Why the airlines are tanking

Over and above the rising cost of fuel, the airline industry has more than lost its way.  I’m talking about the overall customer experience.  In the last few months of travel, my experiences have been nothing short of terrible.  Late flights, missed connections, no explanations, no help.  Now I understand that stuff happens when traveling for business or pleasure.  But really, how can an industry who relies upon its passengers to make money lose the entire concept of the customer experience? 

Jet Blue is among the exceptions.  When they screw up, they acknowledge this to their passengers and entire customer base.  This is something I appreciate.  I have not been on Southwest so I cannot put them in this category. 
Two of my recent experiences were both with US Air.  One was a missed connection for the last flight out to Boston for the evening.  They kept making promises about most of us “should” make our connection.  But then when we didn’t, there were no apologies or details.  They just handed us rebooked tickets for the next morning and said, well you can either stay at a hotel or remain in the airport overnight. No information was provided about local hotel numbers, which would have been enormously helpful.  Fun.  You’re on your own.  See you in the morning.

The second US Air experience was an overbooked flight.  The experience was fraught with anxious passenger energy as they kept moving some passengers aside while boarding, and boarding others. No explanations, no frills.  Just “please step aside Ms. Grant”…  Then they closed the jetway door, which is a clear indication the plane is taking off without me and 20 other passengers.  All we heard was lots of typing and a heartless courtesy “We’ll be with you as soon as possible” from the gate attendants. 

So, I want to know why don’t they care about the customer experience?  Especially when its their fault.  I just don’t get it.   I did eventually get to where I needed to go, but not without irritation and frustration.

And I know there are others out there who have experienced something far more awful than what I described.  The question is, why don’t they care about what passengers experience with their brand??? 

I will avoid US Air from now on, and use my 2 favorite airlines whenever possible.  I’m sure that’s not the result US Air wanted, but they don’t seem to care so why should I?

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