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I’m Sierra. I live in the Boston area with my family.

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Best of Web: Airline Fail Edition

by Sierra on February 21, 2010 · 7 comments

in Uncategorized

Usually this posts on Sundays, but I’m on vacation. Also, there is no usually. Deal.

For some reason, my attention this week has been on the epic failure that is modern airline customer service. It’s been a crazy week for the friendly skies.

On Spirit Air, an entire family was kicked off a plane because a man asked for a glass of water for his pregnant wife. Apparently serving water before takeoff is against regulations. Really? Why?

In Philadelphia, the TSA forced a disabled 4-year-old to remove his leg braces and crawl through the security screen. While the family eventually got an apology, there’s no telling how scarred the child and his parents will be by that experience. They have private screening rooms to search passengers. This seems like it would have been an optimal time to use them.

Just this afternoon, Air Canada stranded Her Bad Mother for hours because they’d booked her on a connecting flight 40 minutes after her plane landed, giving her 40 minutes to land, get off the plane, clear customs, get checked back through security, and make it to a new gate in a different terminal. Right.

And while it doesn’t include any kids — just people acting like kids — there’s the whole debacle with Southwest kicking Kevin Smith off a flight because he was deemed too fat to fly.

Clearly, the airline industry has one big, fat customer service problem on its hands, one that probably has a lot of airline execs crying like babies. It’s also one they’re not likely to fix anytime soon. US Airways told me my problem was standard operating procedure.

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  • johnpublic1

    Of course, you didn't bother to tell the whole story – only the airline hating part of it. Didn't mention about him and his kids being disruptive and causing problems, did you. Other people on the flight have gone on record stating how bad this man and his family are – but that wouldn't help your case, so you left that part out. How convenient.

    Yeah, a 4 year old is scarred for life by this – get over it. If they always let leg braces through the screening, the next terrorists would have bombs in their leg braces – DUH.

    Have you ever sat on a plane next to a fat person? Their fat overflowing into your narrow seat? Just because they don't respect themselves enough to not be so fat, we're all supposed to adjust for them? Hardly – how about some personal accountability here.

    I feel sorry for your kids – they're the ones who'll be scarred for life!

    [Reply]

  • drwex

    I'm fortunate I don't have to fly to see most of my family and I can plan vacations that don't require flying, either. At least not until they get their collective heads out of their collective asses.

    [Reply]

  • se1959

    I am aghast at your experience!!! I have traveled a lot with little kids, including quite a few plane trips but not recently, my kids are all big now, and never had any real issues. I sure hope your return flights are less eventful.

    [Reply]

  • Meghan

    The story with the pregnant woman, the man was verbally abusive and one of his children physically assaulted a flight attendant by hitting them in the groin. He was asked to leave because of his behavior, not the request. Other passengers were interviewed and revealed that there was more to the story.

    Also, if there is turbulence there will be no beverage service if the flight attendants cannot safely manage the cart. I was on one horrible 4 hour flight where this happened, I was pregnant. Usually (and always now), I bring an empty water bottle and fill it up at the drinking fountain, or you can purchase water from a vendor. I also bring fruit, nuts, and homemade energy/granola bars to snack on. It makes flying much easier.

    I am not trying to blame the woman, but the husband/father. If you exhibit abusive behavior you will most likely get kicked off the plane. It's frustrating not get what your spouse needs, but airline travel is unfair and frustrating right now (as evidenced by your articles), so until the system changes people should prepare.

    [Reply]

  • Meghan

    The story with the pregnant woman, the man was verbally abusive and one of his children physically assaulted a flight attendant by hitting them in the groin. He was asked to leave because of his behavior, not the request. Other passengers were interviewed and revealed that there was more to the story.

    Also, if there is turbulence there will be no beverage service if the flight attendants cannot safely manage the cart. I was on one horrible 4 hour flight where this happened, I was pregnant. Usually (and always now), I bring an empty water bottle and fill it up at the drinking fountain, or you can purchase water from a vendor. I also bring fruit, nuts, and homemade energy/granola bars to snack on. It makes flying much easier.

    I am not trying to blame the woman, but the husband/father. If you exhibit abusive behavior you will most likely get kicked off the plane. It's frustrating not get what your spouse needs, but airline travel is unfair and frustrating right now (as evidenced by your articles), so until the system changes people should prepare.

    [Reply]

  • Meghan

    The story with the pregnant woman, the man was verbally abusive and one of his children physically assaulted a flight attendant by hitting them in the groin. He was asked to leave because of his behavior, not the request. Other passengers were interviewed and revealed that there was more to the story.

    Also, if there is turbulence there will be no beverage service if the flight attendants cannot safely manage the cart. I was on one horrible 4 hour flight where this happened, I was pregnant. Usually (and always now), I bring an empty water bottle and fill it up at the drinking fountain, or you can purchase water from a vendor. I also bring fruit, nuts, and homemade energy/granola bars to snack on. It makes flying much easier.

    I am not trying to blame the woman, but the husband/father. If you exhibit abusive behavior you will most likely get kicked off the plane. It's frustrating not get what your spouse needs, but airline travel is unfair and frustrating right now (as evidenced by your articles), so until the system changes people should prepare.

    [Reply]

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