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Business Traveller (Asia-Pacific) - - INBOX - Get in touch at ed­i­to­rial@busi­nesstrav­ellera­sia.com This is­sue’s win­ner of Let­ter of the Month will re­ceive one of the new branded Busi­ness Trav­eller cabin-size suit­cases from Ti­mothy Travel Essen­tials (tim­o­th­y­trav­e­lessen­tials.co.uk). For the chance to

PREFERABLY NOT I have had sev­eral bad ex­pe­ri­ences with Jet Air­ways re­cently, mostly around their (dis­tinct lack of) cus­tomer ser­vice and abil­ity to re­solve com­plaints with­out try­ing to dis­tract peo­ple with “stan­dard an­swers”.

The most frus­trat­ing of these is­sues has been around my pre­pay­ing for a “pre­ferred” seat on one of their flights. I flew from Sin­ga­pore to Chen­nai on Jet Air­ways flight 9W15. I paid S$52 (US$38) to sit in a front-row bulk­head win­dow seat.

The Jet Air­ways web­site clearly showed that the mid­dle seats (B& E) had a bassinet in front of them, but win­dow seats were un­ob­structed. Hav­ing boarded the flight how­ever, with both bassinets oc­cu­pied, these pro­truded more onto the win­dow seats than the mid­dle ones. I spent the whole four-hour flight cramped and hav­ing to twist my legs in or­der to fit them un­der the bassinet.

I wrote to Jet Air­ways af­ter­wards to com­plain, ad­vis­ing that this should not be ad­ver­tised as a “pre­ferred” seat (or that they should at least warn peo­ple that should the bassinet be oc­cu­pied, legroom will be se­verely re­stricted) and to re­quest a re­fund of the amount I paid to se­lect that seat.

Af­ter many use­less emails, I was even­tu­ally told that no­body else com­plained and that I should have been of­fered an­other seat, so no re­fund is pos­si­ble. No­body else hav­ing com­plained has noth­ing to do with me – and I was

BOUNCER ON BOARD Air travel in China has be­come in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult, with con­sis­tently poor on-time de­par­tures – ev­ery flight I took on a re­cent two-week trip around China for busi­ness was sub­stan­tially de­layed. But worse is the cav­a­lier at­ti­tude I en­coun­tered from China South­ern Air­lines.

Flight at­ten­dants ad­vise that all elec­tronic equip­ment must re­main off dur­ing the flight. So these days I can’t even do any work on my lap­top while in the air, let alone lis­ten to mu­sic on my phone – even if it’s in flight mode. most cer­tainly not of­fered an al­ter­na­tive seat.

Dur­ing this process, I have found Jet Air­ways’ cus­tomer ser­vice to be su­per­fi­cial, in­ef­fi­cient and un­help­ful. I have dis­cov­ered that you are not able to make com­plaints over the tele­phone, but are con­stantly di­rected to­wards their email ad­dress, so that they can re­spond with stan­dard an­swers and deny any claims that you have. Ro­han Mu­ralee, Sin­ga­pore

JET AIR­WAYS RESPONDS: Jet Air­ways would like to ex­press its con­cern with re­gard to the feed­back re­ceived from Mr Ro­han Mu­ralee. It would be per­ti­nent to men­tion that the seat map on Jet Air­ways’ web­site clearly in­di­cates the place­ment of bassinets in Row 10 – sim­i­lar to prac­tices fol­lowed by global car­ri­ers. The bassinets are also po­si­tioned in a stan­dard­ised man­ner and in such a way that guests seated in that par­tic­u­lar row are not in any way in­con­ve­nienced or ex­pe­ri­ence dis­com­fort, as per in­ter­na­tional norms.

More­over, at Jet Air­ways, cabin crew are also trained to of­fer al­ter­na­tive seat­ing op­tions to a guest, sub­ject to avail­abil­ity, should a guest so de­sire. Un­for­tu­nately, we un­der­stand Mr Mu­ralee did not ap­proach the cabin crew for any change of seat­ing due to dis­com­fort dur­ing his jour­ney.

How­ever, we again take this op­por­tu­nity to ex­tend our apolo­gies to Mr Mu­ralee for the in­con­ve­nience he faced. We also rec­om­mend all our guests to ap­proach the cabin crew or staff for any re­quests they may have.

Each flight also now comes com­plete with an on­board “bouncer”. These jumped-up se­cu­rity guards speak lit­tle, if any, English, wear an ac­tive body cam and stalk the aisles bark­ing or­ders at any pas­sen­ger who so much as reaches for an elec­tronic de­vice. On Au­gust 17, I was on the three­hour flight CZ3836 from Shang­hai to Sanya in busi­ness class (seat 2C) with a col­league. Mid-flight, a se­cu­rity of­fi­cer ap­proached me as he had seen me han­dling my iPhone and be­gan shout­ing in Chi­nese. While I didn’t un­der­stand, I got the idea and put my phone away.

He con­tin­ued to shout and my Man­darin-speak­ing col­league tried to step in and as­sist, but to no avail. The man kept shout­ing at her. Even­tu­ally he walked away and there­after I saw him per­form­ing some type of lower body lift-up ex­er­cise in the front gal­ley.

This dis­play of out­right and un­war­ranted dis­cour­tesy to pas­sen­gers is en­tirely un­ac­cept­able. We have sent a com­plaint to China South­ern but at time of writ­ing have yet to re­ceive a re­ply. An­thony Ar­rigo, Aus­tralia

CHINA SOUTH­ERN AIR­LINES REPLIES: China South­ern Air­lines ap­pre­ci­ates the con­cern and sup­port from our pas­sen­gers, the me­dia and the public. Ac­cord­ing to the laws and reg­u­la­tions of the CAAC, in or­der to en­sure the nor­mal op­er­a­tion of the air­craft’s nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem, pas­sen­gers must turn off all por­ta­ble elec­tronic de­vices dur­ing the en­tire flight and make sure that their mo­bile phone stays turned off, for which the se­cu­rity of­fi­cers per­form se­cu­rity checks ac­cord­ing to le­gal re­quire­ments.

China South­ern Air­lines is al­ways com­mit­ted to the phi­los­o­phy of “Putting cus­tomers first and serv­ing with sin­cer­ity”, and will con­tinue to im­prove its stan­dards of ser­vice to pro­vide pas­sen­gers with a con­ve­nient and com­fort­able travel ex­pe­ri­ence.

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