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Coming from Charlotte, it’s rare that I fly anything other than USAirways (the only airline based here), but this week I had a chance to experience the new Continental/United airlines.  Several things impressed me….and one disappointment.

  • First, the disappointment.  Any airline that flies commuter jets on a three hour leg, really should consider changing the seats.  Something about these older commuter airlines – I’m not sure who designs these seats, but there ought to be a requirement that the airline try them before buying them.

Now for the upside…United Airlines

  • They actually served a complementary hot meal!
  • More leg room, even in the cheap seats.
  • Having the Gold Star/Elite line (nothing new here) is better than the the USAirways line where everyone crowds into the same line regardless of their zone.
  • Flight attendants were helpful and friendly.
  • In flight entertainment – USAirways ripped all of their stuff out! (There is a charge for this, but at least it’s there)
  • A promise from their CEO to upgrade the seats.

I think companies under estimate the customer experience, especially those companies in the transportation business. When was the last time a train attendant made you feel welcome or treated you like they were honored to have your business.  Buses, airlines, etc.  This is simply a culture these companies have built – they have allowed the people working these customer facing jobs to see this as, just a job, and not an event.  When you pay several hundred dollars for something that lasts a couple of hours, it should be a great experience!  I should want the trip to last longer, and look forward to the next one.  Why not?

© 2012, David Stelzl

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