Fasten Your Seat Belt: Lean Airlines Ahead

Fasten Your Seat Belt: Lean Airlines Ahead

September 4, 2018

Airlines have started to implement lean operations concepts to cut costs and improve customer experiences.  The article applies lean service operations by recommending a ten-point checklist to common aspects of airline travel.

One tip: get rid of the problematic “box” often used to size carry-on luggage. Because gate agents know the box isn’t a good judge of what bags will fit, they use their own (variable) judgment instead. Instead, the authors recommend a height line marked on the poles at the boarding line.

Check out the article for other tips, and an engaging, interactive model.

This post is based on the McKinsey article, Does your airline still cross seat belts? A ten-point lean checklist for leaders, by Alex Dichter, Robin Riedel, Ron Ritter, and Steve Saxon, August 2018. Image source: Gene Chutka/E+/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. Explore the interactive model in the article. Which of the ten items is likely to provide the most productivity improvement?  Which of the ten items is likely to cost the most to implement?

Guidance: Students should review the concepts of service delivery, service quality, and lean operations.  Suggest having students rank order the most productive points listed along Continue reading

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