southwest airlines sundaysky video flight message rapid rewards tnooz
5 years ago

Southwest Airlines demos video versions of flight confirmation e-mails

Southwest Airlines, which carries more passengers on domestic US routes than any other airline, may begin sending customers video versions of flight confirmation e-mails that confirm details on a flight’s departure time, gate number, and arrival time.

The videos may also attempt to upsell the customer on ancillary services, such as hotel stays.

The proof-of-concept demo—see it, below—includes graphics with the passenger’s name, animation of a plane taking off and landing, and a computer-generated voice-over narration.

The video was presented in late October at Engagement Expo, a marketing conference, by Jonathan Clarkson, director of Rapid Rewards.

Still in the discussion phase

Katie McDonald, a communications manager at Southwest, responded to our query about the video with this statement:

We are in the very, very early stages of considering a smart video strategy, and we are not far enough along in that thinking to even comment on what that might look like for Southwest & Rapid Rewards.

We certainly wouldn’t want to create a perception/expectation among our members that it is something they will soon see from us.

southwest airlines sundaysky video flight message rapid rewards tnooz

An idea the whole industry will watch

As proposed, the video version of flight confirmation e-mails would be powered by SmartVideo, a product from US digital marketing firm SundaySky.

Under the proposal, Southwest would feed customers’ billing information into SundaySky’s SmartVideo technology. Then, using an opt-in direct marketing solution by PossibleNow, it would e-mail or text the link to the video to the passenger.

The video would show a plane’s flight path on a map and identify specifically how many points a customer could earn in Rapid Rewards, Southwest Airlines’ frequent flyer program, if he or she purchased a rental car or another ancillary product immediately.  (“Upgrade to Business Select, only for $56, get 2600 Reward Points.”)


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Sean O'Neill

About the Writer :: Sean O'Neill

Sean O’Neill had roles as a reporter and editor-in-chief at Tnooz between July 2012 and January 2017.



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  1. Franco

    I don’t get the point of this. Confirmation emails do the trick, what’s the need to suddenly send a video instead? If I had to listen for two minutes to this guy’s voice I would be annoyed to say the least!

  2. AirBoss

    Lotsa bandwidth for not much value add… Should we, just because we can? Ding, ding, ding….

    • Dennis Schaal


      Good question. I’m sure the airline will focus-test it before they run it.

      Many passengers are visually oriented. Having a personalised video might thrill them.


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