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How My and Your Life Can Be Made Sooo Much Betta!

I’m in a fog, my brain isn’t working, I could not practice this morning and even moving my eyes from one spot to another makes my head hurt, maybe is some sort of virus, I don’t know, what I do know is that this is as good a time as any other, in fact might be the perfect opportunity to share my ideas about all these companies I love, and of which I would like to be in the board of directors.
Why would I like to be on the board of directors?  Three reasons:
a) I love them all
b) I have ideas, big ideas, and they need to hear them because they would make my and every one’s lives better, and
c) I use their services all the time, non stop, in fact there is not a single day that goes by without me checking them up.
So here are the four companies and my FREE IDEAS.
You are welcome guys, take them, use them, see yourselves grow, and…
If you want to put me on the board, remember that I come with this guy, whom I talk to every night and every day, who is a business genius, and whose time is not so easy to get a hold of.  Yeah, there I go bragging again.
ZAPPOS AIRLINES
You don’t believe me, do you?
Zappos is the most amazing online retailer but NOT an airline I hear you say, I thought the same, then I read the book by James’s friends (about super-achievers) in which a whole chapter is dedicated to its CEO.
This is what he says when Josh and Camile ask him if he has a vision for the future:

“In 30 years I would like to have an airline with the best customer service ever”

Or something like that, I can’t be bothered to look at the actual quote because my brain is totally gone today, but I will tell you one thing, when it comes to airlines I light up!
Let’s do it Tony!  (Tony is the CEO of Zappos)
( I talk to him in Twitter on a first name basis, why not?)
(We are building an airline for Christ sake!)
My dad, handsome guy
as a young co-pilot
My dad was a pilot which means I am totally terrified of flying of course, however, when it comes to miles on the air I have put my ten thousand million hours and I know instantly what is good customer service and what is not.
Here are my 17 ideas for Zappos Air:
Don’t Do Short Flights. In the beginning do only long haul flights, it is easier to please people on long haul as there is more time, you get the chance to lease bigger airplanes and there is less turbulence in bigger planes, which is important to me.  Also, maybe this way everybody can get their own TV screen, power cord, pampering station.
Don’t charge for extra bags, give me “something extra” instead and charge more for the ticket (I don’t know maybe I can ask for a rose to be waiting for me at the seat, or a warm towel charge me for that). In other words, transfer the cost to something I want. 
If you are charging me for the bag I need to take with me cause there is no option, at least make me feel like I am not really paying for it, besides, you will be ahead of all the other airlines and for cheap.  

Dare to Redesign Economy into Executive Economy Everyone hates economy, but , I get it, there is limited space on the plane. Some frustrated frequent flyers are already thinking of new designs, check this article:  do it, or  get a think tank doing it from now on,  there has GOT to be a better way.  Have me test it, I will tell you.
He makes some good points. It could fly Tony, whadayouthink?
At the minimum:
  • Lease ONLY these aircraft: Boeing 767-300 or better (777 or 747) OR Airbus 340 OR 380.  
  • Yes you heard me right, the Airbus380 is huge, but it could easily do NY to California and all international flights and people will LOVE YOU FOR IT because even for economy there is room to stretch out and strike some yoga poses. Let’s face it, we all need a bit of yoga in long haul flights. 
She is beautiful and has room to do yoga in EVERY class
  • Make sure the seat rests can be moved up and down, in all classes, or at least in economy.
  • Allow me to buy TWO economy flight seats (together) if I want to, or three or four! why would anyone interfere with that? Silly really.
  • and put a blinking electric plug for everyone, we all use devices now-a-days!
Treat me amazingly well whether I fly first class, business or in the back.  Since this is 30 years in the future, make sure to only lease airplanes with two entrances, which they all have if you lease the ones I said you should.  One entrance in the front and one for the mid/back of the plane, that way EVERYONE gets the special treatment (entrance line).
Juice and Cookies For Everyone in the Plane:  Offer EVERYONE in the plane juice and water (including tomato, and apple juice, and orange juice and water) before the flight, and a warm cookie before landing. Make it chocolate chip. Nobody will resist.  If anyone asks for two, and by anyone I mean me, say: yes! of course!
I believe that children are the future:  Give them a little bag with crayons and paper and a little something extra with the Zappos theme.  See Virgin, they do it well.
For a Few More Dollars Offer These On Board in EVERY FLIGHT and to EVERYONE:
In fact, I should be able to reserve these as I buy the ticket!
1.- Noise Cancellation Bose Headsets: my goodness these are lovely! Charge 30$ if you have to, but do it!- People will get addicted to your airline at once.

Life will never be the same once you try one of these, trust me.
Click on the image to check them out in detail.

