"Luck of the Draw" Isn't So Customer Service Oriented

Luck I hate to complain about the airlines because it doesn’t make any sense. They have their rules and ideas about "how to run a railroad" and they're not like mine. But I know you’ll love this one.

Two weeks ago I missed my connection from Detroit to Albany by one minute. I was the last one to get off the commuter plane and had five minutes to make the last flight to Albany. I was only about 10 gates away and was waving at the gate agent while she was yelling, "You missed it." 

"But I’m only a minute late and you wait for other people," I cried. "Why not me?"

They actually thought that was humorous. I didn’t exactly think so! 

Ok, so there ended up being no planes anywhere in my neck of the woods and so I had to spend another night in Detroit.

So last week my plane sat on the runway in Albany for almost two hours causing a "slight" delay and another "slight delay" which caused me to miss my connection to East Lansing. The result was a stay over in Detroit and a bus trip on the Michigan Flyer the next morning so I could make my class in E. Lansing.

So now it's two weeks in a row, but if you travel a lot you suck it up and move on. But here’s where it starts to get a little sticky. On my return flight two days later, while waiting to take off from Detroit, the captain announces that he is "waiting" for a few people from another plane that has just arrived. He doesn’t want to leave them in Detroit because this is the last flight to Albany. I actually can’t believe he is saying this—and he goes on to say, "This is part of our customer service and we are happy to do it." Again he hopes we won’t mind. He is also happy to talk with any of us when we deplane. Wow, we are going to have a talk!

I decide to be the last one off the plane.

“How nice of you to wait," I smilingly say to the captain.” He agrees with me of course.  I ask him, “How do you make that decision?”

“I don’t make it, the tower decides,” he says.

“And what is the magic number?” Asks Lis.

“It changes with each situation," says the captain. "Why do you ask?"

“Because," says Lis, "I want to know why you left my butt at the airport with a minute to spare a couple weeks back.”

“It’s the luck of the draw," he replies. "Awful isn't it?"

Here are my thoughts for your business:

  • If you’ve got rules, follow them for all customers — not just the nice ones or the ones that yell louder.
  • Examine your policies, do they really make sense?
  • Try not to laugh directly in your customer’s face; it’s not that funny.

Will I complain? Why bother…

But, will I take whatever measures I can to not fly this airline again? If I can help it, I won’t. "Luck of the draw" just doesn’t seem right does it?

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