Where’s my future?

It’s the 21st century: I should have a flying car, and a videophone, and a robot housekeeper. Well, I do have a videophone – a wireless one, in fact – but 64kbps H.263 is quite underwhelming if you grew up with images from 2001: A Space Odyssey and Back to the Future. But what’s really upsetting me right now is the flying side of things. I fly quite regularly, so I can no longer put it down do bad luck: flying in the 21st century is still unreliable at best. At least half of my flights are delayed or cancelled. I should be in Melbourne right now, but no, the flight was cancelled, and the next flight I can get isn’t until almost nine in the morning. How does this happen?

You never get good help, either. Everyone’s too busy to help, or claiming it’s not their job to help you. The Virgin Blue posters that say, “Our service measures up…” are just plain insulting. One thing that really grates on me is that there’s just about no way to get a refund if you’re not happy to catch another flight – they’ll only offer you a credit to spend on another flight. Well excuse me, I’d rather spend the money on something other than your poor service, thank you very much. In fact, I think the only way to actually get a refund is to ask your credit card provider to charge back the transaction (CBA will do this with no questions asked). I believe you’re within your rights to do this – they haven’t delivered the service you paid for.

You might think it’s just the budget carriers, but that’s not the case. I’ve had the same level of service from Qantas and United on international flights when things go wrong – no-one who wants to help, no reimbursement for inconvenience, and compensation only available in the form of credits or gift vouchers, as if you’d want to come back for more. Man, if we treated clients like that where I work, we’d be out of business in no time. Why do the airlines get away with it?

(And don’t get me started on Melbourne trains that don’t work when it’s too hot or too rainy…)

This entry was posted on Saturday, 13 February, 2010 at 12:19 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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