This is strictly an opinion piece.
Over the last weeks the news and social media people of the world have been deriding the airlines for episodes of inappropriate customer service. Where the individual problems with the different airlines were indeed, real problems, I think that both the news outlets and the social media universe have done the airlines a fairly large injustice.
A quick google search of the FAA shows flight numbers in the order of 2.25 million passengers a day, with some 7000 planes in the sky at any given time. Okay, now go back to the last sentence and read it again. 2.25 million people flew somewhere. One person made an ass of themselves. Somehow it made international news. Now, it’s a travesty in the airways. I really don’t think so.
If I were to use the same logic that the news channels do, I would come up with an entirely different conclusion. I have made two flight across the US in the last two weeks. Both flights were one-stop flights. One leg stopping in O’Hare and one leg stopping in Philadelphia. I think we can agree that both of those airports can be problematic at times. That being said, one all four flights and both stops I had nothing but good service. The flight crews on all four on my flights were excellent. The logistics of changing planes at both stops was smooth and un-hassled. By every measure, I can rate the airline industry as excellent.
My point here is very simple. People focus on the bad because good news doesn’t sell anything. The news media and the social news media twist things to the horrible end every time they can – Because good news doesn’t sell anything. Telling people that 7000 planes flew today without incident has no impact compared to some idiot got drug off of a single flight for some reason that no one cares about. One incident in 2.25 million isn’t news, it’s fabrication – In my opinion.
My point should be obvious to anyone that has traveled outside their own country. If you listen to the international news before you travel somewhere, you will never get on the plane. If you believe what the news media and the social news media would have you believe, then the world is going to Hell in a handbasket. BUT, if you managed to get on the plane and go see, you obviously know that it isn’t. The rest of the world is a marvelous place to explore, with beautiful sights and wonderful people.
Don’t buy into the hype. Does the airline industry have some serious customer service issue? Yes. Frankly speaking, a great deal of the customer service problems are the fault of the customers. There are a lot of great people in the skies, do a great job, and trying to get unappreciative people wherever they want/need to go. That is why I do my best to thank the flights crews as I disembark my flights. It’s good for them to know that not everyone hates the job they do.
Take a minute and look at the facts before you believe the hype. Then, get out there and explore.
It’s a great big world out there, it would suck if you didn’t see it because you were listening to some idiot on television telling you not to go.
Just my two cents.
O’Hare International Airport, Chicago, Illinois, January 2015. Getting ready to board a flight to London, where I picked up the Grand Prize at the 2014 London Book Festival. It was a good flight.