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Small Difference Between Good And Bad Service

Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:28 pm


Please note that this is not an Iberia bashing topic, but I'm rather bringing Iberia as an example and not as the subject of this discussion.
A few months ago I was in Spain, and I had to fly from Almeria to Valencia, and much to my dismay I had to change planes in MAD. All in all, I had one hour to change planes in MAD.
To make a long story short, my flight from Almeria to MAD was 3 hours late (!!!!!), and no one uttered a word.When we asked a lady from Iberiawhat the problem was and if she had an idea when the flight was leaving, we go a shrug, not a word. And this has been my experience with Iberia almost always.
Now to the point. I can understand that flights may be late, and it can happen to the best of airlines, but the difference between leaving the passenger in the dark and keeping him in the loop is so short. The lady could have kept us informed, and by that keep us less anxious....and by that provide a better service. Why is it not done, is beyond me.


BTW, I made my flight to VLC as it was also very delayed.....and we were unaware of the delay......
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RE: Small Difference Between Good And Bad Service

Fri Sep 10, 2010 11:19 pm

Want to know the real difference? Its in the employees you interact with...gate agents, counter folks, flight attendents...
Thats the big dif in good or bad service with Whoever Airlines. Some folks at Whoever is great and some wont give you the time of day if you ask them a question. Its the individual and it all goes back to training.
If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
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RE: Small Difference Between Good And Bad Service

Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:07 am

I agree, good customer service provision in the airline industry has a lot to do with passenger communication in what can often be a disorientating and confusing travel process, especially during connections that don't go to plan. To keep passengers informed ensures that they feel comfortable and confident in what's going on and that they feel they are being cared for on an individual basis.

That Iberia did not do the above, considering the sale of connecting tickets is a core part of their business, is very poor.

If this is a common occurrence, the airline definitely needs to sort out its training to its customer service staff, at the very least educating them on the product they are actually selling. My point is that this is very basic stuff for a network airline and there is no excuse for it not being executed properly on a consistent basis!
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RE: Small Difference Between Good And Bad Service

Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:17 am

Yes, customer perception of any business is all about how people are communicated with. You can serve up a mediocre meal, use second rate aircraft, run three hours late and still people will love you if they have been told what is going on. A little smile goes a long way, yet it costs nothing.
I can understand that sometimes people on the front desk are just as ill-informed as the passenger or they may be exhausted from answering the same question 247 times. But being unhelpful or rude won't make the job any easier. All that does is get the passengers' backs up and make a bad situation worse.
Perhaps the lack of courteous customer service for a while was a legacy of a long period of state-owned monopolies where such matters were not considered important. Perhaps mergers, downsizing, working shift changes have lowered morale. Who knows? But it is something that airline management will need to address in an environment where customers have greater choices.
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RE: Small Difference Between Good And Bad Service

Sat Sep 11, 2010 7:38 am

Its a lose-lose situation i think, if the captain or flight attendant said, "oh sorry everyone we have a tecnical problem with the engine/hydraulics, we should sort this out soon" and said that a few times, how many customers would you lose due to them being very worried?

I think they would lose their job or get disciplined for saying the real reason if its a serious problem with the aircraft, not sure though?

Being calm and not saying much or anything is a way of trying to keep them calm and "being on tiptoe so to try and not upset anyone" is probably their only way of dealing with it, although they could say "we are going to be delayed 3 hours" i agree, but i think they hoped it wouldnt be that long i guess.
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RE: Small Difference Between Good And Bad Service

Sat Sep 11, 2010 9:06 am

Quoting Flyingfox27 (Reply 4):
I think they would lose their job or get disciplined for saying the real reason

I recall a few years ago, when BA still served PER, an announcement made during preparations for departure from SIN to the effect that there was a "problem with number 3 engine". Cabin crew handed out drinks and not much later the problem, whatever it may have been, was sorted.
On recent flight to Madrid departure was delayed by an engineering problem and the Captain announced that he “hoped to be underway in about 5 minutes”. He later came and announced that the problem was fixed but the departure slot had been missed and they needed to “negotiate a new departure”.
In both instances no one seemed to mind, although if anyone had a tight connection they might have worried about missing it.
Of course the situation might have been different if the announcements were made before boarding, but generally people just want to get to there destination with the minimum of fuss. Passengers need to be informed of a delay and an estimate of how long the delay will last. With an engineering delay you can't always predict accurately 100% of the time, but if the time is longer than originally stated then an updated estimate needs to be given. Perhaps, for that reason, it might be better to over-estimate: if you say 5 mins and it turns out to be 50 people will be less impressed than if you say 20 mins and it turns out to be 5.
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RE: Small Difference Between Good And Bad Service

Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:21 pm

I would agree with all the posts above. It would ultimately come down to the individual however it would also be the culture at that airline. Some are better at communication than others. I guess for the person involved, it was easier to say nothing than to do something about it because that would involve 'more work'. Just an acknowlegment and some advice was all that was needed. That would be the difference between mediocre, good, and great. Sometimes a smile is enough to turn a bad situation into a more pleasant one.


You can never travel too much in your life!
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RE: Small Difference Between Good And Bad Service

Sat Sep 18, 2010 12:44 am

I agree that interaction is importante. I flew AA International Business to Quito, Ecuador in July 2009. The FAs made an effort to speak with us, talk about our trip to Ecuador...Thos past July I flew on CO International Business to Managua, Nicaragua. The FAs had no personal interaction with us other than beverage and food service. I cannot remember the food but I remember the personal interaction or lack of it.
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RE: Small Difference Between Good And Bad Service

Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:37 am

I can only agree with everything already said.

As to the IB women just shrugging: politely explaining that she was not aware of what was the issue would probably have been sufficient. It would have taken 30 seconds, and while you didn't get a satisfactory answer to your question at least you would come away feeling as if it was because she didn't know the answer as opposed to her being rude or objectionable.
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