Do we have similar brand / quality mismatches?

April 27, 2014

This April we embarked on a 3 generation family odyssey to Italy. An epic quest involving 10 family members ranging in age from 8 to 73.  

And we flew Aeroflot.

Our route took us from JFK to Moscow to Rome. Seven days later we flew back from Venice to Moscow to NYC.

Why would we fly to Italy via Russia?   

Three reasons:  money, money, and money. The family saved almost $10 thousand bucks flying Aeroflot. The roundtrip tickets were closer to $700 than $1,700. What a bargain.

Why am I sharing my family’s Aeroflot details?  

Mostly because Aeroflot turned out to be not only cheap, but pretty amazing.

The flights were all on time. The airplane, a wide-body Airbus A330, was brand new. The airport terminal in Moscow, Terminal D at Sheremetyevo, was modern and full of amenities.

Every seat on the airplane had its own entertainment center, with tons of free movies and other other content. They even fed us two hot meals.

There is a huge mismatch between the Aeroflot brand and the Aeroflot experience.

Nobody I spoke with before our trip seemed to think that flying on Aeroflot through Moscow to Italy was a good idea. But it worked out fine.

Do we have examples in higher ed of huge mismatches between brand and quality?

Are there colleges and universities that offer a compatible product to well-known institutions at way lower costs, but are yet still viewed as bad bets?

What is the Aeroflot of higher ed?


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