Government To Airlines: Improve Customer Service Or Else

The government is fed up with airlines whose crappy service and delayed flights incite passenger revolts. According to officials, “we will severely punish airlines which experience aircraft occupations and other incidents as a result of service reasons which originate with the airline.” Sounds great, right?

Shame the cry for good service came from the Chinese government, not the FAA.

Chinese officials aren’t the only ones playing hardball. Americans and our Executive Email Carpet Bombs look like pushovers compared to our Chinese counterparts:

State media reported this week that scores of Chinese passengers smashed computers and desks and clashed with police after a night stranded at an airport without accommodation.

More than 170 passengers were due to leave Kunming, capital of southwestern Yunnan province, on three flights operated by China Southern Airlines late Monday, but the flights were cancelled due to bad weather, Xinhua news agency said.

The report blamed the melee on China Southern staff’s “inappropriate working attitude.”

Yang said customers must also be kept better informed about delays, especially those caused by bad weather, a big issue in China.

“If there is bad weather, for example, we will tell the media to publicize it so that passengers can be informed ahead of time and avoid long waits at airports due to the weather,” he added.

Another worry, with the Games a week away, has been ensuring Beijing’s main airport does not suffer delays from thunderstorms, which often strike the capital over the summer, just as athletes and other visitors arrive.

During last year’s Spring Festival, riot police had to be called to Beijing airport after passengers angry at fog-related delays roughed up airline staff, attacked service counters and tried to storm grounded aircraft.

Airlines that fail to improve their service will lose runway slots at popular airports. China’s centralized government may not be able to secure their food supply, but we sure do love their can-do attitude towards the airlines!

Punishing airlines whose passengers misbehave [Reuters]
(Photo: Getty)