Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Top 5 ways to know that your airline is trouble

Madame BOOT's sister lost a day and hundreds of Euros this week with the collapse of Italian low cost carrier MYair as her flight from Paris to Venice ceased to be. Two things came out of this. First - it is one thing to have travel insurance (which my sister-in-law has), but it is another to find in the fine print that the policy excludes costs from airline bankruptcy. This is definitely something all consumers should be checking before buying travel insurance. Second- it turned me to thinking about the top five signs that your airline or flight is in trouble. Here they are

5. Like USAir flight 1549- Kamikaze Canadian Geese are seen in the vicinity for your aircraft;

4 Like United Airlines - you put your very creative but completely incomprehensible sea orchestra advert on Youtube and hit 16,500 views. Then an unknown Canadian country and western band do a cheesy song on your baggage handling stupidity and who cares customer service attitude and it gets 4.3 million views and a distribution deal with iTunes;

3. Like Alitalia - the leader of your country (Berlusconi) promises to revolutionise your national carrier (Alitalia), keeping it in local hands, restoring it to its former glory and bringing back profitability, sunshine and smiling children. Result a much smaller airline, part owned by foreigners Air France, merged with a smaller rival (AirOne), still stuck with the same union contracts and children crying over lost baggage;

2. Like Qantas - you spend 2 years developing a brand new video on demand system and claim that it is the best in the world. It does not matter that it is not the best system in the world but it does matter that for more than two years the VOD system does not work ; and

1. Like Italian Low Cost Carrier MYair - your airline is so badly run that even the Italian Civil Aviation Authority feels compelled to suspend their lunchtime nap and annual "bring your mates to work" day celebration to suspend your licence.

Update - had to add a number 6 that I remember

6. Like World Focus Air - your airline has a "W" as the key brand icon and changes its name from "World Focus Air" to "Ank Air" but keeps the "W" prominently displayed on the plane (check out the original post and picture if you do not yet get the almost not safe for work reference)

What other signs do you have for an uncertain traveller to watch for?

thanks to break.com for the photo

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