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"Service" On Airplanes - What Is Your Definition  
User currently offlineSlimShady From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 199 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 3449 times:

I've been reading these posts for years about "lack of service". What the heck does that mean anyway?

I mean what expectations do people really have when flying today anyway? I recently heard someone say that airplanes are "flying bars". haha..

It amazes me that people in general seem to have high expectations of the airlines with regards to the level of service.

SWA does a great job of managing peoples expectations. Peanuts, and drink. No food, no IFE, no problem. With UA, AA, CO or anyone else, the expectation seems to be all the service and service related anemeties should be available on all flights.. Or at least that is sometimes the perception.

My definition of "service" ranks pretty low. I bring my own IFE (Laptop, movies and headset), I bring my own food or eat before hand. (Sorry CO, your Meals at mealtimes is great, but the food sucks), If I want a beer or cocktails, I usually have some in the airport bar, and maybe one or two on the plane. I guess I set my expectations pretty low, and if it turns out to be a good experience, then I am pleasantly suprised...

What does "service" mean to you? Personal attention? Amenities? The FA's checking on you every hour?

27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSancho99504 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 570 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3412 times:

I personally think that service is gone because of the expectation of passengers getting Greyhound fares to go JFK-LAX round trip. Service is losing money so its been cut to lessen the loss of money. I would like to see an efficient beverage service in which I get the WHOLE can without asking, some crackers or something, nothing fancy. The IFE on the other hand, most airlines don't have power ports in Y and my laptop battery is good for 2.7 hours max. Hardly good for ORD-ANC, which I travel frequently. Thats my personal thought.


kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out-USMC
User currently offlineTavong From Colombia, joined Jul 2001, 836 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3399 times:



Quoting SlimShady (Thread starter):
SWA does a great job of managing peoples expectations. Peanuts, and drink. No food, no IFE, no problem. With UA, AA, CO or anyone else, the expectation seems to be all the service and service related amenities should be available on all flights.. Or at least that is sometimes the perception.

Well i really think that many people here doesn´t bother too much about IFE and foods. In fact what in my opinion is what people expects is a friendly attitude, a smile, good answers when needed, if there is a problem people want to be informed and treated like a living being.

For me what i really need is a good service attitude, a smile, information and that people try to make the best they can (not anly "i´m doing just what i´m being paid")to make people feel good in a fligth. This is the same for SWA, DL, AA, CO, AF, BA, SQ, AV, CX...or any other airline out there. Unfortunately this type of service is what is lacking.

Other thing that people want and in fact is "service" is that Airlines stop making you "pay for everything" in fact people knows that they need to pay....but unfortunately they never know all the "plus" that you will need to pay "by surprise". I just hope that SWA doesn´t get in that nickel and dimming train.

I really don´t know if i´m asking too much.....

Gus
SKBO



Colombian coffee, the best...take a cup and you will see how delicious it is.
User currently offlineDirectorguy From Egypt, joined Jul 2008, 1697 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3361 times:

It depends on where you're from (or more accurately, where the airline you're flying on is from). The standard US domestic experience is something I find interesting, because it is so different to what I'm used to. I live in the Middle East, and have flown on Egyptair, Saudi Arabian, Emirates, BA, Air France, KLM and I'm used to the full-service international experience. I expectt:
a) comfortable seats (not 28'' pitch charter-type configs)
b) complimentary meals (considering the average economy meal costs like, $2, at around $600-700 per ticket it should be a given)
c) pleasant service. Not saying personalized attention, just passable profficiency and politeness.
d) lenient baggage allowance. If the allowance is 21kg, and I have to pay for the extra kg, then there's something wrong. It's simply not done on the airlines I'm used to (but that's not part of the airplane service).

I know it's a bad economy, and airlines are tough to run, but to someone who's used to something else, the US domestic experience sounds awful. No offence.


User currently offlineDoona From Sweden, joined Feb 2005, 3771 posts, RR: 13
Reply 4, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3352 times:

For me, a friendly and courteous crew is enough for me to be satisfied. Depends on the flight as well, I suppose. I can fully understand that the lone F/A on a Skywest CRJ200 from LNK to ORD isn't the happiest camper on the last flight of the day (That look of indignation when he/she does the safety demonstration along to a recording). And I don't mind that.

