Photo: By aboyandhisbike on Flickr
Writer and tech consultant Jeff Reifman was on an Alaska Airlines flight from Miami to Seattle when something strange happened.Apparently, a rented video player went missing, and one of the flight attendants was hell-bent on getting it back.
In fact, she threatened to detain them, saying that “the cabin doors would not be opened and that passengers would not be allowed off to catch connecting flights,” claims Reifman.
The “horrified” Reifman posted about the encounter on his blog, where he made the observation that “threatening to detain all your passengers over transgressions by other flyers is about the dumbest thing you can do for customer loyalty.”
It may not be the worst thing, but it’s up there. Any time a worker resorts to threatening an entire group of customers, that’s not going to do anything positive for a brand.
To make matters worse for Alaska Airlines, it turns out that the flight attendant was in the wrong anyway. The airline’s policy is to keep track of who rents the video players so that they can check later. Plus, the player was actually located before the flight landed in Miami in the first place.
We know this because Alaska Airlines quickly went on damage control and explained exactly what happened on its end, which was great crisis management.
Spokesman Bobbie Egan went to Reifman’s blog and posted this apology in the comment section of the post:
The flight attendant’s announcement to our passengers onboard this flight was inappropriate and did not follow our procedures. The video player was located before the flight landed in Miami and we should have shared this with our customers. In regards to the suggestion that we note the seat number of passengers renting these devices, our flight attendants are trained to do just that when renting the video players. This step was not followed on this flight. We are following up with the crew of this flight to make sure they understand our procedures.
I apologise for any alarm this caused you and the other passengers onboard this flight.
Bobbie Egan, Alaska Airlines spokesperson
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