How much are you worth?

If an airline tries to compensate people who have been in fear for their lives based on seat class, it has lost the plot! If you are a Qantas customer who lived through the terrifying plunge off the coast of Western Australia, the answer to the question of adequate compensation depends on which class you were flying.

 

Quite seriously, an article in The Age this past week revealed that Qantas was tying the amount of compensation for passengers on that flight to their class of travel. Up to $9000 if you were in first class, with economy only worth $2000.

 

Are they kidding?

 

Are people much more terrified and more likely to be injured if they are in first class than in economy? How stupid can one company be. By all means, refund ticket prices according to class, but compensation?

 

Just one more in a continuing series of bad decisions by our (so called) national airline. This is taking treating some customers as more special than others to a ridiculous extreme.

 

Sure, being treated in a special way is the hallmark of every customer-centric company out there today – special boarding times, extra perks. But there are times when your customers are equal (like when their plane plunges hundreds of feet and you fear for your life), surely then it makes sense to put the frequent flyer and fare class tables aside.

 

The growing list of ways Qantas is finding to undermine and flat out destroy its brand continues to astonish me. And judging byanother article this week about concerns the internal maintenance and engineering staff have, the internal culture is taking a beating as well.

 

Everyone can learn from Qantas’s misteps. For a big picture look at how short-term decisions can lead to long-term damage, take alook at my article recently published here on SmartCompany.

 

See you next week!

 

Alignment is Michel’s passion. Through her work with Brandology here in Australia, and Brand Alignment Group in the United States, she helps organisations align who they are, with what they do and say to build more authentic and sustainable brands.

For more Cultural Leadership blogs, click here.

 

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