Airline Blues


I have been stuck in Sao Paulo airport for over 7 hours.  My flight to Madrid and onto London with Iberia was delayed and then cancelled.  My boarding passes have been taken away and the Iberia staff have disappeared off the face of the earth having promised to sort out everything.  I noticed individuals being quietly summoned and given new boarding passes but not me.

I have been relegated to the rump left waiting with absolutely no information at all apart from the fact we have been dumped off Iberia and on to TAM.  Not the world’s favourite airline.  They have a direct flight to London but I am told it is full and I have to go via Paris or Frankfurt.  My clever computer tells me there are 7 seats on the London flight and only 5 on the Frankfurt one!  But I will go to Paris I bet, now, as that is the latest flight with the worst connection.

What is frustrating is the obvious heirachy of business class passengers.  Not speaking Portugese leaves me very low in the pecking order and not being prepared to shout and jump up and down leaves me further adrift.  Iberia staff appear not to care.  I am sure they do, but the impression is that they want everyone to go away.  And to make that a reality, the staff have disappeared and nothing has been seen of them for over two hours.

What I learned:

Customer service is really simple:

Keep people informed

Be honest

Don’t obviously do some people favours but not others

Apologise for the inconvenience

Smile at people:  remember they pay your wages

Argue on their behalf:   put yourself out a bit

I would rate Iberia about 3/10.  Don’t fly Iberia.  Punish them for punishing me!!

I have no idea when I will get to London:  not time of day, not even day. As each flight leaves the options diminish.  Uggggh!


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2 Responses to “Airline Blues” - Leave a Comment

  1. i would rather be stuck in an airport wondering how on earth i can get to london or paris than being here – in front of my PC!
    how lucky you are to see the world and all kinds of humanity!

  2. I once flew Iberia London to Madrid. I pinged the ‘steward’s Button’ above me when we reached cruising altitude. The Steward only appeared hours later to simply ping it off when we were descending to land.

    I got this piece of advice from someone who flew around the world for years (he worked for the airlines). Stay calm and polite for as long as possible. Then with 15 mins to go until the gate closes – go apeshit. They’ll do anything to get rid of you to get the flight out.

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