May 21, 2010

Qantas and incentives

I’m at Melbourne airport, waiting for my flight for Sydney. I waited for about 20 minutes in queue, before the check-in. Qantas, the airline I fly with today, has this policy: If a flight is about to leave, they ask people in the queue if they’re on that flight, and they take them directly to the check-in counter, letting them skip the line. A great “tactical” choice, since otherwise these people would slow down the flight, or miss it. However, this is a POOR “strategical” choice, because from now on I’ll arrive at the airport half an hour before my flight, I’ll skip all queues, and will jump on the plane right away, smiling at all these people that arrived long before me and stood in line for 20 minutes. **Qantas: you’re dead wrong. ** You use incentives in the wrong way.