Vacation Part 1: I Am The Customer

Jim Luff
Posted on June 1, 2011
CASH = TOP CUSTOMER SERVICE: As we headed out to Charlotte, N.C., my first observation was directly related to passenger transportation. Specifically, the lack of customer service provided by Continental Airlines. Even more specific, the service failure came down to the lead flight attendant. She apparently hates her job. I related it to the fact that the people in “the office” probably have no idea what horrible, rude service this lady is delivering.
Do we really know what our chauffeurs are saying to our clients? Do we really know how they handle informing clients of unpleasant news? In my case, our flight was late departing. The flight was full and people were trying to find available overhead bins. The attendant made an announcement stating that we were departing late and the longer they took to sit down, the later we would arrive in Houston and if they don’t hurry up, people are going to miss their connecting flights. Since we had a 40-minute window, I asked about what would happen to us. She chastised ME for making such a tight connection! As if I had anything to do with the itinerary assigned by Continental. 
Throughout the three-hour flight, I listened to her snap at people and demand a passenger to get up out of his seat so she could stand on it to look in an overhead compartment. When I dropped a water bottle while attempting to put it in her trash bag, she stated, “You dropped it!” She might as well have shouted at me to pick it up! 
Upon arriving in Houston, we learned that our connecting flight was in Terminal B. We arrived at Terminal E. Yikes! We now had 20 minutes. I asked a Continental representative if we could get a cart to take us to our connecting terminal because of the time factor. He told us to start walking and “try to get there.” As we passed another Continental cart and driver, I pleaded once again for a ride. The operator of that cart replied, “Not this cart”! We continued our sprint through the airport until I came across another cart. This time I displayed cash in my hand.  Amazing what the almighty dollar will do. We made it to our plane just in time for an immediate departure.
Next week.....a report on CLT Express Luxury Transportation and our experience at the Coca Cola 600 with mass marketing of every kind.

-- Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor

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Jim Luff Contributing Editor
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