Where Are the Problem Solvers?
“Welcome to American Airlines flight blah-blah. We’d like to apologize that on our flight from Buenos Aires to Miami, we’re three flight attendants short, so won’t be able to provide our high quality service as quickly as you may like. We apologize, too, that you have the December entertainment guide, so the movies listed will not match the movies on your in-seat entertainment system.”
“This is your pilot from the cockpit. I apologize, folks, but we’ve been circling Atlanta for so long, that we need to go back to Jacksonville to refuel. I know you’re hungry from being on the plane for so many hours, so I’ll call catering and see if I can get some minuscule bags of snacks to hold you over.”
How do airlines and airports manage to run at all with inefficient systems and archaic communication methods? There are service cutbacks, no flow to moving people or luggage, constant delays, backed up air traffic, and, most bothersome of all, no real people to assist in the airport...only red phones to a reservation center. I don’t expect my luggage will arrive with me when it’s pushed into a comical line in the “group meeting room” after customs. (And it didn’t.)
Granted this is a complex industry with a myriad of external factors over which it has no control, but where are the problem solvers? Is there no one in this industry who can assess the situation and make changes? A lot of businesses wouldn’t last if there was so little problem solving. Warehouses need to be efficient. Customer service needs to be good. Problems need to be solved. If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I spent a lot of time in airports and on airplanes both in the U.S. and elsewhere. On this trip, O’Hare (yes, O’Hare) proved to be the haven of calm. That should serve as a reference point for what Miami and Atlanta were like.
And with that, my airport raving is done, and I’ll move on to other topics.