AMERICAN AIRLINES – BITCH!
Your business can learn a lot from this.
When I booked a flight over to New York recently I did it a little different. I’d read about code sharing being lower on flights so decided to see what I could get. Code sharing is cheaper because you book on a flight that is already on it’s way somewhere but it takes a stop to pick up more passengers.
I managed to book a flight with Finnair and get on a flight with my wife to be from Finland that stopped in Manchester to pick up more passengers. Once the flight was booked to my horror I noticed it was with one flight company I really don’t like and that is AA or America Airlines and I will explain why.
The last time I got a flight with these guys was over to San Francisco. The plane was terrible, old and filthy. Now that was seven years ago so surely things will have changed?
First the plane was delayed four hours. I don’t mind that because sometimes it just can’t be helped. Finally we got on to an older plane that was in AA old blue colors. The paint was peeling off everywhere. Now the next bit is absolutely accurate.
The seats were filthy.
The seat pockets had rubbish in them.
The arms were sticky and filthy with old drinks.
The floors were stained and filthy.
The toilets had in no way been cleaned and smelled.
Unusually the staff all looked like they hated the passengers (maybe due to time delay and now being late)
For the first time ever on a flight no one came to check the seatbelts were on, no one did the safety check and not once during a seven hour flight apart from meals did I see a member of staff. We sat next to the emergency door. The rule is a member of staff has to come and show you how to open it. No one came.
Tamuna asked for a tea. The flight attendant gave a sigh and said meet me at the back. Once Tamuna got to the back the woman complained about not knowing where anything is! Not useful if there was an accident. Tamuna came back with the cold tea a little annoyed.
Later the attendant came back to where we were sat. A couple next to us asked for something but I am not sure what. The blonde attendant didn’t reply just shrugged her shoulders. As she walked off the guy said, ‘American Airlines – bitch!’
They were rude beyond words I can write here. All sat or slept behind their little secret cabin behind old blue curtains during the flight. Comfort was shockingly bad and out of the many long haul flights I have done over the years I have never seen space so cramped ever!
It gets worse. When I started flying in 1985 on my first flight to Portugal there was maybe three TVs for the whole of the plane. You had to strain like crazy to watch anything. There were no TVs on this plane apart from that same 1985 system. Unless you had binoculars forget it!
There are just two final insults I can record and they were insulting!
When breakfast arrived the guy and the woman the passenger called a bitch literally threw a white cardboard box on the table on front of us without a single word. The woman then stared at me with no expression and said one word… drink?
I replied tea. Her reaction was to stared at me so I stared back until finally she said in an angry tone another word… Milk? Maybe she was actually a robot and had a limited vocabulary but frankly I have seen robots say more and show more expression.
Finally the plane landed in Manchester. Now you know when you leave a plane and the crew all stand at the door and say goodbye? There was one person standing there that said nothing and it was the pilot. He never even said thank you. I have no idea where all the staff was but I think they were in the kitchen area.
Now would you fly with American Airlines?
Interesting right on many business fronts.
First how are they actually allowed to use the word American? A place that bases so much pride in itself yet they allow almost criminal service.
How is it anyone in the company doesn’t see this level of service and if they do why do they ignore it?
Finally an unhappy customer tells other people about bad service. Today I am emailing tens of thousands on my email list to talk about AMERICAN AIRLINES bad service.
You know what is sad, all of that is fixable. Bad service and systems are fixable.
I worked with a huge corporation recently.
Their phone manner was shocking and converted nothing. When I say nothing I mean they were paying four people on average £20,000 a year to pick up a phone and get a sale so £80,000 with NO SALES is what I mean when I say nothing.
I wrote and trained them with a highly converting detailed, easy-to-use and bespoke phone script. It converted so highly they asked if they could stop using it, as they had no time for lunch! They went from one call per day that never converted to 17 calls in the first hour of business after the new system was put into place. Not only did they discover how to smile on the phone they also discovered how to close a sale there and then!
The service level from another client was so terrible that as clients walked into her shop they were always ignored. There were times the clients would sit for 20-30 minutes at the reception without a single person saying a word to them. Again after digging deep to find the problem I created a system where the whole client journey was planned very carefully so the staff could act on that journey. This led to a 54% increase in sales. It also led to her best year EVER in eight years. It also led to her being able to expand her business into another two locations over a 3-year period.
Bad service is fixable but it takes time-tested systems and a relation with human behavior that understands what is going on in your customers mind.
Of course I am sure after reading American Airlines website they think they are the best. I have never met a business that doesn’t think they are the best yet but you know what … It doesn’t matter what the owner thinks it matters what the customers think and from what I can see AA are and will continue to lose customers in their hordes with terrible service.
Would you like me to come and transform your business?
Would you like to have a conversation to see where we can take things for you?
Do you need to raise your bar, position yourself higher, grow and expand your company? Do you need to see numbers grow, close sales and increase conversions?
I work with clients that must have the very best. No messing, no trying and no playing around – just the best.
Is that you? Do you need more, want more and need to get results?
Maybe you are one of the thousands that read my emails but feel you cannot afford my services? Did you realise I work with clients on a small advance and results basis? Did you realise I take on partners all of the time? Did you know I can mentor you and your business over extended periods? Did you know there are times when I even take barter as payment?
If you need more, want more and have to achieve more we really should talk. No obligation after any conversation, lets just talk about possibility.
I can’t get that phrase out of my head – American Airlines – BITCH!
I am sitting by my phone waiting for your call. Text me to be sure of a pick up as I rarely pick up unknown numbers due to endless spam calls. I will call you back within seconds.
In your service
Alan Forrest Smith