We’re two days into our trip on a new business jet and there is plenty of flying ahead of us. My wife took out our phone and shot this video while waiting for the gate agent to tell us when we could expect the 2.5 hour-long plane ride.
This is what we’re waiting for on the plane today. How the hell do we get somewhere in two hours and 35 minutes? pic.twitter.com/z1Lpsc81Y0 — Tom Schoenberg (@schoenbergtom) February 26, 2016
After some initial banter, the gate agent finally yells “Number 1, we’re awaiting wheels up,” he announced proudly.
The aircraft was not yet in position and while the plane made its way to the plane, delays ensued. Once on board, we waited for a crew member to cut the overhead bin cord, and we waited for our drinks to get packed away so we could begin to drink and talk and sip.
No mood… Open wound… Uneven mood… Now the steward’s gone? #servisteam #airtransfers — Patrick Reilly (@PatrickLReilly) February 26, 2016
Another 2.5 hours? Okay. Please let us fly 1 hour+ lighter. Then we can show it off. — Tom Schoenberg (@schoenbergtom) February 26, 2016
Near the end of the delay, I went to the inflight bathroom. It was broken and the passenger had forgotten to put a wrench in the slot.
Shocking: We did not have a maintenance crew member to show up and fix the washroom during the six hour delay in Hawaii.
Seriously, what the heck was going on there?
After I talked to my wife, however, things began to move forward. It seems that another customer service employee was on the way. An interesting little occurrence made my travel experience seem more human: another airline employee determined to serve.
Slowcomf: How to help the customer receive great service online http://t.co/0qJ1WnQPxI pic.twitter.com/1rsJBwSUSk — Algorithm Reviews (@AlgorithmReviews) February 27, 2016
We ended up in a friendly mood during the delay and everything seemed to be on track for us to get to our destination.
And then… what?
In between picking up more drinks and finding a spot for the toilet, the person sitting next to me asked if I wanted to board or not. The flight was about to depart and he didn’t like waiting for anyone to board.
The departure time has come and gone. But there’s no sign of the maintenance representative to help us. We have 225 minutes left on hold, which just screams “SITTING IN THE ARMS OF THE THING THAT DOESN’T WANT TO HELP!”
And then… the flight attendant has called back on the phone and he’s apologized for the inconvenience. This was simply the worst customer service experience I’ve ever had, especially with these three airlines and with Boeing. He’s now put more than 400 minutes on hold.
My wife and I have been flying frequently recently, especially to fly them out of Hawaii. The most profitable part of the airline industry is flying international routes and I’m constantly comparing service and the efforts of the airlines to make customers happy.
Unfortunately, these services are far from good. It appears they work to ensure that loyal customers make the least money possible rather than delighting the most amount of people.
This is the kind of passenger experience we get when we buy a ticket to fly from Miami to Maui on Hawaiian Airlines or a plane ticket to fly from Miami to Honolulu on Hawaiian. Hawaiian has the highest airline reservation system fees on the island of Oahu that increase the price of an airline ticket by as much as 300 percent.
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Air lines in these carriers are consistently longer than the national average — even when on frequent routes (no complaints on this trip thus far).
American Airlines has a great customer service database, but it also has the biggest net profit on an operational basis ($25 billion for 2015), putting the biggest cash register in the sky.
United Airlines is working hard to catch up to the leaders. The video you are about to see was taken after they were ranked the best major airline in the United States, the third time they’ve gotten the honor.
However, United, in this video, became so disheartened by an experience on their ticket that they say they probably won’t book another single flight with the airline in the future.
All that makes me think this airline customer satisfaction thing is going to be like the