Customers Are Responsible For Flying Woes

December 8, 2007

in Flying Hell Commentary

Anymore, I think the “Flights From Hell” have more to do with fellow passengers than the airlines themselves. As a former airline employee of the big UA, I have endured years of complaints about service, delays, food, etc. The funny part, passengers want first-class service and smiling employees, but they want to pay bus-fare for all of it. As competition between airlines has driven down prices, it is difficult – nigh, impossible to hire personnel who care about anything when airlines can only afford to pay them little more than minimum wage. Maintenance gets pushed back to get one more plane in the air, so they can continue to fly and not annoy more customers through mechanical delays. Sad, really. I’m a fan of raising ticket prices to levels back in the 60s and 70s. Keep the bus fare people off the planes, let Southwest deal with the cattle-car people.

Eh, sadly, air service will only get worse as customers demand cheaper and cheaper prices for air travel. Flying used to be a luxury. A grand experience. Now, I’d rather drive a thousand miles than set foot in an airport and listen to everyone complain about how bad the service is. Here’s an idea. Don’t like flying? Quit!

Then maybe that middle seat will be open next time I fly. 🙂

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

paul July 8, 2008 at 11:47 am

yes, i believe what you say is pretty the reality of the situation..

personally, i have never flown a discounted airline, but evidence shows that this what is important to the flyers.. price.. even if they know this will drive the service to bottom of the list..

this is not just happening in airline industry.. past decades, we have seen warehouse stores packed with customers and business loose levels of service they once had. no one wants to pay for it. you ever been to cosco and try to ask someone a question? good luck.

on the other hand, there are available customers looking for middle ground. sensible price (not business class sennsible) with good service, and would be willing to pay little more.. but right now, the choices are limited to either get packed in a box like donuts, or get a 2nd mortgage to pay for business class..

economy plus in my opinion is a right direction, and i almost always fly eonomy plus on united.


noodlepopjin July 19, 2008 at 9:42 pm

I agree.

I have also never flown on a "discount" airline, just American, United mostly, and Delta once. I use to figure out the best seats when I book in economy so I am most comfortable(it is a handy site, just look up the airline and the plane model) and all I really care about is safely getting to where I am going.

Basically, folks, you get what you pay for.


Ryan February 3, 2009 at 12:09 am

I see your point to some extent. However, even when I fly business class, I generally get poor service. Case in point, I was on a VERY delayed Delta flt to Paris, sitting in business class. I needed water before we got on the plane, but we were asked not to leave the gate area, we would be boarding at any time. We were on plane and the doors were closed, sitting for 45 minutes. I had THE worst thirst of my life, I couldn't bear it. I saw 2 flight attendants standing in the front of business class, hanging out, chit-chatting and giggling. I rang the bell and waited patiently. 20 minutes passed and I thought I was going to pass out. Finally she flew past me and hit my light and kept on going. I rang again. Nothing. 15 minutes later we were still on the ground. As she came by, she went to hit my bell and tried to keep going. I said, calmly, "Excuse me, may I have some water?" In a very curt tone she replied, "When were in the air." And away she went. I rang once more. She came back by, but ignored my light. I finally lied and said, "I have to take medication, may I please have a cup of water?" She sighed and rolled her eyes and walked away. Nothing. About 10 minutes later she was coming by again and I said, "Excuse me, can you please bring me the water?" She mumbled something, went off and a few minutes later returned with a plastic cup that was only a 1/4 full. I sipped it and it tasted so horrible that I couldn't drink it, despite my thirst.

I am not a picky, overly-demanding person at all. This was a very reasonable request, particularly flying business class.

Deregulation coupled with unreasonable demands and poor training for the flight crew have resulted in what we have to endure today. And that goes for economy on up!


Tex April 2, 2009 at 11:15 am

In all the times I've flown Southwest, they've rarely had a problem treating the passengers as what they are: paying customers. Something AA and UA have failed to accomplish.


Craig from Scottsdal April 2, 2009 at 3:10 pm

Good Post –

Pretty soon people will be complaining about Motel 6 not offering turn down service…


Anonymous April 3, 2009 at 9:36 am

I disagree that you get what you pay for when it comes to airlines. Every time I fly to the west coast from the east coast, I choose Southwest. Why? Because they are cheap, but they are also friendly and efficient. On the other hand, most of my experiences with the mainstream airlines have been negative.


DC res August 9, 2010 at 11:10 am

I agree. I've never had a bad experience on Southwest. But, I've dealt with lost luggage, annoying passengers, and rude flight attendants on United, Delta, etc…


Paul April 8, 2009 at 10:40 am

same here i fly economy plus, not just the extra leg room, but NOT to deal with problems created by other passengers.


Onslow April 22, 2009 at 8:00 am

Stop dissing Southwest! I have flown with them many times and have never had a bad experience that was the airline's or FA's fault. I say that if an airline can't compete and maintain standards, sell out to another airline that can.


Hawaiian October 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm

People… Flying is no longer just for the rich and famous. Flying is now nothing more than a commodity, a way to get from Point A to Point B. I fly more than most and all I need is a seat, an on-time departure and arrival and my bags at the other end. I don't care about the food, smiling attendants or what you paid for your ticket. Just get me where I want to go, safely!


Ron Johnson November 1, 2009 at 2:07 am

i am continually surprised when i read comments from fa's on this site. who the heck do they think they are? many of them continually complain about passengers demanding greyhound bus fares yet expecting good, not great, but good service! get real fa's. even if the fares rise, do you think your company is going to put that extra money in your pocket? No! you signed on for this job, if you don't like it, find another job. yes, you are there for our safety, but service is also part of what you were hired for. bad service = passengers who will not return. i've personally stopped flying us airways because of bad service, rude fa's, and crappy planes. i realize the industry is under tremendous cost pressures, but don't take it out on us, the flying public. like i said, if you don't like your job, go find something else.


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