the four options available is the most effective for Air France’s purpose, it is
necessary to first determine the purpose of the communication.
In this case, Air France has
received bad press and reports of disgruntled passengers from that flight.
The immediate goal of
any course by Air France should be damage control, namely, mitigating the poor image stemming
from lack of information from the captain, inability to repair an airplane engine, and poor training
on part of the stewardess.
This requires, at the minimum, an apology for the lapse in service owing
to an emergency.
The secondary goal of Air France is to retain as many passengers as possible from
While an apology is a good first step, actual incentives such as frequent flyer miles will
most likely be more effective at achieving this goal.
Finally, the tertiary goal of Air France, and the