15 September 2007

Civility disappears from the skies - loyalty suffers


It was really rather a pleasure flying in the post 9/11 world. There was camaraderie and a shared experience of people who all enjoyed a common bond.

Fast forward to today. Shock! Horror! - Southwest described a lady's attire as "inappropriate"! Lamar Muse must be turning in his grave. And the venerable Wall Street Jounal article entitled: Cranky Skies: FliersBehave Badly AgainAs 9/11 Era Fades.

I fly alot. And I can tell you that this is the case. People have lost that ability to demonstrate being nice. But don't necessarily blame the passengers for this. We have LESS service. There are many reasons. Here are a few: Untold thousands and thousands of customer service personnel removed from the system. Packed flights. More connections. Smaller planes. More airport congestion. bad planning by airlines etc etc.

I am afraid I do not subscibe to the position that the airlines are blameless for the ATC mess (as you can probably tell from prior posts). The results are increasingly that there is a long term dissatisfaction which will lead to a loss of brand loyalty. The airlines that are making money now are doing so at the expense of underlying core values. Cranky fliers become disloyal customers who choose against rather than for you. Beware.

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