We all take flying for granted. There are rules that we follow and we expect a certain level of expertise to be offered by the airline staff, ground crews and flight crews of our airlines. However, we often forget how much of a logistical nightmare air travel really is. Next time you try to get the kids in the minivan for a trip down to your local park, imagine that you need to herd 10-20 times as many people and that they all have strange belongings that they must have with them.
Now don’t get me wrong; I am not trying to suggest that the person checking you in is some sort of saint, all I am trying to say is: Try putting yourself in their shoes for a while.
I heard one of the most honest announcements of all time at Gen Mitchell airport in Milwaukee a few months back. A flight to New York had been delayed due to inclement weather and flight control had not pushed back the subsequent flight. The person working the gate for that subsequent flight got on the PA near the time of boarding and warned the passengers that their flight was likely going to delayed, which it ended up being. That is the kind of honesty that I admire, the kind that sets expectations so that customers are not surprised and dissapointed.
A few days earlier a flight I took was about 20 minutes late to board. This is not a big deal in my book. What bothered me was that even after the boarding time had passed, no update was given and the time for boarding displayed remained the same. That just seems like an insult to customers’ intelligence.
If I could put my, and I believe many others’ expectations into a single word, it would be: Respect. Respect me enough not to show me incorrect information. Respect me enough to just go ahead and tell me when a flight is going to be late. I don’t think that is too much to ask.
A frustrated traveler