Backpackers Tokyo

Every once in a while, I’ll go back through some posts we wrote a long time ago. This one really took me back…it happened in the early days of COVID, when the world didn’t know much about the virus, and COVID precautions were to the absolute max. Most people were doing their best to accept “it is what it is,” but apparently few still thought things should be how they always were, even when most people were worried about catching and perhaps dying from the virus. And, of course, I guess those people felt the need to be loud and proud about that. So if you’re going to complain about something on the internet (and on Facebook, no less!), you should expect the whole world to chime in. Welp, that’s exactly what happened to a passenger on a well-known airline.

The passenger was complaining about his flight between Asia and The Netherlands, and how fewer services were offered to him, a business class passenger, due to coronavirus precautions. I won’t mention the airline, but it was Asia-based.  Here are some excerpts (with a little editing on my part for brevity, privacy and spelling/grammar issues):

This airline should be ashamed of itself for charging so much for a flight that was worth very little.

– Just like all restaurants which were forced to do take out service at a discount during Phase 1, they should be charging 30% less for its business flights.

– No champagne in business class. How then is my cabin different from economy? You have one red wine, one white wine, tiger beer onboard for business flights. I suppose this is what is also available for economy flights. Shouldn’t you make a difference for business to at least have one champagne? I don’t understand how having champagne would endanger safe distancing in the cabin.

– No drink service before the meal. I understand the airline is trying to reduce contact between cabin staff and passengers. Then why charge regular prices? I understand they want to do a one tray service, so reduce your prices for business class.

– Why can’t there be a graciousness in the new normal? You mean that business ticket prices do not justify an additional drink? Your cabin staff did not even offer an extra drink. I had to ask for it. I don’t think this is worth a regular business flight price.

– Worse still, despite not serving us, I noticed whenever i went to the toilet, that there was no safe distancing among cabin crew. They were chatting, having personal fun. Then there is a double standard that they are afraid to serve. What is the meaning of this?

– I did not appreciate that I was treated like a potential infectious customer by your staff. If cabin staff are so afraid to serve, the airline should not start their flights until there is a vaccine. [Note from Sharon: apparently he didn’t see all the airlines that did shut down all of their flights for months on end]

– No offer of coffee or tea after the one tray service. How can you charge me $7000 for my seat?

– The only friendly cabin staff was the senior stewardess from Japan. She was warm and personable despite safe distancing and wearing a mask, a visor, etc. The other staff were sullen as they served, but enjoyed themselves in the kitchen.

– I don’t want to quibble about the inflight entertainment being from March. Or no towel service etc. I understand that the airline is only restarting. But this does not excuse any of the above points that i have elucidated.

– Worst of all, no special goodbye by the chief steward for loyal customers. Whats happened to basic manners on a business flight?

– P.S.: this is tolerable but no champagne again in the business lounge. This is ridiculous. Its inequitable cost cutting and fleecing of your loyal customers. Charging the same price for a much reduced service from check in (no first class check in available), to lounge, to onboard.

His complaint letter was on the airline’s fan page, so anyone could see it.  That was probably a mistake.

Some of the replies he received were quite pleasant. The first response was actually from the airline itself:

Hi, we are sorry to hear about your experience. Please be assured that we have conveyed your concerns to the relevant department for their review and follow-up with you. Please bear with us in the interim. Thank you.

Some other fan of the airline chimed in and was also rather nice in their explanation (the person was also, not surprisingly, not from the United States. You KNOW Americans would have ripped him a new one from the get-go).

During these unprecedented times, for $7K, you get a good lie flat seat for better rest and comfort and better quality food, than Economy, though presentation and delivery SOPs have changed. You are also enjoying personal space, and distanced from the higher density Economy Class cabin (in normal times).

To be fair, the airline has made these service level changes known to its customers via communications, and you as a PPS tiered member would have had personalized communications of this, monthly, via your email. Being informed of these changes pre-flight, had you not been pleased with the changes in service offerings, and were of the opinion that this is not commensurate to the $7000 air fare, you could have opted for either a full refund or flight credits to be used later, when services are normalized to what you’re used to.

