Salsa Scoop> tag: ”blog:parable“

A Customer Service Parable, Not That We Would Ever Do Anything Like This

Something resembling this may or may not have been witnessed by a buddy of mine, and it may or may not have been recently: A full-up plane offers its last couple seats to standby passengers minutes before pushing back. A couple of other standby passengers see the desk agent who sees their itineraries, but can't get them on this flight. With the gates closed and the plane already heading for the runway, a (non-standby) ticketed passenger saunters casually up to the gate with the coffee s/he has just purchased, expecting to board. S/he becomes indignant and starts heaping abuse on the desk agent when told that s/he has missed the plane and they're not bringing it back. /cut to the ticket counter The gate agent has been called to help handle the ticket counter queue ... which now contains the person who has missed his/her plane, and to whom the wheel of fortune naturally assigns the gate agent when s/he reaches the front of the line. S/he immediately resumes the tirade, accusing the gate agent of unprofessionalism and worse. The gate agent goes about trying to re-route the itinerary. Things are pretty full. S/he asks about an adjacent airport. The gate agent makes eye contact with one of the unseated standby passengers from the same flight -- who happens to be next in line -- and whose tickets, the agent knows, will require rerouting to that same adjacent airport. "I'm sorry, there's nothing available today there." The irate passenger gets the option of a third-choice airport or a long wait. The standby passenger gets a ticket to the "unavailable" airport.