Recently returning from Gartner’s global conference in Identify & Access management, I boarded an Emirates flight (economy class) from Dallas to Dubai. I had checked in online. As I approached the line to check in my bag, I was surprised to find there was no line for pre-checked passengers. When enquired the staff looked at me with poker face “That’s how it is”. The queue was real long with totally inadequate counters to take care of the number of passengers. Forty-five minutes passed & I finally got to meet the check in guy. My check in bag was 8 pounds under weight. They asked me to weight the cabin bag that was 2 pounds overweight. I was forced to transfer stuff from one to the other (it took 3 iterations as I am not a weight & measure expert) till things got right! The staff meanwhile took vicarious pleasure in me struggling with baggages.
I finally boarded the flight. So called “onboard wifi” took many minutes to log in, only to promptly announce my 20 MB was over before I logged in! clearly this was a ploy to collect some subscription free.
Food arrived a while later, before drinks! When asked on the sequence the steward explained the sequence was reversed as some customers requested in the past that way. I got friendly with a steward & upon enquiry was told airlines have discovered this way the consumption of drinks turns out to be less.
The story goes on & on. Does this not resonate with many of you?
The issue is not of Emirates Airline, it is about every “economy class” service businesses provide today. To me it appears this is the way to create differentiation between “economy” & “business” class service by the service providers. What stop us from creating a economy service as “satisfy” rather than “
It is time businesses realize two levels of services are not “manage” and “delight” but “satisfy” and “delight”. This mantra can also transform businesses that would practice the new approach, even in the most competitive industries that seemingly have no “differentiation” possible.
One last word. Customers in the “economy” class must not be apologetic about being in that class, accepting lousy service as their fate. You have not boarded a flight for free & have every right to accept certain services minimum standards. I demanded better service in the aircraft in my 13 hours journey and was treated like an important person, if not VIP. So, citizens of “economy” class – RISE!!