Airline travelers, UNITE!

So, the kids and I just got back from Virginia. It’s 1:15 in the morning here, but I’m so worked up I really can’t get to sleep yet. It’s been one of those hellish travel days where I feel like I asked someone to beat me up and then paid them lots of money for their effort.

I’m already freaked out about flying, and it has nothing to do with plane crashes anymore. Lately, the airlines haven’t exactly proven to have stellar performances when it comes to people’s civil liberties. Holding people on planes for 9+ hours. Kicking people off for having loud children. Coughing to much. Not wearing the ‘proper clothing’. Really?! Shackling a sick, mentally unstable woman to a bench and leaving her. REALLY?!?

Today, as I endured DELTA (yes, you, Delta) trampling all over the Americans with Disablities Act countless times in the case of my Dad, and shooting holes through any kind of customer service, decency, respect, and assistance that a mom traveling alone with her 3 kids needs (and expects a certain amount of for a service I am paying for), I wondered what other service based BUSINESS could function so poorly and still stay in business. As I sat at the baggage carousel for and hour with 3 other flights with bags that had not yet come in yet, I came up with two other examples with such customer dissatisfaction and poor customer service: the US Post Office, and the US Public Education.

Something clicked tonight, ladies and gentleman. It’s this, plain and simple. I am the paying customer. In a contract between the airline and myself, I should be able to expect a certain degree of professionalism and honesty from the carrier I pay money to. As I looked around the very full and very crowded baggage area, I saw a lot of disgruntled passengers. People who were probably overbooked and/or switched to another flight. People who had been delayed for an undeterminate amount of time. People who just wanted their bags in a reasonable time after departing the plane. People who were told (in so many words) to sit down and shut up for the duration of the flight or they would be classified a ‘security concern’. People who, collectively, had paid a lot of money for their current mistreatment.

Were I more of a revolutionary, I would have pulled out some quotes that I learned from my trip to Virginia and shouted them from the baggage carousel. “Friends, countrymen, fellow passengers, lend me your ears! How many of you have been long afflicted with this curse of badly managed and poorly handled mistreatment from your airline oppresors?! This cannot stand! GIVE ME BETTER FLIGHTS OR GIVE ME DEATH!” However, I didn’t want to end up shackled to a bench. Scare tactics and corporal punishment ever were the effective means of preventing change.

I am no longer scared to fly. I am angry.

Airline Passenger’s Bill of Rights

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7 Responses

  1. The worst thing about this situation, is that you live in the “land of the free” where you are supposed to have the right to complain, voice your concerns and otherwise be vocally disgruntled by being treated so poorly.

    The fact that they use scare tacticts and initimidation to “keep you in your place” is worse than the previously offending behaviour.

    At least you’re home now. 🙂

  2. I think the time to complain would be now- you can get to the people who may actually care w/o being dragged from the terminal. Sorry it sucked

  3. That totally sucks.
    You’re right – it sucks worst of all that you can’t say “You suck!” without being gagged, shackled, and put in a dark room with a lamp hanging over your head to make you sweat and confess to your dark deeds – wondering if you’ll ever again see the light of day.
    It’s been a long time since I’ve flown… this makes me in not a hurry to do so!
    Welcome back home.

  4. Oh not Delta. I have a non-refundable flight with them next week. Crap.

    BTW, do you know what the airlines, post office and public education all have in common (other than sucking lol) – they are all run by government agencies! If that’s not a pretty big sign of our government needing an overhaul I don’t know what is!

    Maybe I should print out that bill o’ rights to take with me next week?

  5. P.s. Did you know on the very very bottom of your page is a teeny-tiny smiley face? lol

  6. Sheri & Stephanie…you are right. The intimidation and scare tactics are what’s out of line!

    Tara…you’ll be fine on Delta, as long as you don’t need help, the flight isn’t delayed unexplicably, and you don’t expect sunshine and roses by the flight crew. 😉 There are leaflets from a pro-bill of rights website here: http://www.thetravelinsider.info/airlines/images/paxbillofrights3up2.pdf

    I’m sure Delta would love for you to pass them out mid flight.

    And…I’ve never noticed the smiley face! It’s cute!

  7. Delta does indeed suck. I’ve compile a list of over 50 such complaints, mostly blogs like yours, and am adding to it daily.

    Mike

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