@flyethiopian celebrates 70 with #cmrbloggershangout (or Because I am a typical customer)

I have never been on a plane. Nor a boat. Nor inside any hovering craft for that matter. But I know, someday ( soon) I will. So, like every optimistic first time airplane customer, I may have fiddled with the mental image of my first ever plane ride. And I have come to one simple conclusion: if I were put to choose between Virgin Atlantic, seed of the awesome knight and Ethiopian airlines, now 70 years old, I’d pick ET.

Addis Ababa To Cairo First Flight ET

Ethiopian Airlines First Flight 1946

How do you make your purchase decisions?

The device you are using to read this, how did you get it? I mean…why did you get that one and not the other?
I am assuming here that you had a choice. If, like me, your mother bought for you, well, don’t worry, you’ll get my point soon enough.

Why do we pick one item over another? One brand over another?

I had been thinking about this for a while. I still do every so often. However, I came to a conclusion last Friday. This was during the #cmrbloggershangout organised by Ethiopian Airlines. The hangoutcoincided with the celebration of 70 years of existence of the African airspace behemoth.

We often think we make “informed decisions”, that we are not moved by advertising or peer pressure or that ( I love this one) : I feel like the brand really cares. That is why I bought this particular toothpaste.

Yeah. Right.

According to this post by Peep Laja, founder of Conversion XL,  people don’t often know why they prefer something.  And this conclusion is drawn from a jam testing experiment. Laja goes to add that:

People make instant decisions with their sub-conscious. When they have to explain the choice, the choice might change all together since the rational mind is then involved”-ConversionXL.com.

In that same post, it is pointed out that not only are our choices made from mixed sources, but they are very- and this is important for me- very peer influenced.

Which is the backbone of my very personal argument.

Not my first hangout.

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And it won’t be the last. But it is not everyday that you get to visit the Douala headquarters of an airline and sit with the country manager – Mr. Tsefaye as well as with a  high-placed administrative assistant- Mrs Marie Andela.  This, and the super chill atmosphere that seeps whenever I meet my fellow Cameroonian bloggers.

That is the look I have when my laptop battery is running down and I can't disrupt the presentation to plug it in. Nice shoes huh? *wink*

That is the look I have when my laptop battery is running down and I can’t disrupt the presentation to plug it in.

It was pure coincidence( at least, that is what I was told) that our hangout happened to be set on the same day the company was celebrating 70 years. 

No, We had no cake.

But we did have a meal  later on. But don’t think that is why I would choose ET.

 Food? Really? Nah, I am not that cheap.

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Aside from the intimidation celebration of an airline business running successfully for over 7 decades, we had a full presentation on the past, present and future of Ethiopian Airlines. Enough to make me realize that these guys would never be satisfied.

Not in a greedy way. I mean in a business way. They dubbed this- vision 2025.

Let’s back up a little shall we…

In 2005 they changed the game with the announcement :

“…it would be Africa’s launch carrier for the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with a firm order for ten of these ultra-modern jets, and an option for five more. The order for the new fuel-efficient, long-range, passenger-friendly aircraft was valued at USD 1.3 billion. Boeing begun production of the revolutionary new aircraft in 2006 and Ethiopian expects to take delivery beginning from 2011”- http://www.ethiopianairlines.com

In August 2012, the first Dreamliner was delivered to the company. From 1946 to 2016, they have never stopped getting better equipment, winning awards, expanding their market and creating equal opportunities for all their employees. Both male and female. The latter which is  most visible in the very acclaimed All Women Functioned Flight ( November 19th, 2016) for which its  group CEO- Tewolde Gebre Mariam- was awarded a month later, the most gender focused CEO Award by the LWA- Leading Women of Africa.

Only last month, ET  was chosen  by the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agents (NANTA) as the Best Airline in Nigeria.

I would love to think that these awards and accomplishment guided my “informed” choice. That it was because of this constant desire to be better that I would want my first ever take off to be with a gender balanced airline.

Er…yeah…not really.

You see, awards don’t move me. Neither does Beauty. 

The straw(s) that broke Kamga’s airline decision back.

Camer bloggers

During the question and answer session, a lot was covered about the history of ET, the new programmes, the mileage and discounts- especially discounts!