Aaron, I understand your disappointment, but do note that it is not only this airline that has been making tweaks to services both on the ground and in the air. In fact all airlines are doing so, and this is an all in effort, where some of the inconveniences you are experiencing an IATA driven recommendation.

But, of course, there were other explanations and comments that were not quite so pleasant:

How did you achieve status, pledge loyalty to the airline’s brand, and yet have an inability to comprehend the current state of affairs? I say this to you, as a fellow equal (but only as a brand loyalist). The airline has made its stand to ALL statused members of product and service changes in these current unprecedented times. This, in itself, explains why you experienced less than what you are accustomed to in normal times. These service curtailments will be accordingly reviewed, in the interest of staff and passenger safety.

The airline has also, since the closure of international borders, permitted passengers to select either a full refund or flight credits.

The airline has delivered what it is contractually bound to, in consideration that it has made its position clear, of the changes to products and services.

…as mentioned earlier, the airline has kept all its statused members, including you, appraised of the tweaks to the product and service offerings, to address concerns related to Covid. They have also provided you air passage as per your itinerary booking.

In summary, the “rant” you’ve made is noted but carries zero value purpose.

By the way, it’s NOT a Kitchen but a Galley. Also, NOT a toilet but the Lavatory.

By the way, what does a special goodbye involve? Just wanted to know, as a reference point, in case I’ve been shortchanged all these years.

Thought of you when I saw this during lunch time online shopping – Aviationtag Screen Shot 2020-07-06 at 8.39.01 PM.png

I nearly cried…..world’s smallest violin 🎻 Also, learn how airline prices work. (Based on supply and demand, not based on flight costs)

Privilege much? Geez.

^^^ This person was from the U.S. Can ya tell? LOL!

You want to fly a premium carrier, but do not wish to pay premium price. That airline is a 6th freedom carrier so unfortunately, my dear entitled sir… You are not the airline’s target. Where you are based means nada.

These are unprecedented times for the aviation industry. Cut backs are inevitable to keep things moving and Passengers like you flying. That includes cut back on expensive champagne and paying licenses to get current IFE. Heck, some airlines have even turned off their PTV to save money!

I’m sorry you had to ask for an extra drink. Perhaps next time, remove the gold ingots from your mouth before you speak so they won’t fall out? Reduction in contact was mentioned in your thread, that’s what it is. If by that you want a reduction in air fares, then you’ve really done a covidiot here.

The crew is there to serve, risking an infection (their lives) to see that you get to your location in one piece. So forgive them for having a little chat during their down time.

The airline shouldn’t start their fights until a vaccine is found? Perhaps YOU shouldn’t travel until a vaccine is found.

I’m glad to hear you won’t be paying for another flight with them. The airline certainly doesn’t need another entitled brat.

Remember, unprecedented times. Empathy goes a long way.

OK, to summarize, you want your champagne and special goodbye. And your estimated value of them is $2100.

OMG this is terrible, and I suppose you did not get to see Mt Everest either. What a ripoff and y’know you probably should have driven to your destination instead of flying. Then you can have a choice of food and drink that suit your tender palate

Karen’s husband?

Obvious case of delusions of grandure… can imagine him throwing his rattle and a tantrum..expects red carpet rolled out and his feet kissed.

He didn’t have a happy ending!

And finally…

Do you want to speak to the manager?

This isn’t the first time we’ve written about people who seem to have a sense of entitlement. There was the woman who wanted way too much when Walt Disney World closed due to COVID-19. And, of course, there was the battle between the entitled woman and the United 1K member (spoiler! No one was right). A long while back, Joe even wrote about why we think we deserve special treatment .

Y’all, I still just don’t understand people with these vast senses of entitlement. Sometimes things don’t go according to your life’s plan and you don’t get an extra glass of champagne. But it still doesn’t mean you deserve any sort of payback or discount. Get real, complainer dude. Sheesh…

*** Feature Image: USAF/Master Sgt. Jim Varhegyi

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