Talk About Transparency!

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    Not your fault? Let the people know!

    Additional fees for air travel have been a topic of increasing unpopularity in recent years, so when new federal regulations pushed airlines to conceal government taxes in fares, budget line Spirit fought back with the ultimate in transparency.

    By sending an email with the following headline to its customer base, Spirit made it clear to stakeholders that it’s still 100% committed to being a low-cost airline:

    The letter goes on to explain exactly why the new fees have been included, why Spirit does not support the policy, and even includes a call-to-action, complete with links to locate and contact representatives in the House and Senate, all in a concise 150 words.

    It would be quite easy for airlines to just shrug this off and assume customers were educated about new changes to the fare structure, and, judging by the thundering silence from just about everyone else in the industry, that’s exactly the choice they’ve made. By thinking about how its customers would feel, and meeting them with the information they want the very second they realize they want it, Spirit set itself apart, and in that action likely gained customers for life.

    For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Crisis Management

    [Jonathan Bernstein is president of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc. , an international crisis management consultancy, and author of Manager’s Guide to Crisis Management and Keeping the Wolves at Bay – Media Training. Erik Bernstein is Social Media Manager for the firm, and also editor of its newsletter, Crisis Manager]