It is all about Integration

Today was one of those days, actually it is still not over so I should be careful…, where from the very beginning on things went not the way they were supposed to. I needed to get up early to catch a flight to London. The Flight I chose was on purpose so that I could do all my other meetings and calls in time.
1. I got up late
For some reason I did not really pay attention to my alarm. I got up 1 hour later and and this “ahhhhh I need to get to the airport moment”. I had to take a decision. Call first the travel Agent or get ready first. I took the wrong decision
2. Called the Travel Agent first
This took about 20 minutes in total, with several “please wait, all our customer services specialist are busy right now”. Good to know that I am not the only one who did not wake up on time 😉 but as it turned out those 20 minutes would have taken me to the airport earlier and I could have gotten the option which left just 40 minutes after the original schedule.
3. Traffic on the way to the airport
Since I took the wrong decision there was already a lot of traffic on the road to their Airport which meant it took me also a bit longer than I thought to get there.
4. The Parking was closed
This had another impact of 5 minutes since the parking which is close to the terminal was closed. I think that this was just another gesture of AENA to make flying a real pain. AENA is really putting effort into this and I am sure that by the end of 2014 they reach mastered level.
5. Iberia + British Airways = IAG ???
you would think that being actually one company with just two brands they would act as such. DO NOT!!!!! I found it out the hard way. In the beautiful Terminal 4 in Adolfo Suarez Madrid Barajas Airpot, designed by Sir Norman Foster there are several Iberia Counters which have the British Airways logo below them… However that does not mean anything. In addition I was help but some Iberia Service personal who told me “this is only for unattended minors, of course there was no sign indicating this…. I think it took me about 1 hour to get finally on another flight by British Airways. For some reason I did not even get further upset but just started to laugh.
6. IATA Sized Bags do not fit in a 767
I was happy to see that my flight was leaving more or less on time yet there was another surprise. My beautiful little suitcase which travels the world with me did not fit into the overhead locker. It fits nicely into the “testing” area British Airways kindly offers. Quite interesting to me in the year 2014.
7. Why should the Jetty be ready if a Plane arrives?
I wrote already about this but a plane does not arrive at an airport just by chance without anybody knowing it. The staff tried very hard but were not able to put the Jetty to the Plane. Which meant another 10 minutes waiting for a stairway to arrive. I was happy that I am not hurting since it meant stairs down and of course up again… Customer Service is such a wonderful thing….
8. Passport Control
I really like the e-passport control in Heathrow. It works in about 85% of the cases which is good. I dislike the 15% where I get “Computer says, Nooooo!” but ok. Today the system was reset and added yet another 5 minutes of time that I did not have any more to it.
9. Escalator broken
Much to my dismay the escalator which takes you down from the Passport control to baggage reclaim was also out of order today…

All in all I have to say it was probably just a long line of coincidence and things that can just happen. I hope that for the rest of my day things will be smoother and easier.

On the IAG part I would like to insist a bit more. I have experienced now several times that specially Iberia personal which is of a certain age (not the young ones) treat you in a non-favorouble way when you are actually flying with their brother/sister company British. This is something that should be treated by IAG quickly. As a customer I could not be less interested in their internal reasons. I am buying a service from IAG which should be the same no matter who is fulfilling the service. A shame is already that this is not the case. When I do my favourite route Madrid-London-Madrid I try to get on a BA operated flight (costs exactly the same) but at least I get a drink. Funny ??? I think it is sad that the customer is not at all treated as such. But for the teams on the other side of the counter I think that some real integration work would be nice so they would finally start to feel part of a bigger something and take pride in their work. It will be much more enjoyable for  me as a frequent customer but even more for them since they spend 8 or more hours there. You might as well enjoy your work !

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About cnitschke

This blog is purely personal and reflects only my personal opinion. None of the content can be related in any way to my employer or former employers.
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