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.