Friday, April 25, 2008

Travel and Luggage

I have watched the news recently with interest as the airlines have announced large losses and complained that the cause of the loss is due to the large sums of money they spend on jet fuel. I would like to advance another reason for the loss of money. It's called customers and luggage.

On three recent trips, within the month, the airlines have made luggage decisions that were not in the best interest of of the customer. In one case American Airlines decided that the bags should be routed to a city that was not the same as the traveler. The bags left the airport before the traveler was even at the gate. On the second occasion Continential, decided that the bags would come to the airport 3 hours after the passenger arrived. On the third instance, Delta, the bag arrived a day after the passenger. I guess I keep hoping to find one who can get it right.

I know. From the airlines point of view it is only one bag and one passenger. The counter employees of the airlines have all been briefed to say, "We handle millions of bags per day, so yours was the problem." That would be comforting except that there are usually 5 to 7 customers per flight. All are told to call a useless 800 number that can't track the luggage past the major airports. The airlines then indicate the lost luggage must be because of something you, the traveler, did.

This logic is fabulous. We, the airline, will do what we want that is convenient for our business, if the bags don't arrive, well, we have lots of work, and then had you, the customer, not booked on a full flight or even carried on your luggage it wouldn't have been lost or delayed. Classic.

These are the same airlines that are complaining that more people are carrying on to the flights over sized luggage that slows down the loading process. The airline attendants openly mock the people that are bring their luggage, carry-on, to the flights. Now, mind you, the airline employees get to do the same thing.

The cost factor for the airline is the bag delivery service that they employ to deliver after the fact all of the loss, misrouted, or delayed bags. Very amazing. Last week this guy had over 15 bags that he was to deliver in a two hour period. Mind you I live over 90 minutes away from the airport.

These airlines are also feel the need to blame the government for the level of service they have to deliver. Why do they have to deliver the stupid safety briefing? Who hasn't clipped together a seat belt?

The amazing thing is that the airline management teams are collecting millions in bonuses and perks for running the business. Unbelievable.

If the rest of us treated our customers this way we would be run out of business.

So, they love to just doesn't show!


Anonymous said...

I hate flying, so if possible I won't give the airlines a chance to lose my luggage. Seems to me the FAA and the airlines needs to get their act together. As Hillary says, "If you can't take the heat in the kitchen, then get out".

Rhonda said...

Oh my goodness...don't get me started. My husband and I have racked up so many frequent flyer miles flying ourselves with five kids all over the world, that we have seen it all.

Seen AND experienced it ALL.


Excellent post.