Cranky Concierge – Personalized Air Travel Assistance
This is a time when check-in desks at airports are being eliminated in favor of online check-in and hotels tout virtual concierge systems where guests don’t have to deal with any human staff during the stay, from check-in to checkout. But one man apparently didn’t get the memo.
Brett Snyder aka The Cranky Flier (see TI100 profile) has come out with a very much human and personalized ‘Air Travel Assistance’ service – Cranky Concierge.
The services offered to customers include flight planning, delay and cancellation advice, flight monitoring and post-trip dispute advice.
The rates start at $30 for domestic flights if you avail of the service at least one week ahead of your trip, and $60 for last-minute help less than a week before the trip. For international flights, the rates are $50 and $80.
Now you may think that charging this kind of fees flies in the face of conventional wisdom in an age when iPhone apps and online travel service providers will automatically tell you everything from the status of your flight to the amount of refund you’re entitled to if the rate for a booked air ticket drops after you book.
But the fact of the matter is that most airline passengers aren’t familiar with the intricacies of how these things work, and given a choice – would rather have someone do it for them.
In a blog post announcing the launch of the service, Brett Snyder sums it up pretty well – “This service is not meant for those people who like to do everything online independently. This is meant for those who don’t have the time to spend on researching everything themselves. It’s also meant for those people who don’t have the deep knowledge about the industry and simply want someone to help them with the process.”
With consumers sick of the intransigence of airlines hitting passengers with all kinds of fees and treating them like just so much more freight to be shunted from A to B, there is definitely a need for this kind of personalized air travel assistance. The only question is, does the Cranky Concierge have the reach and the means to offer this service to a wide swathe of passengers?
As of now, the service is limited to US residents, with plans to expand. With this intent, they’re looking to add more people to their team – airline employees who can do this part-time. This is again a pretty sound plan to expand without needing to seed the enterprise with millions of VC dollars.
For more details, visit the Cranky Concierge website – www.crankyconcierge.com/