Some of us are old enough to remember when there actually was service aboard your flight. Free hot meals and drinks were the norm on all flights, and flight attendants would actually come and speak with you. You could get up and hang around out by the back of the plane in economy class without being asked to go back to your seat.
What is heck is going on with U.S. Airlines? A doctor gets physically or should we say, brutally removed by aviation officers, dragged through the aisle, head bobbing up and down while bleeding as passengers cringed at such an act of force and violence. Another passenger was not allowed to bring his medication aboard a plane by an airline Most recently a passenger and flight attendant get into a scuffle over a baby-stroller and the flight attendant dares the passenger to punch him.
My friends, those are not the friendly skies of what appears to be a bygone era. How did flying domestically come to such epic horror stories, and public relations nightmares for the airlines?
As we all know executive decisions come from the top of the corporate ladder. It all begins with airline executives. Perhaps, you watched United Ceo, Oscar Munoz as he made a rather feeble attempt to squash the abhorrent event of a kicking and screaming doctor being forcefully removed from his airline. This was Clockwork Orange, a futuristic sci-fi nightmare. To use the term “re-accommodate” is repulsive, loathsome, despicable, take your pick.
Where does this all stem from? That’s right, the top of the food chain. Airline executives so intent on cutting costs at all measures, that they’ve alienated flyers. Passenger was bound to happen sooner or later. Remember, when one check-in bag was free? Clearly, United has set a domino effect, an anxiety among passengers that the skies are not so friendly after all.
Nowadays, we’re all reporters, we all have smart phones and it’s difficult to hide or not be seen. Good news travels fast, bad news travels faster, and like a blazing flame, the United incident was quickly shown on all media and social media outlets. Facebook and Twitter lit up faster than sundown on the Las Vegas strip.
Flight attendants are also overworked as companies attempt to reap profits. The only thing that matters to the airline hierarchy are profits. Airline executives are so intent on keeping the “bottom line” in place, and cutting every way possible, that they have forgotten that “the customer comes first” while angering the modern day flyer with all of their added fees. Taking away a bit more legroom in economy class, charging $25.00 for a checked-in bag, charging for meals. Overworking flight and gate attendants with much shorter layovers.
These airline executives had their eyes so set on the mighty dollar that a boiling point of negative p.r. was bound to happen sooner or later.
It would be interesting to see these overpaid executives flying coach themselves.
So, I say this to the airline C.E.Os and chain of command, at your next board meeting stop discussing cutting corners, and consider how giving back a little bit just might keep your employees happy and most important, your customers.
Let’s hope that passengers short memories do not give way to loyalty frequent flyer programs.
As for me, my wife still puts me the middle seat, while she takes the window.