2.- Warm towel before dinner (this could be free really)

3.- A GOOD DINNER (not that crap that is offered these days, I know it can be done because the flight attendants my dad had in the 70s did it and in every class, not just business/first.
4.- Tooth paste and brush.
5.- Eye mask (three kinds (three prices) some scented (I’m thinking relaxed lavender, sweet dreams ginger, and totally cool cucumber), going up in quality, going up in softness, let me choose!
6.- Extra pillow
7.- Extra blanket (this should be free as it can get cold up there)
8.- Disposable slippers and socks 
9.- Personal Ipad
Honor miles from EVERYBODY. You be the first airline to dare do that.  See the rest follow in disbelief at loosing so many customers after enjoying your impeccable customer service.  Make your Frequent Fliers miles into an amazing app for the android and apple too, just like American is trying to do, slowly.
Make a deal with Zipcar/Avis to have my ride waiting for me as soon as I land, no lines, no signing any old papers (I mean, really Budget? seriously Hertz?), just scan my card, my phone, or my voucher on the car and let me GO!
Get a 24 Hour coffee station in EVERY SINGLE airport on your terminal so when I land at 2 AM, and before I slip into my Zipcar, I can get some caffeine in the nervous system. Even better, put two, one while I wait for bags and one as a drive-through outside the Zipcar station.
The Zara can wait, the Starbucks cannot
Make the lounge for Business and First REALLY SPECIAL – Of course you will have computers with FAST Internet connection here, and nice seats, that is a given BUT what could make it extra special would be:
  • Keep the showers clean, always, and with nice products. And yes I mean showers, you must have them no exceptions, it means the world of difference.
  • Have some totally reclined sofas with curtains around to give the feeling of privacy and allow for some welcome zzz
  • Offer massages (charge extra, that’s fine) and mani-pedi, make it so we an book it in advance too, for the Zappos Spa.  Give me points for using it if you charge, or miles.
  • Give some paleo and vegetarian options at the buffet, and tell me that it is paleo and vegetarian, I will know you are making an effort.  Half the entrepreneurs of this country eat paleo these days and it is them that will be flying you if you are cool like that.
  • Ease up on the alcohol and offer more EVOLUTION (real veggies + fruits) juice or SPARTOS (good protein) water. 
  • Make the lounge Google Style, model it after their offices with toys for adults and an environment that encourages creativity
  • For people who want to watch TV limit them to one TV room, not everyone wants to hear lousy CNBC, not even those men and women that pretend to be so into the markets, they are not, matter of fact, many of us would rather enjoy the silence.
  • Offer a quiet room with a water fall, that’s for me.
  • Put an enclosed room for children to play, so they can scream to their hearts contents and have fun without everyone having to get stressed out.
Airport lounge Google Style
Less TV more creativity
You Know That Speech The Pilot Gives?  Change it. For every flight. Make it fresh. Make it real. Don’t tell me about the frigging 40 thousand feet up in the air, I don’t want to know. Just tell me that we have amazing things on the menu, a delicious cookie before we land, nice warm slippers and comfy seats to relax and enjoy the flight.
You know when the pilots say “let us know if we can make your flight more comfortable”? Well, follow up on that promise, show me that you mean it. Have the attendants ask individually!   Don’t lie to us.  Otherwise don’t say that.
Pay Your Pilots and Attendants Well:  and use the Zappos model to come up with the Zappos Air values, oh, and include me (customer and board member) within it, I have ideas.
Go Into Seat Guru.  Put photos and all the info you can about your planes in it, stand out. Shh! Nobody is doing this. I know! Uuuuuunnnn-believable.
One Last Thing: Internet Connection FREE in all flights and for all.  It kind of goes without saying.  It’s 2043 after all.
Talk to me about figuring out the “private flight thing” so that everyone can do it for a reasonable price. I have more.
SEAT GURU
I love Seat Guru, I visit it every day,  I’m a Seat Guru disciple.
I like to click on the seats and look at the advantages and disadvantages of each plane ride. I never book a flight without consulting it.
But it needs some improvements if I dare say, these are 5 that I can think of right away:
    Let’s get more specific Seat Guru, we will help
  • Don’t bulk the seats and tell me that the whole row is “standard“. I don’t believe that. I know it is convenient, but open it up for people to give individual ratings for each seats on top of your “standard” thing. Then they can share their thoughtful comments too, which leads me to:
Let’s put all seats of all airplanes on Pinterest!
You know who you are
  • Get Social: Allow me to Tweet or Facebook or Pinterest or FourSquare share a seat as well as add photos for each seat with complaints and suggestions and ideas and all the rest.  We gotta talk in this society, we must!
