Sunday, 14 June 2015

Hey Airlines, Start Treating Us Like Human Beings!

I decided to write this post after one of my Facebook friends posted a horrid story about passengers on a United Airlines flight who were left to stay at a remote military barracks with little warmth, little food and very little information after their plane made an emergency landing in Goose Bay, a town in northeastern Canada (see: EXCLUSIVE: Hundreds of fuming United Airlines passengers 'abandoned' in remote Canada barracks for 20 HOURS after 'faulty' Chicago-London flight diverts while crew spend night in 'comfy hotel').  I'm actually not surprised that something like this happened, especially with a carrier like United Airlines, who along with several other companies have a notorious record of poor customer service.  For those of you who are interested in finding out what other airlines don't make the grade, just look at this list of The 15 Worst Airlines Flying in 2015.

Anyone who has flown at least a few times during their life probably has a bad story to tell about less than stellar customer service on the part of an airline.  I've heard plenty of tall tales from friends and relatives; tales of lost luggage, rude staff, flight delays and so forth.  What really bothers me, though, is that lately, the airlines have been treating us less and less like human beings and a lot more like chattel.  The seats are getting smaller, the fares are getting higher, and the airlines keep finding more ways to nickel and dime us to death.  Does anyone remember when those headphones were free?  How about those complementary meals on short-haul flights, or being able to check just one bag without having to pay a $25 fee?  Those days are long gone, my friends.  Nowadays, unless you happen to have the big bucks to fly first class or business class, you'll be crammed into tiny seats, jammed up alongside the people next to you.  You'll barely be able to move, let alone do something revolutionary, like cross your legs.  In fact, if a dog is flying on the plane below you in the cargo hold, he'll probably have more room than you since most regulations stipulate that pets travelling on airplanes must be in kept in an enclosure that allows them to stand up, turn around and lie down.  Does this irony sound stupid to anyone else?

It's time the airlines started treating us like human beings.  So for any airline CEO reading this, let me sum it all up for you.  Stop cramming us into your airplanes like sardines.  Give us seats that will allow us to move a couple of inches or more without having to disturb the person next to us.  Better yet, give us seats that will allow us to get up to go to the bathroom without having to wake up the person in the next seat taking a nap.  Stop charging us for things that you used to give us for free.  Hire staff that will treat us with dignity.  And most importantly, do these things for ALL of your passengers, not just those with deep pockets.    


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