The idea for this blog came to me a while ago. I was at the old Heathrow Terminal 4 in the days before BA transferred to the new place and had been waiting for my luggage for an hour or so. It was one of several similar Friday evenings in a row where the same delays had occurred. As usual no one was especially interested in me, or my fellow passengers. Passengers note, not customers. So I resolved to write to BA. Of course by the time the beers I had consumed had worn off the next day and the anger had subsided I never actually got around to sending the letter. As a result yet another customer complaint failed to reach the ears of the people that it should have been heard by.
What I did do though was to spend a couple of hours at the computer with my old work diaries and an Excel spreadsheet to sort out just how much time I was spending on planes and in hotels. The sad facts are that between 1992 and the end of 2010 I flew on 1,498 separate flights across more than 48 airlines. I say more than, because I did not recognize some of the flight codes of long defunct carriers and ended up with an ‘other’ bucket. Of these 761 flights were on BA. My records are a bit sketchy before 1992, but I think you can safely assume the real number is larger. 2011 is another year of the same, so this is an ongoing project. Sadly I also have a record of every hotel I have stayed in, although quite how many actual hotel nights I haven’t had the energy to work out.
I should point out that flying and staying in hotels is not actually my job. It is just that I cannot do my job without the flying and the hotels. Not a very impressive carbon footprint I am ashamed to say.
(Note: as I read this in 2021 having not done much with this site since, I noted that across the intervening years until I eventually jumped off the corporate roundabout in 2019, the regularity of taking flights and staying in hotels for work did not diminish. But what did change was the level of customer service, or the lack of it, that went with it. At least in 2011 most airlines made a reasonable attempt at maintaining some sort of level of acceptable customer service. But ever since it’s just been a headlong rush to the bottom and both the airport experience before and the actual experience of steeping onto a flight is simply not fun. I honestly hope that I never have to do so again.)
So, the net of all this is that I think I am quite well qualified to comment on customer service and travel. And that’s how this blog started. I don’t quite know how it will develop, because I have never tried anything like this before. But it might be of interest to others and provide a forum for telling the good (and the bad) stories about some of the places, companies and people whose service we often have no choice but to use. It has been suggested several times that I write a book about some of the funnier stories of the last couple of decades, but that’s another subject.
Some reading this will wonder – why? Well, it helps me get it off my chest and who knows, some people might find this an amusing forum to share their experiences.