If there is only one thing you must take from this already too long blog post, it is this:

Purchasing Ethiopian Airline tickets ONLINE = 7% off ALL ONLINE TICKET PURCHASE.

Of course this may affect retailers and other “hard copy dudes”, but, not only is the system secure, were we assured, but- the world is online. We have to use the new platforms to our advantage.  Add this to their loyalty programme and what you get is the loyal customer cocktail.

I was interested in the women. I love women. I love my mother…who is a woman…my sisters are women…I love them…you…get my drift?

*wink*

What was the effect of the all female flight? Obvious question for an obvious answer. I did not expect anything other than large scale positive reviews given the wave of gender awareness that is sweeping through the world.

But by jove! The passion with which Aunty Adeline- Publisher of Fabafriq and master mind behind the first ever #Camerbloggershangout– answered, I was sold.

She was on the flight. Her eyes glowed as she described the atmosphere on landing, how everyone was trying to take pictures and what it meant to her as a woman and as a business person.

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Aunty Adeline gave the welcome address and later on shared her personal tale as one whose job has her in the air most of the time.

Previously, she had talked about the experience she’d had with Air France. Her flight was delayed and she’d been asked wait , for hours, in the cold, in the airport and not allowed to get to a hotel to wait for the next flight!!  She did a rant on Facebook. Trust me, you (as a company or individual) don’t want Aunty Adel to rant because of poor service. Remember my MTN Cameroon Rant? Triple that and you get the scale of her rant.

That was not the only rant I have seen recently on Air France another airline.

Tie breaker with no ties.

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L-R: Miss Elodie of Les Marches D”Elodie, Mrs. Marie Andela, Mrs Adeline Sede K., Mr. Tsefaye ( See those eyeglasses on the left? Yup. That’s me.)

Now, Adeline’s job requires that she travels a lot. Same for my buddy Cedric. From what they said about ET and their personal experiences with other airlines, I can, without a doubt, choose ET over any airline in a heartbeat.

Especially when Nkiacha Atemnkeng of Writerphilic Blog ( an airplane aficionado whose love for writing fiction only slightly surpasses his love for teaching it) made a personal comparison of ET and other airlines. He had used them recently for a writing workshop and had been lodged in a three start hotel during whatever-they-call-it-that-passengers-do-in-countries-they-are-not-supposed-to-be-while-awaiting-their-next-flight. His words:

“… upon arrival in Addis Ababa, passengers don’t spend long hours on transit. I believe where Ethiopian really killed it, is the fact that, they actually accommodate ALL their transit passengers in a hotel. I remember when our airport bus arrived at the 4 Star Friendship International Hotel in Addis Ababa, where we spent the night, I stared at the hotel and almost went, “Should err, should I add more money to sleep here sah?” Now that’s unlike many other airlines that compel transit passengers to sleep at the airport. And sleeping on an airport seat is super stressful sha! So, any doubts again why ET beat so many well established airlines in Cameroon and the whole of Africa as the continent’s most profitable airline? On that profits note, in 2015 ET made 176 million dollars in profits globally, in an industry where most airlines are bleeding cash…”- Writerphilic

With:

  1. Three known professionals publicly backing Ethiopian Airlines’ claims for work ethic and customer satisfaction.
  2. ET being the  first sponsor of the first ever #Camerbloggershangout-expresses creativity and a love for innovation.
  3. A sumptuous meal for bloggers in the much coveted White House Restaurant in Bonapriso.

Now, you know why I will pick ET over VG.

It was because of the food. Nothing else.  *wink*

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P.S: Now that you know what I did last Friday, can I get your opinion on Ethiopian Airlines? Do you think I am making a wrong decision? How do you make your own decisions? Friends ( like me)? Advertising? Or a mix? Be sure to leave a comment and share this post if you liked it. Thank you for your time!

