Thursday, August 16, 2007

Customer Service: Airlines

I am constantly amazed at the low level of customer service in certain industries. Take, for instance, the airline industry.

On Time Take-Offs
Okay, the last time I was on an airplane, we pulled away from the gate and sat feet from the gate so that we could be counted as "leaving on time." The pilot and FAA may count this as leaving on time, but I am still on the ground, my bladder shrinking to the size of a pinto bean and my overactive imagination wondering how pure this recirculated air is. I swear I sit next to someone with a respiratory disease every time we have to wait on the tarmac. Oh, and I really don't know what a tarmac is, but it sounds aviation-y.

Airline Food
Airline food is the worse food I have ever had – and yes, it is the airline's fault. They could just toss me a piece of fresh fruit and a granola bar and I would be happy. Instead they pick a menu that is bland, that they sometimes have to prepare, and is - what am I looking for - less forgiving than what I really want. Plan simple meals that most of your passengers want.

Airline Fares
Airline industry: simplify your rates schedule. When I looked around the airplane on my last flight, I knew that of the 130 passengers on board, we had perhaps 80 different ticket costs. Okay, perhaps a few less, but it was a bunch of different ticket costs. If I had the time and IQ to figure out how to get the best deal, I would not care about this. But I am not that smart or industrious. If I traveled more, perhaps I would read Airline Fares for Dummies. But I don’t have the time. When I was younger and had no money, I liked the ideas of complicated rate schedules. They favor the people who have time and energy to figure out the codes – think long distance service when you were a college student.

Airline Hunks/Babes
I have been told that flight attendants were suppose to either be babes (think Coffee, Tea or Me) or hunks (Playgirl letters, circa 1982). Well, I think all of this hullabaloo is fiction. Yeah, the book was based on real experiences – personally I think it was written by some marketer of the airline industry to increase air traffic.

Mile High Club
When I was in high school, I knew several boys who claimed to be part of the mile high club. I think people who claim this status are either lying (99% of them) or are airline pilots and are telling the truth. All that turbulence? Another pilot joining the mile high club. No wonder they want to lock cockpit (ever wonder where they get the name?) doors.


mal said...

Living in Minneapolis we are usually stuck flying North Worst Airlines.

Your airline feeds you? I am impressed all North Worst gives its passengers is an attitude.

Customer service? They forgot the word.

NWA has successfully alienated Passengers, employees and the public, a perfect trifecta.

I really fail to see how they can justify paying themselves (management) a bonus when they were the fools that ran it into bankruptcy to begin with.

Sorry,.,,you hit a real sore spot with me...OH! and those hunky guys? They were usually gay anyway. Patient "Zero" of AIDS fame specifically comes to mind

RWA said...

I agree wholeheartedly. The fares are the worst. I called one afternoon and got a fare; when I called the next morning to book the ticket, the price had increased - by $300.

Are you kidding me?

You are dead on about the flight attendants.

And I really don't see how anybody could get it on in one of those bathrooms. Sheesh.

Advizor said...

I have flown a lot for business, and pre-9-11 it was fun. I'd drive to the airport with just a briefcase and a backpack, get on my plane, and arrive at my job-site in a good mood and usually on time.

Now? I get to the airport 2 hours early because I have to park 5 miles away, I stand in long security lines and talk to under-qualified and over-worked TSA employees, until I get on to an overcrowded plane with chicken sandwiches that defy all description.

I hate travel now. I've even started looking into trains....

And, as for the mile-high club? When I was 19, I watched a couple join the club from across the aisle of a 747, it was very late, they were very drunk, and they thought I was asleep.

Woody ( said...

I am a retired USAF Pilot, with over 20 years of flying time, but, alas, I never had the chance to join "the club". Of course, flying with mostly men in my career certainly limited the opportunities! I definitely agree that the lavatory approach is waaay overrated...but getting naughty under a blanket on a redeye sounds very intriguing...


PS - Camilla, what happened to your erotic story archives postings? I do miss them so...