This week seemed to be all about passenger experience. Delta announced new cabins, American Airlines is struggling with customer service... still, and a Canadian man is facing the death penalty for pulling an evacuation slide.
I think it's important that airlines should be improving their onboard customer experience. Each of the three legacy carriers in the US has cannibalized their loyalty systems and instead of the diehard loyalists we now have passengers picking the better customer experience and price.
Delta seems to be somewhat listening and has committed to reconfiguring their oldest cabins as well as rebranding their onboard product. I'm not exactly sure how I feel about that. The renderings shared give me a strong Air France vibe with the dark blues and dark reds. I think the accent walls for their cabins look pretty neat, however the overall darker cabins will be a stark change to their current cabins.
Continuing my partnership with Eye of the Flyer, this week I wrote about pilot communication. A vital link between pilots and their dispatchers is essential for real-time communication of hazardous weather or communicating any problems while in the air.
I'm quite surprised by this one. A Canadian man in Thailand was arrested and faces a death penalty for opening the emergency exit and deploying the slide wile they were taxiing out to the runway. I think the death penalty is quite a hard punishment, hopefully it'll be pleaded down to a fine. However, I'm not against harsh fines for passengers that disrupt operations like that.
This gets on my nerves, elite fliers feel like they deserve first class seats. Complimentary upgrades are just that, complimentary. You are entitled to nothing, and if you want a first class seat, then buy it. As someone who holds top tier status at Delta, I know the anticipation I get for a complimentary upgrade, but I know at the end of the day I'm not entitled to it. Pilot unions obviously have a good negotiator for working that into the contract, so good on them. I haven't depended on a complimentary upgrade in a long time, if I want First, I'll buy it.
To me, American Airlines is a bottom tier airline for customer service. They are constantly in the news for some sort of passenger drama or problems within the airline. Just last week it was about them moving customer service overseas, this week it's bad flight attendants. I believe that their flight attendants should get compensated fairly, but stories like this make it hard to support them in their current negotiations.
Filing this firmly in the 'Things I Expect Florida Man to Do' folder, a naked Florida Man walked through the Fort Lauderdale airport and attempted to walk through TSA security. At least we know he's not concealing any weapons!
In a misuse of the term AI, KLM looks to be trialing a program to reduce the number of meals they load on an airplane. I believe this is less of using AI and more like what airlines do when overbooking aircraft. They take the average percentage of passengers who don't show up for a flight and reduce their meal load along those same lines.
Sigh... I don't want to get political. But I feel like someone was embarrassed for their own mistake on this one and wants special treatment so they can hide their insecurities.
Same on Boeing, one of the most fundamental items on the 737 MAX9 is the door plug. If you don't have robust enough measures to ensure the door is secured properly from the factory, then you are doing something wrong. I have harped on this before, but Boeing is profit driven and their quality control has become so terrible it will kill someone sooner rather than later.
To be honest, I think twice before booking a non-changeable ticket. I don't care that it isn't refundable, but I care more about the changeability of the ticket. For some trips I speculatively book a ticket during a sale and once I work out the details like hotels and activities may adjust my travel days. Having that flexibility is key to me, and I'm happy to see most airlines have taken this approach to at least offer free changes to tickets.
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