I’m currently sitting on the tarmac of Durban’s Airport, on a 1Time flight having already taken off, circled and landed back where we started. Technical problem with a transponder they tell us? Whatever.
Nothing to do, so I thought I’d ask some questions that airlines don’t like to answer:
- Why are problems with planes and airports always out of ‘our control’, someone else’s fault, or caused by God? And who is ‘our’?
- Why don’t airlines take responsibility, through their employees, or employees for their airlines? I’d like the Captain or Head Stewardtron to one day just acknowledge that the airline has morons working for them, or that corners were cut, or maximising profits can lead to transponders not being changed as often as they should be?
- Why don’t airlines teach their people how important communication is, and then how important communication is to their clients? I’m fairly certain if both those items were done well, airline employees would be able to join the dots? Or not?
- Why do airlines think we’re interested in how ‘on-time’ their planes are? We don’t care about that statistic. We’d like them to publish how late their planes are when they’re late? If an airline is late 100% of the time but by only 5 minutes each time, that wouldn’t bother me at all. And if you’re late only 25% of the time but 45 minutes each time, that would matter big time.
I have other questions, but we’re getting off the plane now to get our bags and start again on a healthier plane.
My point is simply that airlines generally treat their customers as idiots and faceless cargo that needs to be moved from one airport to another (of course many go to great lengths to convince us otherwise until we’re checked into their processes).
So they know, and they should know, we’re not as impressed by funky ‘thingies’, bright colours and flights that ‘include’ food and drink in the price, so much as being treated as warm blooded human beings with real lives and jobs, and an inbuilt fear of flying, no matter how slight.
It’s quite simple really. In my limited life experience, when human beings are treated with dignity and respect they respond with a fair amount of appreciation, trust and are usually prepared to overlook faulty transponders and whatever out of ‘our control’ things the gods throw at us.
Back to 1Time. To be fair to them, they’re not guilty of all of the items I mention above. I fly a lot. I’ve been there and got the T-Shirt from all of our South African airlines.
- 1Time are late from time to time, but in the 5 minutes sort of way. Low-cost airlines have a fairly poor rep for efficiency, but 1Time don’t deserve the rep.
- 1Time get communication and they more than often get that we’re into communication. They do it well, and you feel like they’re being honest.
- When it comes to shifting the blame, they’re as skilled as everyone else.
- And as for transponders, I’m not even sure what they are or how often they should be checked and changed? But I can say for sure, without any shadow of a doubt, that when they do break they cause a massive amount of stress for all concerned.
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