Saturday, December 29, 2007

Flying During The Holidays

The holidays can be a very stressful time for everyone, but those of us that have to fly can run in to some really interesting challenges. I was supposed to leave on December 24th getting in just in time on Christmas morning. That was the original plan. What happened after that was the most aggravating experience that I've been through. First, my plane was cancelled because it wasn't full. Then the plane that I was switched to was late because someone forgot to order it. When the plane arrived, we made it out to the tarmac twice before going back to the terminal for engine problems. They had to order a part from another city and fly it in. We were taken off of the plane and stood in line for more than an hour to get rerouted and assured that our bags were taken off. When it was my turn to get rerouted, the plane was being re-boarded and I asked to make sure my bag wasn't on it. I was gold that I would need to run down to baggage claim to get it. To make a long story short, they could not reschedule me without 3 or 4 hubs until 12/31 and they lost my bags.

Personally, if I treated my customers the way I was treated I'd be fired, but we are expected to take this with a smile on our face and a "Thank you sir may I have another," attitude. Personally, I spent Boxing Day on the phone with customer service representatives of United and Travelocity voicing in a very professional, polite, and firm way by dissatisfaction with my treatment. So far, I've been offered a $200 coupon towards a future flight. I'm not done, but my story will have to wait until I receive further response.

So why am I writing about this? Because we as consumers need to stand up for our rights in order to make companies change the way they treat people. When voicing complaints, its important to voice expectations in a manner that is firm, but not rude or obnoxious. The idea is to state dissatisfaction without shutting down the lines of communication and if possible get the names of the people involved. Most importantly, don't forget to give kudos to the people who are going above and beyond. Its good karma.