This place looks nice…

I live in Cape Town in South Africa. I’ve lived here for almost 20 years. It has it all. I love the food, the culture and the nature.

And I don’t know how much Facebook ads cost, but I feel that this repetitive effort by Dutch airline KLM is a somewhat unnecessary expense on their part.

Book my ticket to Cape Town? On your airline, that’s going to have to be via Amsterdam.

No chance. You might be ok with wasting loads of money, but I’m not.

Grammar

So it turns out that getting your broken father onto a KLM 777-306(ER) at Cape Town International just before midnight on a Tuesday isn’t an absolutely straightforward experience, but can be aided by helpful staff. And so it turned out to be. Thanks to all concerned.

Still, upon returning home, I was quite reasonably expecting things to be more straightforward, but they weren’t, and 30 minutes after leaving the airport, I found myself showering our son because he was so feverish that he was having hallucinations.
A few SMSs later, and having been assured that Dad was on the flight, I settled off to sleep, only to be woken at 2, 3, 4 (thrice?) and 6 (twice) by the sound of copious vomiting from the Boy Wonder’s room.

I’m not quite with it today. The plan was to stay up and watch the footy tonight, but I’ll be lucky to make kick off.

In the meantime, here’s something that amused me this morning:

I’ve no idea if it’s grammatically correct, but I’m all about pseudo-intellectual, seasonal cartoons, especially when I’m so tired I can hardly think, so it’ll do nicely.

P.S. The boy is doing better this morning, thank you.
And Dad’s plane landed safely in Amsterdam, but I haven’t heard from him. Yet.

UPDATE: Apparently he’s on his connecting flight. I know you were all worried. Thanks for the concern.

Sherlock is on the case

Since we’re talking about Beagles, I figure that I should throw this into the mix, since I would have probably thought that it was pretty cool whether or not my home was plagued by Colin. It’s KLM’s Sherlock – their new Beagle-enabled service for quickly and easily returning property left on aircraft to its rightful owners before they’ve even left the terminal:

Clever stuff and a nicely made promo video too.

Huffington Post says:

KLM’s new lost and found program is a lesson in perverse incentives.

On one hand, owners who leave property behind risk losing it permanently. Then again, since lost items stand to be returned via Beagle, it may be tempting to start “accidentally” forgetting more things on the plane.

The Dutch airline has started using an adorable, vest-wearing dog to return lost property, sending him down the concourse to literally sniff out rightful owners after they’ve disembarked at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.

This isn’t the first time that KLM have used social media for cool stuff. But it does seem to be the first time they’ve integrated a Beagle into the equation.

Obviously, Sherlock is highly trained and highly intelligent. I have to literally show Colin to her food bowl in the evenings. And even then, she doesn’t always seem sure what she should be doing with it.
Suffice to say that if Colin was given an iPhone to sniff and was then sent on her way at Schiphol, that would be the last you would see of either phone or dog.

Flying news

Another two parter – this time with airlines doing nice some altruistic (sort of) things for people.

I like KLM’s surprise for social media users (spotted via @tara_lawson). And though it was just a bit of an experiment, it worked for them, with over a million mentions on twitter alone. Someone, somewhere will be able to tell me how much that is worth to a brand.
(And someone is going to pull me up on the meaning of the word “altruistic” too, aren’t they?)

The best bits for me were that they were taking ordinary people in an ordinary situation and making their lives just a bit better and then they were not just giving gifts out, but that those gifts were considered and tailor made for each of the recipients. That shows real thoughtfulness because those are the gifts that mean the most – even to a “stranger”.

And they’re right: “Doing something that creates a real smile on somebody’s face is much cooler than attaching a smiley face”.

Nice work, Ogilvy.

Meanwhile, er… Ogilvy have created a brilliant campaign for KLM’s rivals, British Airways, on the back of the Ashes tour to Australia.
With England set to win the final match (and the series and the Ashes with it) tomorrow, BA have launched an online promotion for flights from Sydney to London, offering to discount flights by the largest amount of runs England scores in a single Ashes innings.
Apparently:

The tongue-in-cheek campaign is running on Australian sites only, such as the Sydney Morning Herald, and uses the strapline “Do something you never thought you would do. Cheer on England”.
Andrew Boggs, business director for the British Airways account at Ogilvy London, said: “The idea was to offer Australian cricket fans some consolation in defeat – without resorting to triumphalism or condescension.”

Right, Andrew. I’m sure the Aussies don’t see it as triumphalism or condescension. *cough*

Because they have been so very dominant in the series, England haven’t actually had to have too many innings’. However, I think I’m right in saying that their knock in the current match in Sydney was their best at 644 (A$644 = £415) – knocking about a third off the cheapest flights to London.

Throw in some cricket lessons for them as well and I think that’s a pretty good deal.