Are you getting the same emails I am? Three airlines so far have let me know this week how much they care about me. I feel valued. Well, not really.
I don’t really need assurances that you are doing extra cleaning on your airplane cabins. Or that you are waiving fees for ticket changes. Pardon my cynicism, but I think you are panicking. Maybe rightly so. Business is down and people are staying home.
And it isn’t just the travel business that is hurting. I’ve heard from a couple of banks, some restaurants and a grocery store chain, all giving the same message. Banking can, for the most part, be done online, and people need groceries – but restaurants must be hurting as people avoid crowds.
One thing this the coronavirus pandemic is reminding us of is how interconnected the world’s economies are and how a disruption can have huge economic ramifications. The stock market is in free fall, workers are being told to stay home, travel is being banned to and from certain countries and no-one knows when it will end.
When airlines can’t fill their planes their income dries up. Their expenses don’t stop though, which means they have to consider flight cancellations and staff layoffs.
When professional sports teams play their games in empty stadiums the players will still get paid from television revenues. The food concession workers, who probably only make minimum wage, are out of a job.
What about factories and food processing plants? Should they remain open with their hundreds of workers? Or should they be closed in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus?
I don’t have answers, or even suggestions at this point. I think the airlines that sent me emails telling me what they are doing for safety because they care about me just want to make sure they keep my business.
It might work too. There are at least three airlines I have flown in the past year who haven’t contacted me yet about the pandemic. Which ones am I most likely to book with next time?
What about you? Do you appreciate companies contacting you to tell you how they are dealing with the pandemic? Or do you feel they don’t need to promote themselves this way?