It appears that air travel is slowly returning to its pre-Covid-19 days. People steal for a variety of reasons. It had been a long time since I had taken the plane. In addition, it took me a while to notice the return to normal in the area.
I wasn’t really looking forward to flying long distances soon despite wanting to visit new places. Regarding my work, I thought I had moved to virtual space. When my client requested a face-to-face workshop, I thought about it.
I had imagined that the world had moved with me. Instead of physical training sessions, workshops, lectures and meetings, I thought virtual was the new normal and was here to stay. Face to face interactions between human beings are powerful. Therefore, air travel is here to stay!
When I got to Addis the crowds were unlike anything I had seen at JKIA. It was my first time flying in Ethiopian. It was obvious that a lot had happened in the past decade. The Pride of Africa Kenya Airways seems to have been dislodged from its position.
The new spirit of Africa was to have the numbers and the money to go with them. I have reflected on the past, present and future of the industry. I was wondering if price was the best differentiator. If low prices attract customers, will they keep them coming back? Should a low price mean a below average experience?
The cabin crew must have thought I was a “picky” passenger until I made a purchase in the duty-free cart and she was all smiles. I had wanted to make the same purchase on a previous flight.
Unfortunately, the crew informed me that the digits on my MasterCard must be difficult for them to use the card. I still do not understand the reasoning behind this policy. I asked her to try to run the card and she said a big no. I also complained that it took too long to clean the lunch dishes.
I asked him to take the tray under the seat and instead apologize for the delay; she just screamed “why did you do that?” I had barely eaten anything on this platter and needed to work on my laptop.
The passenger next to me kept asking for blanket and the cabin crew ignored him. I woke up from my seat and went to the meal prep area to ask for a blanket for my neighbor. Why weren’t the staff responding?
Maybe I shouldn’t even mention how disorganized the embarkation and disembarkation processes were. Why not ask everyone to sit still and get on / off a few at a time? Which airline in Africa has an exemplary customer experience? Which one guarantees that you use a wet wipe before having each meal? Which travel agency provides you with a travel information pack?
I think travel agencies are also part of the airline customer journey. Airport security personnel, immigration officers, customs personnel, duty free shops, restaurants, lounges all make up the air travel experience.
Maybe hotels should also consider being part of air travel and send their guests advance information on what to expect when visiting another country.
If I owned an airline, I would differentiate it with an exemplary, well-thought-out end-to-end experience. We are $ 1.3 billion in Africa, I think our airlines have the ability to manage our traffic and do it in style. Customer experience remains a missing link in air transport!