Having written about the importance of customer experience and the way in which news travels fast in the 21st century, I thought I’d share my very recent customer experience with One World and Australian airline, QANTAS.
I arrived at Los Angeles airport this evening for my flight home to Australia. I went to the QANTAS check-in counter. My QANTAS customer experience was about to nose-dive very quickly. Not happy QANTAS.
Firstly, the check-in clerk couldn’t get the computer terminal to read my passport. Another person came over to try and get the computer to read my passport details for the check-in procedure. No go. Finally, a third person came over and magically the machine worked. Apologies all round for the faulty terminal but at last it worked.
At the same time, my checked-in baggage was 4kg over the recommended weight. The check-in clerk quickly informed me that I’d have to pay a USD35 charge. In my 25 years of air travel I have never been forced to pay for baggage a couple of kilos over the recommended weight so I was mightily surprised by this.
Now, I weigh less than 70kg and a couple of extra kilos extra on my luggage isn’t going to make much difference. I am well under the average male weight, especially over here in the US. I mentioned this self-evident truth of male proportionality to no avail. I was told that she was just following orders (yes indeed). I would have thought the check-in clerk could have shown some common sense, especially after I made it clear that I was not happy with the “service” and that my last flight with V Australia was eminently more pleasant. So much for flying the “Spirit of Australia”.
To add to the poor customer experience, I was led to another check-in counter where I was asked to pay the USD35. I gave the chap USD40. He had no change and began yelling out behind the counter if someone had $5. After a short while, a fellow check-in operator proffered the $5 change and that was that. Oh dear, how professional was that transaction!
I will head back to Sydney hoping that my QANTAS experience improves. I will certainly be writing a letter of complaint to QANTAS about the whole check-in fiasco. The response from QANTAS will have a major bearing on whether I choose to fly QANTAS again. I am sure V Australia will be more than happy to get me to the US – they really understand the importance of customer experience and do their best for the customer at all times.
Customer experience – try and understand what that means QANTAS.