Airline Blues

Well it’s not much, but it’s something.

In the days of $7 pillows, blankets and Budweiser’s pretty much anything the airlines do that is positive comes as a surprise.

When everyone in your industry sucks, even a little gesture can make a difference.

On October 16th, our flight was an hour delayed since our plane had not yet arrived. Once we all boarded, we taxied out to the end of the runway. After some delay my suspicions were confirmed.

“Ladies and Gentleman, this is your Captain Evans with an update from the cockpit up here. We have a computer problem and we have called maintenance. They are going to come out to us here on the taxiway and see if they can trouble shoot it here.”

40 minutes later.

“Ladies and Gentleman, Captain Evans here again with an update. Unfortunately they can’t fix it from here so we will have to taxi back to the gate.”

Of course they would not less us off the plane when we got back. Just in case we had to make a run for it.

45 minutes later.

“OK folks, looks like we have got it fixed now. It was just our backup computer, but we need to make sure we were safe. As soon as we get the paperwork buttoned up we will be on our way.”

30 minutes later we start our taxi and eventually take off.


Now for those of you who travel, you know this in not unusual.

But when this happens the most you ever get from the airline is “folks thanks for being patient with us today” as you exit the airplane.

Yeah I know it is only a $25 voucher. But at least it is something. And because they did not promise anything, it did come as a surprise.

It made me feel a little better about JetBlue. I can’t tell you how many times I have been delayed on Delta and never received anything.

I think Southwest’s “Bags fly free” campaign is brilliant. Brilliant because it’s not that hard.

Look at what all the others in your industry and do the opposite. Especially if what they’re doing is absolutely stupid.

Like $7 pillows and $100 bags.

Mark L. Fox

About admin

Mark L. Fox is a leading authority on teaching practical creative thinking techniques for business. Mark was the youngest Chief Engineer ever on the Space Shuttle program at the age of 31. He received NASA’s highest recognition of “Launch Honoree” at the age of 23. Mark has an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering with an MBA. Having held top management positions in Rocket Science, Aircraft Hydraulics, Engineering Services, Customer Service, Software, and e-Business, Mark has an extremely diversified background.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *