Three shockingly obvious ways to make flying less miserable

There’s a distinct lack of common sense in our world. What once was “common” has mysteriously vanished, with an impact on every minute of our lives. But there’s encouraging news, too: a solution to the problem.

As a global consultant, I am ostensibly hired by organizations to create or fix brands, but nine times out of ten I find myself wrestling with broader organizational dysfunction: corporate blindness and miscommunication, terrible customer service, products that make no sense or don’t even work, or packaging that sends us into a rage. I can confirm that the lack of common sense is at epidemic levels in the corporate world.

The solutions are often simple, but hardly common. They require companies to look deeply at the root of the problem and consider the core customer experience.

Two years ago, before COVID-19 hit, Swiss International Air Lines hired me to reinvent the concept of economy-class travel. At least, that was the presenting problem. When I met with members of senior management, it was clear they had certain aesthetic fixes in mind—changing the welcome messages on the video screens, softening the glare of the reading lights, improving the snack selection, etc. I told them that before I could even think about welcome messages, lighting, or snacks, I needed to figure out the real reasons why repeat passenger levels had dropped and why the airline ranked #18 for on-time arrivals.


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