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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Collins

Mailman Journal: 3 Travel Observations During My Trip to America

Updated: Jun 4, 2019

After a whirlwind 3 city, 10 day tour of productive meetings and client visits, I leave you with a few impressions of my travels to America.  Expectations and Technology were a big theme for this trip.  Here were the 3 biggest observations:

1. Western airline service needs some work

Coupled with just an extremely old fleet of airplanes where armrests aren’t retractable, you end up with a long tedious experience all the way to the United States.

Case and point:

During dinner service, Stewardess’ would just blankly repeat English to Chinese travelers that clearly didn’t understand, leaving them struggling to pick between the equally tasteless chicken with noodles or beef with rice.  You would think by now, a simple laminated print card for Chinese travelers to review their options would be in the works. Nope.  Patience was tough to buy and good service was even more impossible.

2. Cabs are becoming more and more obsolete

Convenience supersedes standing on the sidewalk trying to hail down a cab.  It’s no surprise that the cab industry is up in arms over companies like Uber and Lyft.  I’ll tell you what though, choosing convenience, reliability, and fantastic service was an easy decision.  I truly believe Uber drivers are just more incentivized, people are happier working on their own schedules, and happier people generally offer better service.

However, one cool add-on, for us abroad travelers who may not have cell service when we land, is to create a voice message system with drivers so it’d be way easier to spot each other.  If you’re reading this Uber, take a page out of Wechat and integrate that feature in.

3. The opportunity for Wechat Pay to target Chinese Travelers is never more apparent

Just to throw on my digital marketing hat, getting Wechat pay into the US market is a no brainer when targeting Chinese travelers.  Anytime I saw a line with people waiting to buy a ticket or walking past the hundreds of people trying to scalp comedy tickets, you have a persistent reminder of the convenience we have back in China with Wechat pay.  While western markets use Apple or Android pay, over 350 million people of the 650 million active users on Wechat use Wechat Pay in China. This feature would allow you to integrate the possibility to buy broadway tickets, movies, or hotel bookings before you even get to your destination. It would change the game for the travel tourism market.

All in all, we had a great trip but there are still plenty of opportunities to create a better experience for travelers, especially in China.

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