Sunday, May 20, 2007

Flying Go Air not so smart; their PR not so smart

Last night, my colleague and I were on a flight from Delhi to Mumbai on Go Air. At a point went most passengers were on the bus ferrying them to the aircraft, the heavens opened to thunder, lightning, fire and rain.
The buses stayed where they were, and ten minutes later, Go made a terse announcement that the flight on which I was booked was cancelled. No mention of why, no mention of what passengers should do next.
The harried Go Air ground staff had no clue as to how to handle this mess, and irate passengers besieged the counters, in an attempt to bully the staff into somehow getting them to their destination through alternate airlines.
A half hour later, Go announced that the flight was un-cancelled, and that we would all go to Mumbai, and we did.
At the cost of another Go flight, which was cancelled. I have no clue what hell broke loose at the Go counter—but I have no doubt that hell would have broken loose.
But this is not a blog about my crib vis-à-vis Go.
This is about the absolute absence of the readiness of the airline to deal with the situation from CRM and PR perspectives.
It took me half an hour to figure out why the flight had been originally cancelled after boarding was announced, by probing and prodding.
It was because the freak storm had caused the step ladder to keel over, damaging the door to the aircraft.
Did anyone in the airline tell us that? No. Would most passengers have thought this was a perfectly justifiable reason for a flight to get cancelled or delayed? Yes.
What is it that prevented the airline from telling passengers the truth as soon as the reason for the delay was known? Especially since the truth would have saved the staff no end of passenger ire?
With the low cost airlines, delays and cancellations are fairly routine.
So why in heaven don’t they have a PR strategy in place to deal with predictable problems?
Not so smart.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

just came across your story and thought of sharing mine..
over 50 people where stuck in bangalore airport on 24th friday due to cancellation of bang-cochin go air flight...all these were going to celebrate alternatives provided..and the requests were blindly turned down..The reason cited " technical problem..and also the mumbai-bang flight also cancelled and passengers are stranded there also..what is the big deal with bangalore only" was the answer when some passengers lost control..

Lack of professionalism and immature to handle an airliner..Go Air is not goin to Go on