Mechanical Delays Happen But Flight Crew Selfishness Shouldn’t

by Barry Moltz on November 9, 2010

I had an incredible business trip to Aruba his past week, but trying to get home on Monday was a flying nightmare.  After arriving at the airport 2 hours early, we were told the plane was broken.  They needed to fly the parts in from Miami to fix it.  American Airlines expected a total of an 8 hour delay.  I am not known to be a patient guy, but without much of a choice, I found a WIFI connection, an electrical outlook and dug in for the long wait.  I had already had gone through the customs and security gauntlets and did not want to face it again!

After about 4 hours, they were able to fix the plane without new parts and we were ready to fly!  Unfortunately, unlike the passengers who were stuck in the terminal, the crew was able to go back to their hotel to relax until the plane was fixed.

With a plane ready to fly, 200 people waited an extra 2 hours for the crew to get back from their hotel siesta.  Now I understand mechanical failures are unpredictable, but the crew should have stayed nearby in case the plane was fixed early.  (We all were warned we had to.)  Unfortunately, out of their convenience, they left the airport to relax and wait comfortably at their hotel (shopping, swimming?…)

This is not only pathetic custom service, but just “plane” rude!  American Airlines broke their promise of providing the best service they could.  Delays are never convenient, but it looks like the comfort of the 6 person crew took precedence over 200 people.

Airlines will never get a reputation for better customer service unless they stop these types of practices!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Phil Grinstead November 9, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Hey Barry, your pithy articles are always good, insightful and to-the-point reading; however, would you hire me to spell check? Cheerio!

Barry Moltz November 9, 2010 at 9:04 pm

It’s one of my big weaknesses….love all the help I can get!

Terre Pruitt November 10, 2010 at 6:42 pm

Interesting way to look at it. I would look at it a different way. I woud not be happy with the delay. But . . . I would have to stop and think about the well-being of the flight crew. I most certainly would rather have a well-rested, clean, happy flight crew than a grumpy, tired, stinking, they-have-been-flying-back-to-back-flights-without-a-rest flight crew. But that could just be me. I believe that well rested and relaxed people perform their jobs better. I wouldn’t consider them resting as selfishness, I would consider it as part of their job to ensure the safety of the plane, passengers, and other crew members. I would consider the flight crew being at the top of the game very good customer service. But again, that is just how I would look at it.

Barry Moltz November 10, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Good ttoughts Terre…I have no problem with them going back to the hotel, but its a very small island…they should have been back to the hotel within 30 minutes and this would not have caused us a delay!

Barry Moltz November 11, 2010 at 2:29 pm

American responded to my Tweet (which I give them credit for) and put 7,000 miles into my account….less than 1,000 miles an hour of waiting, but that is not the point. They need to remedy this policy with the flight crews

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: