AARRGGHH. Sitting in the airport waiting for 8 hours. Its bad. Then they make it worse!

I’m sitting at the airport, having finally managed to find a plug for my laptop. Our flight time was meant to be around 1pm; but like many it was delayed. Now I’m relatively sanguine about this, after all there is fog and it’s being done for our safety. Yet what I find truly annoying is we knew the flight was postponed until 4.50pm at 9 o’clock this morning, having checked on the web at home. Yet, after calling, we were forced to come to the airport for 11am and check in or were told ‘you may not get on the flight’.

Even with that, the fact we knew what the departure time was, meant we had lunch and planned the afternoon. I’ve been working, the MSG has been reading (and doing su doko) and all is fine, though she’s now sleeping on the floor next to me. The ‘delayed until 4.50pm’ has been a constant on the board the whole day – so no problem….. until that is… by 5pm we hadn’t been called; so I went to the information desk who had…. no information. Then at 5.10pm the sign changed to ‘delayed until 20.30’. What I fail to understand is that they only discovered it would be delayed a further 3 hours 40 minutes just now… can we honestly be expected to believe someone didn’t know there’d be some delay earlier. Why have they managed our expectations so poorly?

So I’m sitting here, typing this, and aggressively pondering the above. My day started with a relaxed attitude to the delays and an acceptance of the fog problem, yet the airline and the airport have now managed to turn that into a wrath about poor communication and mismanagement. Now I’m no stranger to consumer complaints, after all if I had a penny for every complaint e-mail I’ve been sent about companies….. I’d probably have about £200 (ok it’s not that much cash but you get the point).

So If I try and look at this dispassionately, it becomes a rather interesting case study. After all, the real problem here isn’t the fact we’re delayed by over 8 hours. I understand why that has happened and can accept it. The real customer complaint is the way the situation has been managed. Why weren’t we allowed to check-in later? Why do we see other flights that were due to take off after ours, already long gone… I don’t mind this, but would like to understand it? Why have we been kept so poorly informed and in fact kept in silence for four hours? Why doesn’t the information desk know everything? And why…. was every single laptop plug in the whole of BAA barring one (hidden in a side lounge) broken?

As this’ll be my last blog for a week while I take a break, Merry Christmas or seasons greetings to you all.


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