Time for some more intervention.
Iberia is sometimes great, other times lousy and I have experienced both sides. IMHO there are problems in the structure of the airline and the attitudes of the more experienced staff (more of that later) - and I believe that they are aware of this, but as yet they are not resolved.
I speak as the owner of a company that carries out customer satisfaction surveys all over the world. Although we have not done any work in the aviation industry (yet), the principles of totally satisfied customers being loyal and spending all their money they are going to spend on a particular service or product is the same with any other product or service where there is a choice of suppliers (in this case airlines). Of course, many times things are out of the hands of airlines with regard to delays and a/c going tech, but the way that front-line staff interact with customers is KEY and there should never be any excuse for poor service, indifferent staff and unwillingness to help customers. The consequences of not being customer focused is that you get a bad reputation. Think about it - someone who has a bad experience with an airline on just one occasion, even after several previous good experiences, will have a negative affect on the image of that airline. Why? Because that person is going to tell everyone else they know what happened to them and that they should never fly with that airline again. OK
, there are other factors involved in the airline industry, and there is not always a choice of competitors, but it is correct in general.
So, taking away dissatisfaction caused by operational problems, an airlines should be trying to ensure that all passengers that interact with their staff receive the same message and are treated to the same high level of care. If this is done, then a passenger goes away satisfied. If they are given the impression that the representative of the airline just does not care or will not bend over backwards to sort out an issue - then the customer is going to get pissed. Iberia seem to have a problem with this sometimes.
For example, I recently flew LHR
. Now, I had purchased a business ticket and upgraded it to first through my IB
plus points. However, when I checked in in London, there was a problem with the way that the upgrade had been done and I was still in business on the MAD
leg. However, the lady on the ticket desk at LHR
spent a good half an hour on the phone and by the time I got to the gate - I was able to collect the correct boarding card for First Class on the MIA
flight. Top marks for the Iberia and Aviance staff in LHR
The actual first class experience on the MAD
flight was great. Great service, great food, and a fantastic little upper class deck on the B742. However, on other flights in economy on long-haul I have had the other experience. Poor service and disinterested F/A. Probably similar to Ushermittwoch's experiences.....
Within Europe, the service is OK
. I have mixed reservations about the "Tu Menu" in economy on short haul, but to be honest I'd rather pay to have a decent food (The club sandwich is EXCELLENT) than have the other poor excuses I have had for meals previous to the new menu. Apparently it is working well. As far as the F/As not being able to serve the whole cabin, that is going to be down to experience and I am sure they will get better when used to it. It's early days still.
I think one of the main issues is that when you become an Iberia F/A you have to start at the bottom on the short haul fleet and work your way up. An Iberia F/A with years of service has a very secure job and generally works on the long haul fleet .It is very noticeable that the staff on the long-haul flights are very mature, since to work on long-haul you have to have been around for a long time. It is an issue. Basically, you get all the new, keen recently trained f/as on the short haul fleet and the old, set-in-their-ways, unsackable, tired, bored f/as on the long haul fleet who basically have cushy jobs as far as I can tell from a friend who is an IB
F/A. I think that Iberia should mix their staff across the fleet to have experience matched with new blood. But, I doubt that would ever happen due to union resistance and the old-timers not wanting to have to do a hard job instead of the current 4 days per month or what ever it is they do. I know Iberia are trying to change
Also, another consideration for those who are not from the US, cultures are very different in Europe, and leagues behind the US in terms of customer care. What is taken for granted as normal in somewhere like Spain is outrageous to an American and considered rude by a Brit. Believe me, I have lived in Spain for 6 years, and I have to keep reminding myself of this fact when I am given shoddy service. No offence Spaniards, but it is what everyone is used to over there. It's a kind of "well this is what it is like - so take it or leave it". One of the reasons I am not setting up a branch of my business in Spain is that customer satisfaction does not always seem to be so important - so I would not have such a demand for business.
But there again I love Spain and the good things are better than the bad things - as in any country you have to learnt to accept the differences and get on with it.