Brett Catlin, Alaska Airlines | Alaska Airlines Elevated Experience 2019

(upbeat electronic music) >> Hey welcome back, everybody. Jeff Frick here with theCUBE. We're at San Francisco international airport, Gate 54D if you want to stop by. We're getting ready to go on a little Alaska flight because it's an exciting day, they took advantage of the opportunity after the Virgin merger to kind of re-brand everything, re-look at the technology, everything from the seats to the wifi and everything in between and we're excited to have the guy who's responsible for everything. He's Brett Catlin, the Managing Director of Alliances and Product. Brett, great to see you. >> Thanks for having me, Jeff. I really appreciate it. >> So first off, congratulations.

I'm sure a whole of work went into this day. >> Absolutely, it was a team effort over the past few years and we're just thrilled to see it all come together to deliver a better experience for our guests. >> So it's pretty interesting 'cuz I think, ya know you guys are obviously thinking about this, I don't know if people are always aware that when you think of the total experience, the engagement that I have when I'm taking a flight from San Francisco to Seattle it's a lot more than just the air miles with my butt in a seat and moving down the road.

You guys really think of that whole experience. >> Absolutely, we look at the entire journey from when you arrive at the airport to your lounge experience, when you walk on board what's the jet bridge feel like? The lighting, the music when you enter the aircraft, the configuration, the seats, comfort, and then ultimately a big thing for us is food and beverage so making sure that it's healthy, local, speaks to the West Coast values that we're so proud of. >> And how do you kind of get input from the customers? These are things that you guys spend a lot of time on and there are a lot of little things that add up to a total experience. How aware are customers? Are they gettin' it? Or do they suddenly like, oh wow ya know I feel a little bit more rested because of particular type of sound or a particular type of configuration on the seat.

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How do you get feedback on all these different things? >> Absolutely, that's a great question. So on the front-end we obviously did quite a bit of guest research, both kind of online, quantitative studies, but then also in-person with focus groups. Now that we have a lot of the product in market our focus is kind of elevating and improving what we have and how we get that feedback is every guest receives a survey after every flight, and so we look at– >> Every guest received a survey after every flight? >> Exactly so we have hundreds of thousands of responses every year which allows us to make small tweaks around the margin but also more material changes.

>> That's pretty wild. So I'm just curious, some of the more crazy things that have come through that, either good things that you can actually execute on that maybe you never thought about or just funny things to put a smile on your face in the middle of your day. >> Yeah, it really is a mix, Jeff, to tell you the truth and a lot of things are items that we want to' action so certain health restrictions where maybe we didn't realize a certain kind of food wasn't hitting the mark with a wide section of our guests so we can make tweaks there but also when you think about maybe our inflight entertainment, do we have the right content? Are the movies that people watch resonating? So we look at all of that data to say well look, this kind of movie it does really well inflight. So people love thrillers, when you think about movies in flight for whatever reason so we try and put more thrillers on board.

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>> I thought they'd go more with the romantic comedies on the airplane, I don't know that I want to' watch a thriller. >> That would have been my guess as well but the suspense people love. >> Right, right, and it really goes to this bigger question of this total experience and engagement with the airline.

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So I wonder if you can speak too about technology, and the role of technology and how you guys are using that across all of these various products. >> Absolutely, so being a West Coast airline technology is critically important for us. One of the things we're focused on is offering high-sped wifi in all of our mainline aircraft. We have about a dozen done right now, by the end of 2019 we'll have 125 and so the key there is you'll be able to stream entertainment onboard onboard our aircraft, your outlook for your corporate email will be zippy, the real basics when you're flying coast to coast or to Hawaii so we're super excited about that, then we look at a couple of other things as well, mobile ordering is one great example, so before your board your flight you could reserve your meal in first class or the main cabin to make sure you get exactly what you want so there's some basics like that but then we're also looking longer term.

How do we improve the technology experience in our lounges? So maybe being able to order a barista beverage while you're still approaching the airport. >> Pretty interesting, and a lot of that's got to be through your mobile app, right? >> Absolutely. >> That's a very significant point of contact between you and your customers. >> That's exactly right. >> Excellent. Well, Brett, thanks for taking a few minutes of your time, we look forward to jumping on the plane and getting to experience some of this and gain congratulations on a great event. >> Excellent, it's my pleasure. Thank you, Jeff, I really appreciate it. >> Alright, he's Brett, I'm Jeff, you're watching theCUBE, we're at San Francisco international, Gate54B. Thanks for watchin', we'll catch ya next time.

(upbeat electronic music).

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