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14 comments

  1. heheherh KAMGA this one is really good eh u make me want to revisit my blog but …my laptop has issues but keep going bro but no forget me ooo….am also a blogger hihihu

    Like

  2. Interesting post you got Kamga.

    Just like others have said, experience is often the best teacher. After having traveled with a number of different airlines, I am yet to select my favorite one. All the airlines I have been on have somewhat disappointed me in one way or the other. It,s either with food, flight delay, luggage etc. Nonetheless, the airlines continuously strive to make the passengers happy and satisfied. But we all know that some people never get satisfied right? I read reviews to guide my choice, but my mind doesn’t settle on specifics until I try.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “But we all know that some people never get satisfied right?” Indeed! Given the conditions of our transport system in the country, I have a feeling it would take a lot for me to find an airline guilty of mistreating me. But, you are correct, make I first fly the tin. Then decide afta.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hmmm Kamga???
    Ok, I know you to be more objective right, so this isn’t the end of the matter, I guess.
    Wouldn’t it be more “Kamga” of you to be part of other carriers’ presentations someday before an outright tick on one?
    Or maybe, they too should organise a bloggers hangout, lol. Wink*

    Seriously, don’t get me wrong please, the ET carrier is amongst the best in the continent. I can’t speak for those out of the continent, cuz I’ve never travelled them.

    Humbly, about the assertion, “they actually accommodate ALL their transit passengers in a hotel”, well, this seems pretty relative, and hard an assertion to back; one, because, it would be ‘businessly’ unwise to endeavour such, and also, not all transit passengers really require being accommodated in an hotel. If you’ve got to wait an hour or two before continuing your journey, it would be useless going to an hotel as formalities out and back into the airport could cause you to miss your flight. But, …

    But, as I say, Ethiopian Airlines is really a good, and to be reckoned with carrier. Pretty and kind hostesses, good food, lol. Attention, interesting movie pack, etc.

    If this comment box doesn’t protest, I’d share this testimony about the cabin crew. A lady was travelling with four kids (3 girls and a baby boy). None above 8years, I guess. They all had their seats, but for two of the kids, it was hard keeping them seated. Fastening their seatbelts was hard, for the mother, as well as for concerned passengers; and even for the cabin crew, but never did they lose it. With patience and playfulness, they tried in vain to convince the children to fasten their seatbelts for take off and landing, with drawing books, apples, feeding bottles, etc., etc. It was a hard task, and I sincerely admired their patience with the kids; and with their mother, who seemed unable to do much to manage her kids’ pouty behaviour. Seated where I was, I only imagined the kids being under my care, ( a good spanking would ‘probably’ have solved the almost 30minute plea time spent on the kids). I couldn’t be so patient with the children. That was too much asking for the cabin crew, but they lived up to it. They got a big tick from me then, and now!

    Cheers,
    Sally.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sally! I missed your comments. Lovely one right there. I couldn’t be more objective. But I will make a ‘final’ decision after trying others. I am very happy you always take the time to give your opinion. It pleases me that you take the time to read.I haven’t been seeing your posts recently…work maybe? But my choice was made from a mix of opinions. I have heard a lot of negative things being said about other carriers but less about ET. Until I do, they are my first choice. *wink* Have a great evening and thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hello Sally, nice to errr, blog-meet you. Lol. You’re a witty commenter. Very. Well Kamga quoted my recent blogpost “Writerphilic” so let me defend myself oh. “ALL Transit passengers”. That phrase. Its relative yeah. Those on short transit periods eg 2 hrs, i don’t really consider them strictly as transit pax, even the airline won’t go into lodging them. Its useless, they just connect to the next flight. When I said, ALL, I technically meant ALL those with 6 hour, 5 hour transit time periods that have to sleep in Addis. ET accommodates them all, unlike some other carriers that don’t necessarily do that. Air France comes to mind.

      I like your story with the kids. Those flight attendants are trained for all kinds of situations. That’s why one of the attributes carriers look before employing them is patience. I heard about a couple too, the man had a heart attack in mid flight. The hostesses tactfully consoled the wife n one even sat near her and held her hand until they arrived, to avoid her going ballistic.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. #BridgeMaking My favorite sport. Sally meet, Nkiacha- fiction writer extraordinaire. If you visit his blog you will discover his obsession with airplanes and literature. Nkiacha, meet Sally, Best Journalism and Mass Communication graduate of her batch, bright thinker and blogger. I think you will find that you have more than your aircrew critique in common.

        Like

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