It's good that Lufthansa still flies from Philadelphia as many other international airlines have pulled out over the years.
Those that pulled their flights may have done themselves a favor. Compared to the majority of international airports I have flown into and out of, interactions with Philadelphia ground staff feel like you're on the receiving end of malicious compliance vs. talking with experienced and trained pros.
Case in point the now standard -- three is a trend, as they say -- inconsistencies with allowing oversized bags on international Lufthansa flights originating from PHL (see composite image above). To note that I haven't had any issues fitting my bag on smaller flights from and to Frankfurt or Munich, from and to Bologna Marconi, Oslo, Sao Paulo, from Newark, EWR airport, and coming back from Germany to the U.S.
In 2012 alone I have flown across the pond on Lufthansa three times, all with full price tickets. This kind of loyalty doesn't seem to make me a valued customer.
That is my bag... it got a little bruised, just like I felt after each interaction.
Every time I book a flight now I remember how it felt to deal with the ground staff at PHL (some inconsistencies on board flights as well, not as bruising as the ones at departure) and it is the remembering that colors my experience of the brand.
Indeed there is more to miles than accumulating points. It's what happens in between that customers remember. And remembering is very much part of the experience.
I sense 2013 will be a year of change -- time to try out more airlines from a new airport.
Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and company events on a variety of topics. To book her for a speaking engagement click here.