FlySafair TV Ad based on Real Stories
We believe the reason that FlySafair offers a superior service to our customers, is because we all genuinely love what we do. Having the privilege to connect our customers with the people, opportunities, and places they love, is what gives our work meaning.
When we sought to make an advert for our company we decided to pull on some of our real stories to give South Africa a picture of what we enjoy every day. These are the stories behind the stories in our latest TV ad.
Our commercial ends with a poignant scene of an engineer kissing an airplane goodnight while saying "Thank you my girl".
In 2016 the team at FlySafair lost an amazing leader. Wimpie Davidson was Director of Operations at Safair and a huge inspiration to many people at the airline. On 1 September that year Wimpie passed away after a brief struggle with illness. It was a very difficult day for everyone, because he was a huge part of the heart and spirit of our company.
Wimpie loved flying. It was in his blood and he had spent most of his working career in the aviation industry. On the odd occasion, aircraft can get a little fussy, giving indication errors and making it challenging to keep the schedule that we promise our customers we will stick to. As you know, on-time performance is incredibly important to us, and so whenever it's challenged, our teams get very worked up.
Once the challenge of the day had been solved, Wimpie would always take the team aside to debrief. At the end of the debriefing session he would make a promise to everyone: "Don't worry guys, tonight I'll go to the hangar and kiss all the girls (aircraft) good night, and in the morning, they'll all behave".
We remember Wimpie for many things, but that picture of him kissing the aircraft goodnight is an image that we will keep in our hearts forever. It's a perfect illustration of the kind of love that we all have for the work that we do.
If you look carefully, you'll find that one of the aircraft in our fleet has the registration ZS-WMP. We especially requested this registration in loving memory of our hero, Wimpie.
Lost Teddy Bear
One of the stories within our commercial is about a little girl who was travelling with her mom. She left her beloved teddy bear on one of our aircraft and our teams managed to save him and reunite the happy pair.
The real story took place in on 4 December 2014 on a flight from Joburg to Cape Town. A young customer boarded his flight with his trusty travelling companion "My Hippo". Mr Hippo was a little large to stay on his lap during take-off so his mom had to help to stow Mr Hippo in the special Overhead Bear Transport Compartment. During flight, Mr Hippo was allowed to come out and ended up finding a seat on the airplane for a while before he had to return to the Overhead Hippo Transport Compartment for landing.
On arrival our young customer was so excited to get off the plane and see Cape Town, that poor Mr Hippo got left behind in the Overhead Hippo Transport Compartment where he was discovered by one of our friendly attendants. Unfortunately, by that stage the airplane was already starting departure back to Johannesburg, so the team tucked Mr Hippo away safely during his flight to Johannesburg.
By the time that Mr Hippo arrived in Johannesburg, his daddy had realised that he was missing and was absolutely devastated. Luckily, the FlySafair teams were able to confirm for him that Mr Hippo was safe and sound. Mr Hippo boarded a third flight to go back down to Cape Town, where our airport teams made sure he was reunited with his owner.
Old Mr Hippo had quite the adventure that day, traversing the length of our country three times! Fortunately, all is well that ends well and dear Mr Hippo was there that night to cuddle up in bed with his owner.
It's little things like this that we understand matter to our customers, and going the extra mile is what makes the difference. When our teams found Mr Hippo, they knew that he was a beloved family member. It would have been very easy to drop him off at the OR Tambo Lost Property, but nobody would have known where he was, and he and his owner would have had to wait several days before they could be reunited.
Understanding the needs of our customers is part of what we do and being able to reunite Mr Hippo and his owner was not only a great day for them, but it was a great day for us too.
In March 2017 we signed up as the trusted, official domestic carrier to the Springboks and we've had an incredible time with the team ever since.
Our national team is made up of an incredible group of humble and kind guys. They are always incredibly polite and friendly, and it's been our privilege to get to know the guys as we take them to their games and other appointments.
One of the things that always impresses us is the way in which the guys always make time for their fans without frustration or hesitation. Like us, the Boks love what they do, and we are so proud to be aligned to them.
Meeting Your Grandchild
In January 2018 our call center received a phone call from a very excited and very nervous lady. She had booked a flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg in order to be there for the birth of her first grandchild - a little boy. It was obviously a very exciting time for her and it was also pretty clear that she wasn't a very frequent flyer.
To make matters worse, the little guy had decided to arrive earlier than expected. Our customer had clearly been planning ahead for this trip, but her new grandson had thrown a spanner in the works by arriving early and she wanted to get up to see him, but wasn't quite sure what to do.
Ellerser on our team took the call and immediately got the full story from this lady, who was starting to panic a little. Our teams speak to customers all the time in different situations and Ellerser knew exactly how to chat to this lady. She helped the customer change her flight arrangements and processed all the necessary changes while answering a number of questions. She advised the customer that the knitted teddy she had made and the fluffy lion that she had purchased could be carried on board as hand luggage but that her knitting needles would need to be checked into her hold bag. She also spoke her through what to expect when arriving at OR Tambo which can be a pretty intimidating place.
After her trip the customer wrote back to us to express her thanks for the help that Ellerser had given her and to tell us all about the wonderful new addition to their family.
Most of the time, the calls we get into the call center are about simple changes and queries that customers have. Now and then, we get let in on their stories and it makes us appreciate how people travel for such different reasons, and how what we do every day opens these opportunities up to our customers. It is such a privilege and it gives our work so much meaning. This is why we love what we do.
FlySafair has been rated the most on-time airline in the world. This rating is made by OAG which is an official international aviation data management company. They get statistics from airports all over the world and compile these statistics. An airline has to be a certain minimum size in terms of the monthly number of flights to qualify for consideration, and we have been awarded top spot for two consecutive seasons which gets us a five-star rating.
Being on time is important to us because it shows that we respect you, our passenger, and the commitment that we make when we say that we will operate a flight at a specific time. It's also important to us though, because we know that it gives the service we operate meaning.
Our being on time can mean the difference between making that amazing job interview, or running late and creating a bad impression. It can mean the difference between seeing someone before they go, or missing out on those final moments. It can mean the difference between seeing your little ones before bedtime, or not getting to spend waking time with them.
Delays will happen. We'd love to promise you that they never will, but as the most on-time airline in the world, our record is only about 95%. 5% of the time, things do delay us: weather will be bad, runway traffic will be backed up, or something else will get in our way. What we can promise you though, is that our teams will always do everything that they can, to get you away as soon as possible, and to be as on-time as we possibly can.
Working in aviation demands long hours. It demands that our crew, our airport teams, our maintenance teams, our operations desk managers, our call center agents and even some of our executives, work strange and long hours - hours that keep them away from their families and loved ones. These hours get even longer when things go wrong.
At the end of the day we are not only on time because we take the utmost pride in what we do, and because we care about getting our passengers away on time, but because we also have kids of our own who we want to kiss goodnight before they go to sleep.
So the next time you need to fly somewhere, think about who you choose to fly with and ask whether you believe that they care about getting you to where you need to be, on time, as much as we do.