View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Do You Want Airline Tickets With Your Postage Stamps?

Looking for New Business
With the rise of fax and email, the Emirates Post must be facing a diminishing business in the selling of postage stamps.

In recent days Emirates Post has done other deals so now you can pay your gas and water bills at the Post Office. It looks like they are looking for other ways they can fill in their idle moments.

Airmail Synergy
With Dubai’s first budget airline, flyDubai getting off the ground, enterprising Emirates Post has come up with the nifty idea of becoming the airline’s agents. To book your flights, change your reservations, make your seating arrangements and order a blueberry muffin to stave off your hunger until you get to Damascus, you simply trot along to the Post Office.

Would You Like Fries With That?
When I was a University student I had a part time job in a menswear shop. An experienced salesman taught me some good lessons about selling. He said, “If a man comes into the shop looking for some trousers and you are ready to close the deal, always say or ask, “You’ll be wanting a new belt to go with your trousers?” "You'll need some new socks?" This tactic worked 90% of the time and sometimes I sold, not only a new tie with the new shirt but a new coat and sometimes a new suit!

What works in a clothes shop will work in the Emirates Post Office so look out for this line: “And you’ll want some airline tickets to go with your postage stamps?” Or when you are told the cost of posting goods to Alexandria, the assistant might say, “We’ve got a special airline ticket of Dh350 to Egypt. Save your money on the stamps! Why don’t you buy an airline seat and take the package yourself?”

flyDubai Innovation
flyDubai is seeking to appear very different from budget airlines like Sharjah’s Air Arabia and there’s a hint of Virgin’s innovative style about the new carrier. They are touting ‘fair fares’—with no paper tickets (‘why waste paper?’), only pay for what you use (food etc), if you want to decide where you sit on the plane you pay Dh5 for the choice, and if you want more leg room you can buy a more spacious seat for another Dh50.

In the early days when Virgin was billing itself as different and fun in every way, the steward said in her safety spiel on a flight I took, "Just remember that this is a No Smoking flight so if you want to light up, please step outside for a few minutes!"

In this season of recession when every airline is offering specials, it will be fascinating to see how flyDubai flies. Ras al Khaimah has knocked its airline on the head which is an honest and courageous decision. The Fujairah airport is currently stitching up a deal with three airlines to fly from the eastern emirate. There’s a lot of flux among UAE airlines at the moment.

Got a Review?
Do let us have a review if you experience flyDubai. I’d love to hear from anyone that buys their airline tickets from Emirates Post. I hope the new teamwork speeds up the queues at the Post Office. One day Emirates Post will be selling a big range of products and it may be difficult to buy your stamps from them.

Why Women in the Emirates Are Smoking More Shisha, ETE.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: flyDubai and Emirates Post are a new team.