Kulula owe me 18 hours of my life back. That is the delayed time that they have cost me over the past couple of weeks as a frequent flyer on their carrier. In addition to this did I mention the two canceled flights that led to havoc with my schedule? Enough is enough. I now plan a carefully considered two course therapeutic remedy: (1). Tell the world…hence this blog post and, (2) Avoid Kulula like a Siberian holiday.
One concession would be that one of the delays was weather related. Fair enough, one cannot expect Kulula to control the weather, however, the lack of communication around that particular episode left much to be desired. On that occasion weary travelers made their way to the gate 3 hours after we were meant to depart, where we stood for another hour waiting as it turns out, for a new crew to arrive. Did anyone think to inform us as to the reason for the delay? Of course not! Once onboard, filled with a surreal emotion of make-belief, we were delayed further – this time waiting for passengers who I suspect had decided it was quicker to walk from Johannesburg to Durban rather than fly. They might have had a point.
I have now instructed my PA to avoid booking me on Kulula at all costs. And cost me it will, but I have got to the point where that additional cost will be well worth it. This past week I have done the Jhb-Dbn route four times and so I’m not an infrequent flyer and have pretty much encountered every flying scenario any traveler could expect to experience. Much of the time it comes down to communication. It helps when you finally make it onboard and the pilot offers a more detailed explanation of events but by then the damage is done. The pilot’s explanation is a little like shutting to door on the horse that has long bolted. More information inside the terminal (and lounges) is needed and even were it to say, “we don’t have any updated information but we will keep you informed” would be helpful and better than nothing!
I am always prepared to cut beleaguered airlines some slack provided they do their part: keep me informed, apologize in a meaningful way and show some respect and courtesy. Unfortunately one or more of these is all too often absent. So much of my business hinges on efficient travel plans and making these plans has become something of a lottery with the airlines seemingly increasing inefficiency. Their attitude often seem to be one of it is them who are doing you a favour.
16 hours wasted. Plans scrambled. Additional costs incurred. High blood pressure. Enough! And now that ‘step 1’ of my rehabilitation plan is done…I already feel a whole lot better!
Here’s a novel thought Kulula: less attention to onboard wit and more attention to getting your passengers to their destination on time!