  • I need to see a photo of each one of all of the planes listed.  That needs to happen, like, yesterday! Photos of the inside of the aircraft, outside, under the plane, plane flying, and more.  I love planes.  A lot of people do too.
  • I love that you tell me the witdth and length of the seats, however, we need to Differentiate CLEARLY what is a lie flat seat and what is not.  Your “recline” or “lie flat” qualifications for business and first class are very confusing right now, you need a better way of classifying seats.  Tell me the angle to which each seat reclines, even in the back of the plane, and including the one with limited reclining, what does that mean? 10 degrees? or 25? It makes a difference, we want to know.
  • Keep It Updated Recently you told me there would be a power outlet in a flight I was taking, Seat Guru, and it was not there… No plug! I did not mind, the bose airphones kept me zzz-ing the whole ride, and I still love you, but others may mind. You know how people can get.
ZIPCAR / AVIS
Gosh Zipcar is my favorite company in the whole world.  No hazzle, I have a key in my wallet with which I can unlock any car that is around me.  And I find the cars from my toy, meaning my phone.
Yes I call my Galaxy Note III my “toy”.  I play with it 12/7.  Get it? 12 hours 7 days a week.  
Yeah, I want them when I land!  You hear me Zipcar?
PROBLEM WAS… Zipcar was not in airports, or in many cities. Ouch. Painful. BUT now they’ve been aquired by Avis, so no more problem!  Avis cars are in all of those places. Smile.  
This is what we need, pronto!
  • Dear Avis Who Has Now Acquired Zipcar, Congratulations, now, you already have cars in all airports, PLEASE make them Zipcars. I HATE LINES!  and I hate having to sign papers, what is this infatuation with papers?  Let me get on the car right away, I can book it with my internet connection as I am flying, see ZAPPOS AIRLINES above, they will be contacting you.  YOU NEED TO DO THIS YESTERDAY!  Time is of the essence, Hertz is going to wake up any minute now.
  • Don’t lie to me on the insurance thing, and strike a better deal with Lloyds or Geico or whomever it is you are talking to, I mean, c’mon! 40 bucks a day for full insurance?  Who am I? Beyonce?
  • Let me return the car in EVERY AVIS location currently in existence, only do it: zipcar style, I don’t want to talk to anyone, tell me online or through the app and offer me to Tweet that I just returned it, and loved it.
  • UNLOCK CARS FROM TOY: Just like Starbucks lets me pay for my coffee with the toy (Android phone), let me do the same to unlock zipcars, no difference between the plastic card and the bar code.
  • GIVE ME REWARDS. I love seeing those little stars filling up my Starbucks virtual cup every time I get a latte with my phone. You, Zipcar/Avis, could give me a card getting filled with little cars, and for every 10 rentals I get one hour of free car-rental, I don’t know, something like it, call me and we will talk.
  • Continue to do everything Zipcar does now, like rent by the hour, even minute.
AMTRAK
I am sorry to break this to you Amtrak, but, we gotta sell you.  
You cannot be managed by the government because your trains do not run on time, there is no place for luggage, your “business class” for long rides (like NY to Pittsburg) sucks (it is just a small seat and there is not a a chance to get a room like there is for some long haul train rides) (like NYC to Miami)… Not good.
So here are five ideas for you to get us started:
  • We got to get you private. Enough said. 
  • Once private, get back those luxury train cars you discontinued, I mean, what were you thinking?
    Amtrak discontinued these beauties, this is why they need, no,
    “MUST” go private. We need cars like this one back,
    let’s bring the fun back to train rides, and charge for it too!
  • Any train ride longer than 3 hours needs a flat bed and any train ride longer than 6 needs a room where people can sleep.
We can do SO MUCH BETTER for a TRAIN BUSINESS CLASS!
  • You seriously need a Facebook / Twitter Campaign with photos of families having a ball traveling in large luxury bedrooms (read extra $$$)  from NY to California, getting America closer, getting families re-united, teenagerd drooling in small bunker beds etc.
    The current Amtrack Bedroom. Small.   🙁
  • I’m about to do my first long haul train ride next month, I will surely have a LOT more ideas after it.   Be prepared.
Anywho, as you can see I am an idea machine today, a terminator of brain cells exploding in full form, ready for that board appointment.  Just say the word you guys!

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2 Responses to How My and Your Life Can Be Made Sooo Much Betta!

  1. Claudia February 28, 2013 at 11:59 pm #

    Great suggestions–makes me miss flying–I don't get to much these days, but I agree what you said about Amtrak. I just charted my trip to the City for the weekend, and it's actually more convenient for me to drive the 2 hrs to Metro North (I'll go to Fairfield, where my car should be waiting in one piece when I return) than it is for me to take Amtrak a few miles down the road-

  2. Claudia March 3, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

    Oh brother. I've been reading James' blog forever, and now that I stumbled upon this I'm going to have to read yours TOO! What are you two doing to me!?