I believe over the last few years all of us, no matter whether frequent or leisure flyers have experienced progressive troubles with Air Travel. Gone are the days (I think I never saw or experienced them) when traveling by plane was supposedly glamorous. Today, while accessible to larger and larger percentage of the world’s population, flying has become tedious and borderline uncomfortable.
Personal experiences and those of others described in multiple articles are uncovering tons of issues that the traveling public experience while taking flights, especially in the US.
Why is the number being so large these days? What drives this apparent increase in frequency of occurrence?
I do believe the issues have existed all along – but previously, the boiling point had not been reached. Now we have tons of actions being taken by the airlines
- Reducing seat pitch – i.e. the between seats distance. American Airlines is reportedly cutting the space from a spot in the seat to the same spot on the seat in front of it (otherwise known as seat pitch) from 31-inches to 29-inches. This is a big deal! For most traveling people – this will hugely impact comfort — i.e. forget about comfort…Period! (these changes are apparently only on American’s Boeing 737 – so most likely only on US flights – but still – you could be on a plane with that seat pitch across the continent – i.e. 5+ hours! Ouch!
- Then you have United with multiple issues: They completely misdirected a passenger – sending her to San Francisco instead of the ticketed – Paris – destination. Beats me! How can that happen – with all the security checking and intrusion in your time at the airport – to send a passenger on a completely wrong plane! Incredible…
- Ready for a fight? Literally…! As per American Airlines’ certain employees, that is how problems can be resolved! In the case described in multiple articles and YouTube posted video, it is seen how aggressive some employees could be.
The list can be continued, but I think at this point in time you get the picture. There were certainly mess ups before. I have encountered on multiple occasions when the airline personnel was not aware of their own airline rules and would hold on tight to their belief and be pretty snotty all the way up to the point in time where I would have a supervisor from the call-in center speak with a supervisor at the airport to correct things….! This has happened to me (and I am a frequent flyer with multiple airlines) – American Airlines in Chicago – the situation was pretty tense – I decided to hold my ground and eventually had a supervisor from the exec platinum desk on the phone with a Chicago airport supervisor to correct the view of a gate agent!!! So I can fully believe the situations we just read about and saw in publications – links above….
What I am very curious about is why so fewer issues with air travel on Asian airlines. I certainly fly frequently with Air China, JAL, China Southern, China Air (Taiwan), EVA and some times with Singapore Airlines and JET Air….Rarely had the experiences listed above.
Do you think there are similar issues there? Comment on this article….
In the mean time, try to be patient and hopefully things will improve now that there is so much pressure on the airlines to get their customer service in order….Let’s hope!