There are quite a number of different tribes within the MICE industry and like all interesting nations and cities, the world’s population of fliers is very diverse and constantly changing: Shaun Pozyn, head of marketing at kulula.com, takes a light-hearted look at some of the tribes and what we can learn from them.
The regulars:A little like George Clooney’s world-weary character Ryan Bingham in the movie Up in the Air, these folk travel a lot and the novelty of being served champagne while hurtling through the sky is long gone. They have tricks and hacks to get through check-in and security. They’ve honed the procedures of removing laptops and – in the case of international travel – liquids in plastic bags as they pass through security. They may time their progress from carpark to airport lounge and look where they can speed things up.
What we can learn: Streamlining. Some regular travellers may be a little preoccupied with whether turning left or right in the security queue is quicker – a few maintain that left is always quicker – but they do easy, genuinely useful things too. Online check-in, bag-drops, reserved seating and lounge access all make things a little easier.
The A-lister:This regular traveller is secretly convinced that everyone in the terminal and aircraft recognises them from the tabloid mags’ social pages and their Instagram feeds. They may sport sunglasses at any time of day or night. They keep their phones ready to take pouty selfies with adoring fans as they head for yet another junket to sample a new line of cosmetics, along with their fellow social media influencers.
What we can learn: Lounge access gives you access to bathroom facilities where you can make sure your no-makeup makeup is on fleek – as the A-listers would say – before boarding, or simply relax with a drink and a snack. Lounges, like the SLOW lounges at most domestic airports, are more likely to be able to accommodate A-lister requests for gluten-free-decaf- almond-latte than the outlets in the terminal.
The globetrotter:This tribe comes in many variations, from the travelling vloggers tick-boxing through a dozen countries a year, to aid workers travelling light while saving lives. They all have their own proven ways of streamlining their journeys. Some pack a minimum of clothing and launder them along the way. Others swear by rolling clothes up rather than folding them or have an array of high-tech gizmos like solar chargers for their devices or to purify water for drinking. Tribal insignia may also include neck-pillows designed by NASA, which they wear at all times or dangle from a backpack, or that sarong that serves as a towel, blanket, parasol and changing-booth.
What we can learn: Keep an eye on special offers and updates on baggage allowances. Globetrotters know that these may vary between airlines and they make sure that they comply with the limitations while they head for the Bora Bora via Auckland and Port Moresby.