And that's not a bad thing.
On my San Francisco-Philadelphia flight Sunday night I noticed a new safety video that featured flight attendants (in their new uniforms) welcoming passengers onboard in several languages.
I had a déjà-vu moment. Was I on a United flight or magically on Lufthansa flight, which has offered a similar muliti-lingual greeting for several years?
Take a look at the two videos--
I am a firm believer that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and we certainly see United copying Star Alliance and joint venture partner Lufthansa here. As a global airline that flies to 108 international destinations, welcoming passengers who might not speak English represents a good business move and also a subtle cultural shift in the company--a return to focusing on hospitality? We can only hope.
But this actually isn't the first time United Airlines has welcomed aboard passengers in several languages--I was reminded of this safety video I vividly recall from childhood flying on United:
The new safety video is a winner--a professional video and we also see a return to a more appropriate rendering of Rhapsody in Blue. The video makes me hopeful that the company is finally starting to understand that having a big route map is not enough to win and keep customers. With flights like my pitiful journey to Los Angeles on Friday, there is a lot of work to be done.