Hell, it's all part of the experience. I fly economy, as a rule, and though flying with SK has made the free beverage services on US carriers feel like a luxury, I don't expect very much in way of pampering/goodies. I don't get pissed if a long haul meal is crap, I'm totally at ease with the fact that such things can be hit-or-miss.

However, if I was paying out the ass for a J or F ticket, I'd probably expect a bit more  Smile

Cheers
Mats



Sure, we're concerned for our lives. Just not as concerned as saving 9 bucks on a roundtrip to Ft. Myers.
User currently offlineEghansen From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3277 times:



Quoting SlimShady (Thread starter):
It amazes me that people in general seem to have high expectations of the airlines with regards to the level of service.

The problem with service is not is quality, but meeting the expectations set by the airlines themselves. Ryanair, Spirit, People Express et al never promised good service and nobody expects it.

Fares on US legacy carriers are not particularly low in coach, and their business and first class fares are not low at all. They advertise their business and first class service as competitive when it is not.

For example, AA says about its new J-class seat "The product of extensive research and ergonomic studies, our business class seats afford an unsurpassed degree of comfort." Yet the seats aren't comparable with other airlines. "Lie-flat" to other airlines means horizontal, not at a 75 degree angle.

It is indicative of the problem when "low-cost-carriers" such as Jetblue and Frontier offer personal video screens and "full-service-carriers" do not, even on trans-pacific flights. Or American advertises "drop-down flat-screen televisions will replace the bulkier tube-type TVs" as a great achievement when it is yesterday's technology

The legacy carriers are still trying to set themselves as a cut above the budget carriers while voraciously cutting the service that separates the full-service carriers from the budget carriers.


User currently offlineUA772IAD From Australia, joined Jul 2004, 1730 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3252 times:



Quoting SlimShady (Thread starter):
What does "service" mean to you? Personal attention? Amenities? The FA's checking on you every hour?

'Service' is what the airline defines it. Most airlines offer 'services' in the form of food or drinks (whether it's buy on board or complementary), entertainment (personal, or shared), consistently good customer service (on the ground and in the air), and any other things to make the travel experience better: a good lounge, amenities if the flight is long, etc.

In the US, as I see it, airlines are advertising that they offer these services, but only putting in the bare minimum. Airfares are not low any more, and frankly, I think people are at the point where they feel as though they're getting ripped off or nickle and dimed. The whole mantra of "low fares, low expectations" is past, even in the economic turmoil most global markets are facing. From what I noticed travelling this past weekend, people seem willing to pay more for better service: a decent hot meal, on time arrivals, crews who act professionally and give consistently good service and don't just go through the motions or give the bare minimum.

It works in other countries- why not the US?


User currently offlineIahflyer From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 321 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3202 times:

Service equals Consistency.

I understand that under certain conditions things will not always be the same way that they are expected to but service rendered being constantly provided is a big sell for me.

My favorite example:

WN: 1 seat, a drink, no insane fees and a bag of peanuts or sometimes even a snack-box has been on every single flight I have ever taken with them, 120 or so. Over that time I have been as happy as a clam.



Little airports with the big jets are the best!! Floyd
User currently offlineTVNWZ From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 2398 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3164 times:

Taken from point A to point B on time and comfortably as possible.

User currently offlineSkyfellow From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3102 times:



Quoting Iahflyer (Reply 7):
Service equals Consistency.

Bingo! Service should never be "hit and miss" even if the world should happen to work against you.


User currently offlineNavega From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 741 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3072 times:



Quoting TVNWZ (Reply 8):

You got it !!

Quoting Skyfellow (Reply 9):

You got it !!

Quoting Tavong (Reply 2):

You really got it !!!

I think every post here is somewhat accurate. I do not expect much on any airline regarding
food, drinks, entertainment, but I do expect to be treated with respect as someone who contributes to the salaries of the crew onboard.

That should not be hard to do but believe me now a days it is...


User currently offlineSkyfellow From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3061 times:



Quoting Navega (Reply 10):
think every post here is somewhat accurate. I do not expect much on any airline regarding
food, drinks, entertainment, but I do expect to be treated with respect as someone who contributes to the salaries of the crew onboard.

