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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Airports train workers to be nicer to fliers

Airport Check-in: Airports train workers to be nicer to fliers

Well, it's about time. The most important part of this article is the recognition: It's not our fault, but it is our problem.

The whole air travel industry is fubar, not because of competition, union greed, or maybe even investor greed.

It's because of the greed of travelors and those who pay for us to travel. We, they, want it for less and less, all the while wanting more and more in return.

Gentle people, it does not often work that way. You want to fly on Walmart prices? You're going to get Walmart service, which means you'd better be prepared to look after yourself.

Now, we do need to assign a little more blame here. Take a gander at airline pricing strategies. Although the need for a Saturday night stay has about disappeared, the closer you get to your travel date, the higher those tickets are going to be, and I really do not think the difference in price is to make up for the interest lost on the sales of those early tickets.

The difference in price is to rip off those of us who often travel without much advance notice. The price of the seats should represent cost plus margin with an increment for demand, not the time.

Here's an unexpected exception regarding customer service at bargain basement pricing.

Flyboy Josh missed his flight at Thanksgiving because of a series of technical gotchas that he now knows to avoid. Even though he was flying on a deeply discounted ticket, a gate agent recognized the AF uniform, and then took over an hour to get Josh on an alternative flight.

Unexpected customer service. I doubt the flyboy ever voluntarily chooses another carrier.

Similarly with the food in the airport. There's a restaurant in the new terminal at RDU that is slow about bringing up the credit card machine in the morning. I learned this the hard way at 6 am when I had to use my precious cash to pay for a meal.

I do not eat there anymore regardless of the time. Why? Because the waiter's apology was gratuitous, not sincere, not in the least. His tip reflected that observation also.

It costs nothing to smile. It costs nothing to be friendly. We all should do it a little more often.

Location:Westgrove St,Raleigh,United States

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