Experience Cathay Pacific without stepping on the plane

Cathay Pacific Aiways has come up with a brilliant initiative to allow prospective customers to experience their new cabins online. Dubbed “try before you fly”, web surfers can choose between having a male or a female guide, and then choose between the First, Business or Economy class. The best part is that they can either choose to be “shown around” by the guide, or explore the photo-realistic interiors themselves.

Try before you fly

Once a surfer is in a particular cabin, he or she can test out the different conveniences in the cabin with the click of a mouse – and these include common activities like working on a laptop and going to sleep. When doing the latter, the seats recline fully and cabin lights are dimmed. One can also walk around the plane and explore different cabins. When that’s done, one can step into the flight simulator and choose to experience landing at one of the many international airports Cathay Pacific flies to – including New York JFK and Hong Kong. As if that’s not enough, surfers can even enter a competition to win business class tickets to Hong Kong to try out their real flight simulator. How sweet is that?

Pre-flight experience as a brand differentiator

A number of airlines offer beautiful visuals and descriptions of their cabins on their websites, but none get even close to the experience Cathay Pacific has put together. Trying out their cabins online is not only fun, but engaging too. The flight simulator is also very unique, as it’s difficult to make out whether the pilots are photo-realistic 3D models, or if they are for real. This is a very cost effective way to allow masses of prospective customers to experience the product before they buy it and have fun while doing it. The best part is that there is nothing “salesy” about the whole process. This is brand awareness building in the purest form.

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Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam is a globally sought-after consultant, speaker and thought leader on airline branding and customer engagement strategy. He is the Founder and CEO of SimpliFlying, one of the world’s largest aviation marketing firms working with over 85 aviation clients in the last ten years. Nigam is also the youngest winner of the Global Brand Leadership Award and has addressed senior executives globally, from Chile to China. Nigam’s impassioned and honest perspectives on airline marketing have found their way to over 100 leading media outlets, including the BBC, CNBC, Reuters and Bloomberg, and into leading publications such as The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. He writes a dedicated monthly column in Flight’s Airline Business, challenging the typical assumptions about airline marketing. His new book on airline marketing, SOAR, is an Amazon bestseller that’s shaking up the industry and inspiring other industries to learn from the best airlines. Born in India, raised in Singapore, he now lives with his wife and two young daughters in Toronto.
Shashank Nigam
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