Thursday, February 26, 2009

Airline Customer Service, Flying in the “Idiot Cabin,” and a New Blog Poll

There’s a post over at One Mile At A Time (and several other travel blogs and news sites) about a United flight attendant calling passengers in economy “idiots,” and being overheard by a passenger listening to the cockpit channel. On every United flight we’ve taken in the past year (in Economy Plus, which is still in the “idiot cabin”), that’s pretty much how we’ve been treated, so it’s really not a surprise to hear the FAs actually saying it. The best commentary about United’s service, specifically, was on a post at Wing and a Prayer.

But is there something else going on here?

Twice recently, we’ve ridiculed the Association of Flight Attendants for making inane comments (not specifically referencing United) about flight attendants’ duties being primarily that of “safety professionals” in the sky.

We’re beginning to wonder if the Association of Flight Attendants is intentionally putting out moronic statements so as to lower our (already low) expectations regarding actual customer service in the cabin. Maybe if they get enough of us believing that their real duties are as overgrown hall monitors, we won’t even expect courtesy any more.

If that is the mindset of the FA’s union, and that message is being passed on to FAs at most airlines, is it any wonder that there’s an adversarial attitude between airline management, pilots, flight attendants, phone reps, gate agents, baggage handlers, and ... oh, yes, customers.

So with spring in the air, and April Fool’s Day approaching, we’ve added a new poll to this blog. Over in the right column, voice your opinions about customer service on U.S. airlines. Poll closes on ... April Fool’s Day.