It seems that airports do not really work well for me lately. Last week, I wrote about my bad experience at Sheraton Paris Hotel, this week again, still at Paris aiport, it involves Air France. This morning I am going to Barcelona to see a client (as part of my Euro tour, and very happy to go to Barça, one of the best cities in the world, so in good mood before the bad experience...).
First, I did wait over half an hour at the so called preferred client line (am a Delta Frequent flyer): the reason, a lot of people flying, but only 2 agents available...Guys wake up, a lot of us fly for business, are always in the hurry, and if anything we like when things go smoothly! Don't you think it will be wise to have more than two agents on the ams flights? I tried the e-ticket services, but it did not work, ...and as result, I was put on the wating list, that I luckily managed to clear. Happy, I took my boarding pass to go to the gate (with a real boarding pass, a seat assigned (9B) and my name on it!!!)...
Interestingly, and not surprsingly, I was not the only one complaining. On my way to the gate, I read an interesting article on La Tribune, a French newspaper, on how companies should actually leverage and encourage comments/feedback from customers' unsatisfaction, Professor Chebat at HEC Montréal was actually encouraging companies to take this as a real opportunity to progress (the article: "Comment tirer profit des clients insatisfaits").
The flight was delayed, but they finally called for boarding, and guess what, when about to board, the machine rejected my boarding pass, the gate said "sorry, I do not understand whay, but you are not on the plane, there is a problem...".
How come? With a boarding pass after having waited at the gate, with no message to my attention, I could be kicked outthe plane? Air France does not know why, and I am not sure they even care, knowing will help other customers for sure and their business in the long run.
I then asked to be re-scheduled on the next plane, and to get invited to the lounge (I asked again, they did not offer!!), initially they said this was not part of the policy...Come on, in case of emergency (and as the La Tribune article rightfully recommends it), the quicker you act, showing that you care, the better are your chances to recover.
I will actually call this moment "the moment of truth" as CPG marketers call it for in store customer experience at the point of sale. It seems that if you act fast, you may get positive WOM or at least no bad WOM...
In my case, after discussing and arguing, I got in the lounge, but Air France will still get NEGATIVE WOM. I will be a detractor, although I was a promoter so far.
Any how, the plane is being called (I hope to depart), so hopefully, the rest of my day will go smoothly.
NB. sorry for my bad writing etc., the Mac in the lounge does not work great, and I do not have much time, but wanted to share this with you. Thanks for your understanding!