Remember the good old days, when flying on an airplane was special, and air travelers were treated with dignity and respect? Giggling children were escorted by charming air hostesses (or hosts) to the bulkhead to meet the captain and be given a set of wings of their very own, flights were usually empty enough for people to sprawl out across a row for a nap, and air hostesses were gracious and accommodating. Now, we are all treated like criminals, and these bloated, unprofitable, crooked organizations that are supposed to be service-oriented and market-driven are sitting around collecting welfare and treating their customers like shit.
It’s a service industry. Most airlines seem to be ignorant of that fact, especially the stewardesses on America West/ US Airways, which I flew for the first and last time ever. I explained to the ladies that their rude attitudes were the real problem, and I cannot understand how a service industry organization expects to stay in business very long if their front line employees are more inclined toward prison guard duty than hostessing.
The real problem here is government subsidies. As long as American corporations can just expect to get bailed out every time their industry gets a tiny bit competitive, they lack the necessary impetus to compete. So now we can find postal worker types working as flight “attendants,” but with the added bonus that they can have people arrested and sent to FEDERAL prison for getting mad at them. I suspect some of them work hard to push people to this edge, but then it’s proably quite easy to do so. After being dehumanized by the whole security check in procedure, forced to listen to fucking TELEVISION at a nauseating volume (audible even through noise-cancelling earbuds), as well as a constant stream of shouting flight announcements and reminders of the obvious (the walkway is about to end, prepare to step off the walkway…don’t leave your bags unattended…etc…), anyone would be at the brink of insanity.
Which is why a genteel, welcoming flight crew is what would skyrocket any airline into the top of the market. If Jet Blue or Song would have gotten me there, I would have chosen them. They know how to treat their CUSTOMERS. Yes, they too are falling on hard times, and I am very close to going back to strictly flying Continental, as they have sterling customer service and decent fares.
Rant off. So tell me, readers, which airlines have consistently served you well? Which American airports have been the least unbearable? I know now to avoid flying through Phoenix, as it is not only poorly laid out, but the loud TV’s and “public” wifi that was inoperable, made it very unpleasant.
The only way to fly….