It used to be that flying was a couple of levels above taking the bus. I mean bus terminal people were always scary, not only at the Port Authority building in NY but, well, anywhere. The drivers were surly, drove like moonbats in heat and couldn’t care less if the couple in the back were naked or clothed. Yeah, but now I’ve noticed for myself over the past few years just how bad the airline is. It’s become a bus with wings. Not only do you have to worry about chanting imams making those annoying clicking sounds as they strap on suicide belts but the other passengers as well. They’re slimy. They talk loud. They snore. They argue loudly. The stewardess yells for someone’s baby to shut up (no wonder the pilots keep their door shut and locked). They look like lowlifes, and why do so many of them stay in the bathroom so long?
Here’s a supporting view from Serguei Netessine, a professor of operations and information management…I think he’s trying to tell us a bus is faster.
Wharton professor Serguei Netessine’s trip from Philadelphia to Dallas in May was an all-too-typical day in the sky. After circling Dallas for an hour because of stormy weather, his flight was diverted to San Antonio where he spent several hours on the runway waiting for the storms in Dallas to clear and eating a bag of peanuts for lunch. He arrived in Dallas five hours late and missed most of his scheduled meetings, rescheduled his appointments for later in the day and succeeded in booking — actually overbooking, as it turned out — what he thought would be an evening flight back to Philadelphia. He had no choice but to fly home the next day after paying $400 for the only room available at the airport Park Hyatt. While airline service is no longer the white-glove experience it once was, it has now gone beyond bad food and snappish flight attendants. Today, when passengers board an airplane, they might well question whether there is a reasonable chance they will make it to their destination in the next few days. “Previously, airlines worried about dissatisfied customers. Now I don’t think they worry about it because the customer service at all airlines is so horrible.”