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the blame game

DelaysIf your product is broken, you recall it.  If your industry is broken you give it an overhaul.  A nearly fifty percent increase in complaints year over year suggests that it's time to stop talking about change and start changing the airline industry.

No matter what you do, do not give excuses for your poor service, just fix the problem.  Apologize to the wronged party (the consumer) and do all you can to ensure that a) the customer is at the very least satisfied with your level of service  and b) this problem does not happen again. 

We pay to get to where we need to go, not to experience your airline waiting area.  We book in advance so we get to where we're going on time.  As consumers we recognize that inclement weather and other issues may occasionally cause delays.  However, if you're operating out of Alaska, you had better be able to fly in cold weather.  As long as you treat the customer fairly and deliver at an acceptable level, most customers will be satisfied. 

However, when we are routinely stuck on the tarmac for twenty minutes or longer (LGA!), when our flights are routinely delayed, when we are paying ever more for less, this is bad news for both your brand and the industry.  When Northwest reports a 30 percent on time departure on their afternoon flight from Detroit to NY, there is a problem.  When flight delays routinely prevent customers from making important deadlines including meetings, presentations and more importantly, time with their families, there is a problem. 

We don't care that your airline is experiencing technical difficulties.  We don't care about your industry infrastructure problems.  Those are your problems, and are not relevant to us as customers.  We just want to get to where we're going, it's your job to ensure that you deliver on your overpriced promise.

To view the January-June 2007 Air Travel Consumer Report click here.