February 2011 | In our recent “Innovative Airlines” report we identified airlines that are putting an effort to differentiate themselves with inventive and relevant services. On the 11th spot of our ranking was South Korea-based Asiana Airlines, which has been covered several times on airlinetrends.com because of thoughtful services such as ‘PreMom’ and ‘Happy Mom’.
Asiana ‘Coat Keeping Service’
Since 1999, Asiana also has been offering a ‘Coat Keeping Service’ at Seoul Incheon Airport during the winter season (December to March) so passengers can travel light to sunnier destinations. Asiana’s First and Business class passengers as well as members of its frequent flyer program (including Star Alliance members) can use the service. Passengers can check their coat with Asiana for free for 5 days, after which 100 miles will be deducted per additional day. Asiana has set up a keeping room at Incheon which can store four thousand coats simultaneously and says that in the past 12 years around 150 thousand passengers have left their coat.
Korean Air ‘Coat Storage Service’
Rival South Korean airline Korean Air has been providing a similar ‘coat storage service’ since 2008 for passengers leaving South Korea travelling to warmer destinations such as Hawaii, Australia and countries in South-East Asia. Korean Air provides the service to all passengers travelling internationally from Korea with either Korean Air or a code-sharing flight. However, after a five-day complimentary storage, a fee of KRW2,500 (USD 2.25, EUR 1,65) per day applies.
Korean Air has contracted the coat storage service to Hanjin Express (part of the same Hanjin conglomerate as Korean Air) and arranged a room to store 2,500 coats. Passengers’ coats will be hung on a sturdy plastic hanger wrapped in plastic sheet during storage. According to Korean Air, an average 250 passengers per day have used the service during the winter of 2009, up from 130 in 2008.
A quick inventarisation around the world learns that Japan Airlines also offers a coat storage at Japan’s four major airports (Tokyo Narita, Haneda, Osaka Kansai and Nagoya Chubu), but only as a paid service. In other parts of the world, airports in regions with cold winters, such as Munich Airport, Helsinki Airport and Calgary Airport have paid ‘coat and luggage storage’ departments. However, Asiana and Korean Air are the only airlines that have turned the coat keeping service into a partly free amenity, while at Edmonton Airport (Canada) free coat storage is offered to those that use the valet parking service.