On Fear of Flying, Terrorism, American Biz & LISTS (962 words)
Every airline would then have an E-Z Passenger counter, just as they have First and Business Class counters. I would hand the agent my ticket and E-Z Passenger card. "Thank you for flying with us today, Mr. Hatch," would be the friendly greeting as my card was being swiped through a computer terminal. On the screen would be my picture which matches that on my E-Z Passenger Card. Perhaps I would be asked for thumb print or iris scan. O.K. Once the bags were checked and the tickets processed, I would proceed to the X-ray screening station reserved fir E-Z Passenger cardholders, enabling me to bypass the seemingly endless lines of other flyers. The screener welcomes me as my E-Z Passenger card is swiped through the computer and my photograph appears on the screen. I am treated with civility and efficiency. Minutes later, I would be in the airline lounge sipping a martini and watching CNN while the lines below creep forward in their exhausting dance of "hurry up and wait."
The E-Z Passenger program offers the airlines an opportunity to differentiate their good customers from Mohammed Atta and treat us accordingly -- and at no cost to them.
In short, I am willing to spend money so that I can buy time and feel special once again.
I have thrown down the gauntlet. Are the mediocrities that run the government and the airlines smart enough to pick it up?
I doubt it.
Denny Hatch is a Consulting Editor to Target Marketing magazine. He can be reached at Denny Hatch Associates, Inc. P.O. Box 63578, Philadelphia, PA 19147; tel. 215-627-9103; fax: 215-627-6610; firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit www.methodmarketing.com.