Of the many consumer watchdogs out there, at the top of the list is one of our favorite travel gurus, Christopher Elliott (http://www.elliott.org/about/). If you don't subscribe to his feed or newsletter, you're missing key insider tips on the tools you need to make your travels hassle-free.
Today he passed on the results of a survey by Kevin Stirtz (a.k.a. "Amazing Service Guy") with some disheartening news to us as veteran travel professionals: that the travel industry is guilty of the "fourth worst customer service." Check out the findings at: http://snipr.com/arx91.
To the conscientious travel/airline industry people who consistently try their best each day and remain dedicated to providing superior service, we say "hats off" and "keep up the great work." To those who allow stresses at home or work interfere with their on-the-job attitude or performance, we think it's time for a major reality check. Without loyal clients, your employer could suffer even more losses in this tough economy and you yourself might end up in the growing ranks of the unemployed. Sometimes it pays to remember the old saying "If you don't like the fire, then get out of the kitchen."
On the other side of the coin, however, we recognize it takes two to tango. Granted, there are plenty of legitimate customer service complaints in our industry and others. But to any travelers who think that badgering a flight attendant or gate agent with inflated or bogus gripes will get you a free ticket or an upgrade, they're on to you. In the end, patience and truthfulness go a long way in both camps. When push comes to show, we are in this together. With our planet in crisis and many people burdened by worry, why can't we all just try to get along?
Ann Lombardi & Wendy Swartzell
"The Trip Chicks"