And it has. Rather than just going away, people are now more willing to listen to others’ complaints about customer service and strong-arm tactics. Airlines have their defenders, yes, but even those defenses often just serve to fuel anger. Is there a valid reason for enforcing a no-one standing while the plane is in line for take-off rule? One hundred percent yes. But what happens if you just can’t hold it? And what happens if you have to go, but the line to the hopelessly overextended bathroom area which services 75 other passengers stretches down the aisle and turbulence happens? I noticed, to my horror, upon disembarking a flight from Frankfurt to Johannesburg that one of the adult passengers had actually wet himself. That should *never* happen. But it does. And many people are afraid it might end up being them. Fear, dread, and total loss of control – combined with a multi-hour uncomfortable smoosh-fest with gross food – does not lend itself to happy and easygoing passengers.
If anything good comes of this, it will be that US-based carriers up their game and remember that customers are paying them for a service, they are not doing customers a favor by taking their money and abusing them. And airlines are making the right noises about change; whether they follow through or not remains to be seen.
I love travel. I love exposing my kids to travel. I love that my family is absolutely insufferable when watching the movie European Vacation. I know that sounds snotty, and I don’t mean it to. I put a job’s worth of time into getting the most out of our travel, because goodness knows that we’re not at an income level to be able to just throw down the Visa card whenever a place strikes our fancy (case in point – Australia and New Zealand. My kids are DYING to visit those two and we have not been able to find a way to swing it as of yet. But, you know, goals are good).
Because we are not independently wealthy, we pay close attention to sales, promotions and airline points. It is those airline points which are today causing the ridiculous headache, and I have vowed they WILL! NOT! WIN!