Archive for the ‘Airlines’ Category


Uploaded by takomabibelot

 I’ve seen this technique growing over the years.  The surefire way to reduce customer complaints is to make it impossible to complain.  I first experienced this on an international flight.  When everyone got off the plane, there was no one there. 

Just the other day I called a company about a small problem and they put me in the cue.  The recorded message said, all I’d have to do is wait 30 to 60 minutes for the next agent.

There are others where the only place you can get information is on their website, but if it’s not there it just keeps recycling you back to the home page.

What’s nice about this approach is you can show upper management a proven reduction in customer complaints.  “We must be doing something right.  Nobody’s complaining.”

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This article was sent to my by Marc Mancini. Marc is a travel industry speaker and consultant who teaches at West Los Angeles College.

Is there a name for those goofy, often clever lists that your friends email to you? I don’t know if there is, but they certainly have brightened my inbox on a lackluster day. More important, they often reflect certain truths that otherwise go unrecognized. That’s precisely why the best ones have probably circled the globe 132 times.

Recently I received one such e-list called the Airline Dictionary. Understand: I have great respect for airlines employees. These days, they must toil in a stressful, challenging environment, one often shaped by a corporate philosophy and attitude that isn’t exactly people-friendly.

Sitting in a middle seat on a four-hour flight, pondering the enigma that as Americans have become larger, seat space has become smaller, I decided to write my own version of the Airline Dictionary. Here it is:

  • Open-jaw: What clients do when they find out what their full-coach airfare will be.
  • Airfare: (Mathematics) Unstable number that changes so fast it cannot be measured.
  • Passenger: Cargo that talks.
  • Airline club: Paradise-like kingdom guarded by dragon-like creatures.
  • Fog: Weather condition generated by airports.
  • Luggage carousel: Mechanical device that always turns in a direction opposite to the one you expect.
  • Airline sales rep: Underpaid demigod expected to perform superhuman tasks. Rare species.
  • No rec: The passenger went online and booked his own flight.
  • Tunnel between UA terminals at O’Hare: Passageway built to create flashback hallucinations in Baby Boomers.
  • Direct flight: (1) Connecting flight in disguise; (2) What civilians think a nonstop flight is.
  • Security checkpoint: Place where TSAs make fun of people’s socks.
  • In-flight snack: Little treats sealed in a bag impervious to all but chainsaws.
  • Baggage sorting area: See “Bermuda Triangle.”
  • Code-share: Magic trick in which aircraft from several different airlines leave from the same gate at the very same moment.
  • Gate announcement: Vital information delivered over a sound system rejected by Taco Bell.
  • Overhead reading light: Light that points to anyplace but where your book is.
  • Remain seated announcement: Phrase that creates an instant urge to go to the lavatory.
  • 737: Response to overwhelming customer demand for more middle seats.
  • 747: Pregnant 737.
  • Commuter jet: 737 before it grows up.
  • Blankets and pillows: (Archaic) Sleep-inducing objects said to have existed in primitive times.
  • SkyMall catalog: (1) Collection of items thought up by mad geniuses; (2) Things that could have made you rich if you had thought of them first.
  • Minimum connecting time: Time it takes for an Olympic Gold Medal sprinter to run between two gates.
  • Hotel shuttle: Vehicle subject to paranormal effect. While waiting, every hotel van will come by multiple times – except yours.
  • Overhead luggage: Rectangular object expected to magically shrink from the size of a refrigerator to the size of a loaf of bread.
  • Frequent flyer programs: Airline’s term for Pandora’s Box.
  • Skycap effect: Uncontrolled urge to watch what happens to your luggage after you check it at curbside.
  • ARUNK: Sound passenger makes when sitting between two very large people.
  • On time: Obscure term, meaning unknown.

Marc is currenlty trying to use an upgrade coupon, with no expiration date, that he has been trying to use since 1987. He failed again.  

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