I think we are all talking about the same thing here. Like you, I don't expect a whole lot when I fly either. Not anymore. But what I do expect when I fly, regardless of the airline, is a consistent delivery representative of the product that I am familiar with and have a certain expectation of granted that these can be somehow low. Very often it is not the product itself that is the problem; it is rather how it is delivered to the customer.


User currently offlineSancho99504 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 570 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 3033 times:

I think one of the problems with the lack of respect and hospitality of some flight attendants, csa's, and everyone you come in contact with above wing are angered and upset with management that it has affected them emotionally. With some companies management getting raises and bonuses while the ones who make it work day in and day out are taking wage and benifit cuts with more and more excruciating work rules, they end up taking it out on passengers and coworkers. I think the point of that is to drive business away and get them to see the value of happy employees to no avail. I don't think its right, however I don't blame them for being angry at there boss.


kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out-USMC
User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8181 posts, RR: 26
Reply 13, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 3017 times:



Quoting Sancho99504 (Reply 12):
I think one of the problems with the lack of respect and hospitality of some flight attendants, csa's, and everyone you come in contact with above wing are angered and upset with management that it has affected them emotionally. With some companies management getting raises and bonuses while the ones who make it work day in and day out are taking wage and benifit cuts with more and more excruciating work rules, they end up taking it out on passengers and coworkers.

Not the case over here, despite similar working conditions:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSk8pWMr7f8



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlineSancho99504 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 570 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 2998 times:

I haven't seen anything like that from the premier Asian carriers. I was more or less referring to airlines here stateside with the exception of WN, B6, F9, and AS. However, the most prominent in this list are some employees from NW and UA. I had a wonderful experience on a US E190 PHL-ORD on Thanksgiving 2007. Other then that, I've had some really disturbing experiences on UA and US in the past 2 years, especially after HP took over US. I did enjoy my trips with HP before the merger. I do have to say, a UAX trip in JAN 05 OKC-ORD operatede by AW was the worst trip in my life. The FA was increasingly rude as the flight got closer to ORD to the point when I asked for another puke back she proceeded to yell at me. Needless to say she no longer works for AW and hopefully doesn't work for any airline again.


kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out-USMC
User currently offlineSeaBosDca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 5591 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 2991 times:

Maybe I'm one of those responsible for what others are bemoaning as a lack of service.

On short flights, I want safe operation, clean equipment and the best practicable on-time performance. I don't need or want anything more than that.

On long flights, I want the above, plus the ability to get water for free and food of reasonable quantity and variety for purchase.

Anything further is just raising my fares for no reason.

[Edited 2009-04-27 19:47:15]

User currently offlineTrent1000 From Japan, joined Jan 2007, 572 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 2892 times:

A smile, eye contact & greeting get me off to a good start no matter what class I fly. It doesn't cost anything and I've appreciated this often from attentive crews on SQ, TG, NH and QF.

In business class I think it's reasonable to expect whatever you are drinking to remian topped up and that the attendants notice when you've finished your meal courses, not just when they decide to collect everyone else's trays.

Thank you to the crews who care and don't simply go through the motions

Just like staying in a 'good' hotel, it's often the intangibles of service and not simply 'what you get' (such as the seat width/pitch) that convey the reputation of a product.


User currently offlineELAL 744 From Israel, joined Jun 2000, 170 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 2835 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Trent, you were right when you mention hotel service
At a hotel you are a guest, on a flight you are a passenger.
When airlines get used to the idea that you are a guest, not mobile cargo, they can offer service that should be based on cleanliness, punctuality, quality and consistency



Vercere bracis meis
User currently offlineBennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7690 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2803 times:

As far as staff are concerned, I am polite to them and try to ensure that I have the things that they require, (Passport/Tickets etc). I expect them to be efficient and polite.

On the aircraft, I expect it to be safe and clean. Beverage wise, I would not expect to pay for water and regard charging for soft drinks/snacks as a mistake. Whilst this is not essential, I regard a lot of this BOB business as nickel and diming.

Finally, I expect the flight to arrive pretty well on time.

Price wise, I expect them to be competitive, but does not simply mean buying a flight which is £1 cheaper.


