KLM’s Happy Holidays flight brings back happy memories of KLM Surprise and ushers in Christmas cheer

Last year, we released a Top 10 case-pack that showcased what we called “wow” campaigns by airlines during the holiday season. These highlighted the importance of brand associations and how some airlines had attempted to delight their passengers, and win their loyalty and goodwill, during the holiday season through innovative surprises. [push h=”15″]

Recently, KLM, an airline well-known for its inventive campaigns, took the lead in delighting customers during the festive season with its Happy Holidays flight. [push h=”15″]

For this surprise, the airline decided to treat a group of passengers travelling to Chicago with a business class upgrade, delivered in a gift box by a flight attendant, and a special Christmas-themed flight. Watch the video below to see how it happened. [push h=”15″]

[push h=”15″] How much do such initiatives matter?

The airline is already well-known surprising passengers through a variety of initiatives, especially for its hugely popular “KLM Surprise” campaign that garnered over a million impressions on Twitter. However, this is the first time it organized one of these campaigns for Christmas.[push h=”15″]

Campaigns like these are an ideal way to engage customers and to drive customer loyalty in the real world because they are effective ways to show customers that the airline cares about them. Frequent surprises, such as those organised by KLM, further entice travellers to fly the airline. And, as KLM puts it, “actions speak louder than tweets”.

However, it remains to be seen how well such surprises translate into results that go beyond impressions on social media. While such initiatives would certainly make existing customers very happy indeed, ideally airlines should aim for measurable results such as at least a correlation between increased buzz during such campaigns with revenue or loyalty membership growth.  [push h=”15″]

With the holiday season approaching, we look forward to seeing many more innovative initiatives by airlines.

Marco Serusi

Marco Serusi

Senior Consultant at SimpliFlying
Marco is a Senior Consultant at SimpliFlying, and has worked on major client projects with the likes of LATAM Airlines, London Heathrow and Royal Brunei Airlines. He has also delivered training in airline Marketing strategy for over 100 executives globally and spoken at several aviation conferences worldwide. He is well known for his cutting edge research into the latest aviation marketing and social media trends. Marco is Italian but also speaks Spanish and English fluently and has lived in several countries including the UK, USA, Italy and Spain. He has been with SimpliFlying for over 3 years. and is based in Valencia, Spain. He is a subject matter expert and consultant on social media practice in aviation. He has contributed extensively to thought-leadership in this space as well as held training workshops for senior aviation executives on behalf of SimpliFlying. He advises clients globally on aviation marketing strategy. He’s Italian, but has lived in several countries since he was 18, earning an Air Transport degree in the UK, a pilot license in Florida and an MBA in Spain. He now lives in Valencia, Spain where he previously worked as a Marketing Director. You can talk to him in Italian, English or Spanish. You can also tweet him at @simplimarco, e-mail him at marco@simpliflying.com.
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