I’ve Got Three Tickets to Paradise… Or So I Thought

17 11 2012

If you purchase a couple of plane tickets for roughly $600 a piece, do you expect plane delays, a lost bag and exceptionally craptastic customer service? Do you also expect to pay for your own meals, snacks and listen to inflight advertisements? That’s not what I expect, and I highly doubt that you do too.
When we arrived to the airport in Norfolk, VA, we were ignored at the check-in counter for approximately 15 minutes. There were no other customers present and the line was nonexistent. During that time we watched two employees walk in and out of their backroom office multiple times, without acknowledging the fact that we were waiting. A third employee, who looked like he was working at one of the kiosks, might as well have told me to “piss off” after I had asked him for some assistance. After that brief encounter with the anti-customer service brigade, we boarded our flight to Chicago.
Chicago (O’Hare) had another bundle of problems waiting for us when we got there. Our connecting flight to San Diego had been delayed until 6:30 PM. For reasons unknown to the staff working at the terminals, our plane was “nowhere to be found.” Now correct me if I’m wrong, but in today’s day and age of technology, you would figure that there would be a backup system, or at least someone updating the status of planes by hand.
6:30 PM rolled around and we were finally on our way to San Diego. The flight overall wasn’t bad. The pilot gave a 10 minute apology for the delay and put the blame on a “faulty computer system that forced them to charter flights by hand.” To me it sounded as if he was reading a makeshift speech written on a couple sheets of toilet paper. In all honesty I didn’t care. We were in the air and flying towards San Diego, but apparently the pilot didn’t think that enough apologies were given and would hop onto the intercom every chance he got. The stewardess seemed to take great pleasure in making sure that the light switch worked by turning the lights on and off. The entire ordeal felt like a madhouse of sorts, and anything to make sure that the customers weren’t happy became the top priority. This vent is a nightmare that I wish had never occurred, but I’d be lying to you if I told that it didn’t happen.
We booked our flight through United Airlines. It’s sad to see such bad representation of customer service, and by no means am I saying that all airlines follow this business model, but come on. The phrase, “You get what you pay for,” obviously doesn’t apply to them. To end it on a positive note, I’m just happy that we were able to make it safe and sound.




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Larry D. Bernstein | Freelance Writer, Blogger, Educator

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