User currently offlineWNCrew From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1480 posts, RR: 10
Reply 19, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 2760 times:



Quoting Sancho99504 (Reply 14):
The FA was increasingly rude as the flight got closer to ORD to the point when I asked for another puke back she proceeded to yell at me. Needless to say she no longer works for AW and hopefully doesn't work for any airline again.

How do you know she no longer works there? You make it sound as if, due to your situation, she ended up loosing her job... which I HIGHLY doubt. If she did loose her job it was likely due to other factors including but not limited to her attitude. Just don't claim credit for having someone fired, I promise, the airlines don't fire us for bad pax letters.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineKL911 From Czech Republic, joined Jul 2003, 5201 posts, RR: 15
Reply 20, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 2706 times:

Service??? I don't want service. Just the cheapest seat to bring me from A to B. It's not that hard to sit still for a few hours reading a book, eating your own sandwiches...

KL911


User currently offlineMasseyBrown From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 5494 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 2685 times:



Quoting KL911 (Reply 20):
Just the cheapest seat to bring me from A to B. It's not that hard to sit still for a few hours reading a book, eating your own sandwiches...

Nothing wrong with that, but it is hard to sit still for hours restricted a tiny and butt-buster of a seat. Today's airplanes weren't designed to operate at consistently high load factors; they were designed to be highly profitable at 66% load factors. Filling the planes was supposed to be a rare event.

I bet most customer complains would go away if there were less crowding.



I love long German words like 'Freundschaftsbezeigungen'.
User currently offlineBurkhard From Germany, joined Nov 2006, 4399 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 2683 times:

Basic service is everything that is related to flying and safety:

Being guided to the place
controlled to have all luggage stored safely
being controlled to have seats belts on when necessary
given the safety instructions
being advice in non standard situations

That is what the FA are on board for.

In addition, in early times when tickets were expensive, airlines gave free drinks and meals to their passengers as a way to attract them to feel comfortable on board. But in my language that isn't service, it is a luxury. Nowadays, some airlines try to keep us on board with a high level of luxury, and others give no free luxury and try to get us on board with lower ticket prizes. Depending on the route and the typical passengers, both extremes work well, Singapore Airlines is successful and Ryanair is successful. Most airlines try to find a middle position, which often isn't successful - neither the lowest prize nor the best service. Basically, when people have to pay tickets from their own pocket, they are like you, the ticket prize counts, and they don't pay 50$ more just for a bad meal, and not 10$ more for a cup of coffee. If the somebody else pays the ticket, people tend to afford the little or much more luxury, as long as cost savings don't reach the tickets and even CEOs only are allowed to fly Y.


User currently offlinePanais From Cyprus, joined May 2008, 463 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 2673 times:



Quoting Tavong (Reply 2):
In fact what in my opinion is what people expects is a friendly attitude, a smile, good answers when needed, if there is a problem people want to be informed and treated like a living being.

I agree with that!!! A smile and a nod are the best marketing tools.

I would also add the following:
A decent comfortable seat with at least 32" pitch.
An IFE to keep me busy for anything above an 1 hour flight.
Quick food service, do not want to hold on to that try for more than I have to.
If I am a frequent traveler on that airline, I would like to be recognised for that from booking to picking up bags at the carousel, such as being assigned an emergency exit seat when requesting it, getting a seat at the front so that I can exit faster, getting my bags offloaded earlier do that I get to pick them up first, etc.

Finally, I would like to have the ability to upgrade my seat from Economy to Business using my points at the check-in desk.

Generally, service means noticing the little things that do not cost anything to the airline but create a lot of value.


User currently offlineSlimShady From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 199 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 2584 times:



Quoting MasseyBrown (Reply 21):
Today's airplanes weren't designed to operate at consistently high load factors; they were designed to be highly profitable at 66% load factors. Filling the planes was supposed to be a rare event.

Where did you get this info??? Are you an aircraft designer? Please cite your sources if this is a fact.


25 OzGlobal : Rant: It's really quite reductionist, on one of the most global forums on the internet, for Americans to speak about "service today", "the industry as
26 Post contains links MasseyBrown : Here is a representative source that states the 737 was designed to break even with a 35% load factor: http://www.b737.org.uk/history.htm A Google qu
27 DocLightning : NW LGW-DTW. We arrive and 30% of the plane's luggage is missing. The ground staff have NO idea that this has gone wrong or where it is. Turns out it w
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