16 Your letters and online posts
It is fascinating to read complaints by the CEOs of the three major US airlines about the competition from nonUS airlines, in particular Middle East airlines. They have a lot to say about alleged government subsidies to such airlines but choose to ignore the support they get from their own government. They probably use these excuses to avoid talking about reasons the travelling public have to avoid their services…
On a recent American Airlines flight from Miami to Los Angeles, I wanted to turn on my overhead light so that I could continue reading my book – given that no individual seat-back screens are available, even on a relatively long flight. The lights didn’t work. I asked a passing flight attendant for help, but the only answer I got was that the lights on my side of the aircraft didn’t work – a message delivered in an angry and irritated tone. The flight attendants need to be trained in customer service and made to understand that without passengers, they have no jobs.
Before that, I was booked on a United flight from Miami to Washington, connecting to Europe. The flight was cancelled resulting in us standing in line for nine hours (!) waiting to be served. The United ground staff were absolutely horrible. Additionally, nothing was offered to the hundreds of passengers waiting for hours – no water, nothing!
So it can’t be a surprise that our company has instructed our travel agent to ensure we are never booked on a US airline when other services are available, even if that means an additional transfer somewhere.
US airlines – stop complaining and start providing service. Make passengers feel they are appreciated, treat them with respect. Teach cabin crew to smile and look as if they actually like being there, and educate check-in staff of the importance of being friendly and polite.
That is what other international airlines concentrate on, in particular Middle East carriers, so no wonder they are preferred over the US carriers. Jeffrey Carswell, Copenhagen