How A Major U.S. Airline Maintains its Competitive Edge

Top of mind for airlines are union contract negotiations, passenger safety, carbon emission regulations, and TSA regulations, to name a few. How does a major U.S. airline navigate these complexities at the state and federal levels? With more than 40,000 employees, more than 3,000 flights per day, 80 destinations, and a stock exchange listing, learn how this airline maintains their competitive edge using a Government Relationship Management (GRM) platform.

Challenge – Staying ahead of policy battles across the country

With large-scale operations in a highly regulated industry, the airline needed a government relations solution that would help them be proactive in abating policy battles happening at both the state and federal levels. Staying on top of the mountain of federal and state legislation and regulation governing airline companies proved daunting. Prior to joining FiscalNote, the eight-person government affairs team at the airline relied mostly on its trade association for legislative and regulatory information affecting the commercial aviation industry. However, they wanted more direct access to the legislative and regulatory process.

The government affairs manager for the airline said the company had been searching for a government relationship management solution that would not only capture information such as policy data and bill text, but also provide stellar customer support. The airline also particularly needed more access to state legislators, who can be harder to build relationships with than their federal counterparts.

“Tracking down contact information is so tough,” she said. “Previous platforms we have used didn’t have a state component.”

Solution – One platform that uses data and analytics to target, contact, and manage GA efforts

The airline implemented FiscalNote’s GRM and has been using it to be more effective and proactive in their policy initiatives. The team uses data automation to collect, filter, and sort legislative and regulatory information– receiving updates on changes as soon as possible. After gathering the data, the airline uses GRM’s predictive analytics on legislation to prioritize the bills they need to focus on and better plan where to allocate resources.

“Sometimes [FiscalNote’s] information is too good,” the government affairs manager said. “The pre-floor prediction and floor action is extremely helpful.”

The team has also been working within the platform to gather and house intel on state sessions. By using GRM’s mailing feature they have access to contact information for every state legislator’s staff allowing them to broaden stakeholder maps. They can also keep a single system of record on communication between the teams and staffers for internal knowledge management and alignment. The pre-filing legislative data within GRM has helped the team get a leg up on preparing for their busy season and the FiscalNote mobile app has kept them up to date on the latest developments while the team is traveling.

As a large company with broad issue priorities spanning aviation, fuel, transportation, labor, and manufacturing, the airline also needed a client success team on standby when turbulence hits. The government affairs team was able to pass information along to FiscalNote’s client success team and have its suggestions quickly implemented on the platform – providing the team the tools necessary to maximize their impact on policy.

“The client success team are rockstars,” the government affairs manager said. ‘I’ve had some fire drills where I needed to get information last minute.”

In those nail-biting moments where last-minute information is crucial, the government affairs manager gave client success a call and received answers to her inbox within 20 minutes.

“It is nice to work with a company that appreciates you,” she said. “I’m a customer service person first and then a capabilities person.”

Results – Better issue targeting and industry leading customer service

FiscalNote’s GRM provides the airline with legislative updates and access to lawmakers in all 50 states, D.C. and Congress, but when the airline needs more in-depth information or special services tailored to their needs, the government affairs team has access to a premium client success team to ensure they don’t miss any updates when it comes to the legislation that matters most– solidifying their competitive edge in the market.

“The customer service these last six months have been unmatched,” the government affairs manager said.

Knowing someone is always on hand with the policy intel they need at a moment’s notice, means the airline’s government affairs team can rest easy and be as effective as possible.

“It’s just been incredible,” she said. “And made my life easier.”