Have the Arilines Given Up
June 29, 2007
I've been on the road for the last couple of days, so I apologize to my one reader for not posting. After having yet another awful airline experience, you have to believe that most of the airline industry has given up.
Take Northwest Airlines . They take off from Memphis knowing that there are 3 hours delays into LaGuardia in New York. What a surprise that after flying for 5 hours on a scheduled 2 hour flight we get diverted to Dulles airport at 1AM. After announcing on the plane that they will provide hotel and meals, they rescind the offer once you get off the plane "due to weather." They tell us to go to Northwest Airlines gate 33 to get rebooked, and then the Northwest agent never shows up at the gate and the one who told us to go there disappears (or should i say escaped). I call the Northwest Airlines 800# and after entering all the requested information to the voice response system, it then proceeds to tell me that not only are all agents busy, but they are so busy that they cannot take my call.
On the US Airways (USAir) shuttle recently they canceled my $500 flight between New York and Washington. The shuttle leaves every hour between the two cities. Instead of just re-booking everyone automatically, they made us exit the plane, wait on long lines and rebook ourselves. I think their new tagline should be "USAir, We Don't Care"
Now for me I can manage. I quickly called the companies that still care such as Marriott to book a room (although the hotel that was 18 miles away from the airport was really 30) and Hertz (Hertz was flawless with their Gold Service).
The people I wonder about are those that do not have the means or ability to adjust. There was an elderly Korean couple on the plane that could not understand what was going on. Luckily I was traveling with someone that knows Korean and even then they couldn't convince the couple that unlike the great Korean airlines, Northwest was just going to leave them there...no luggage...no help....no rebooking.
There is definitely a business opportunity here for someone to figure this out. As for the airlines, they should just admit they don't care, stop advertising and just admit that as long as they get you somewhere safely, they've done their job. At least my expectations would match the level of service delivered.