I have wanted to say something about what happened on the United Airlines flight out of Chicago a couple of weeks ago, regarding the forceful removal of a passenger, but decided to bite my lip until things had settled down and people in general had moved on.

The other day I was on a flight that originated out of the United Kingdom ( Gatwick ) and was on route to Dubai. Having spent many years traveling on long haul flights, I have personally witnessed many things while airborne but never have I seen anything like the removal of the doctor from the United Airlines plane. I have, in the past, written both favourable and non favourable articles about the airline industry but what can one say about that incident or the very lack lustre initial response from the company’s  CEO on several occasions.

That got me to thinking that the service I was receiving on my flight was very good. I guess it was highlighted by

the very professional  service I was receiving from staff assigned to my section and in particular that of a certain person who went by the name of Ariana. It was not one thing but more the overall attitude and presentation which was of a high standard.

Perhaps a lot boils down to attitude when it comes to flying on American airlines in general. Just recently I was on a flight from LA to Washington DC and I asked for a pillow as I wanted to close my eyes for an hour but alas, NO pillow was to be found nor a tooth brush for me to use after my meal. Are these unreasonable requests for a passenger flying first class? It would appear so if flying within the United States, even if the flight is some five hours long.

I don’t regard traveling by air to be an enjoyable experience these days but if you have to do it,  is it too much to expect to be treated in a civil, courteous way? The other day I gratefully had that experience. Full credit to the crew for their professional attitude, and due respect for the airline’s policy and the way they train staff.

This will be an almighty lesson for carriers that originate in the United States. I read that the CEO of United stated that he would not be resigning when it was suggested that he should (even if his handling of the matter was woeful) because he had a job to do. Well sir I say to you, that if the way you handled this one incident is anything to go by, I feel sorry for your staff and the traveling public who elect to pay for seats on your company’s planes!

To the traveling public I say this – you can choose who you fly with. It’s your money so choose wisely.

 This whole episode will be forgotten in a couple of weeks, if it has not been already, but as I write, a million people are sitting in seats travelling high above the ground. You are the customer and as such you are paying the salaries of those employed by the carrier you choose. A fair level of service is your right.

Cheers

Stewart