In our times of cost cutting and budget airlines, it’s rare to find one that cares about customer service and offers a professional service. In the recent Dispatches documentary shown on Channel 4, shows the extreme lengths that Ryan Air goes to reduce its costs so that it is able to undercut every other airline.
The last flight I went on was a trans-Atlantic Continental which lost my luggage in between a connection from Texas to Florida, even though I checked the bags out and back in again. However, Kirsten’s (who was travelling with me at the time)luggage arrived safely. This is all after delaying the flight for an hour to find some missing bags, but eventually loading the incorrect bags that were destined for Atlanta. How someone could mistake a bag going to Florida for one thats going to Atlanta is beyond me, and somewhat points towards the competence of the ground crew. Either way, I’m not flying a connection flight again.
However, last weekend I had an internal flight from Nottingham East Midlands to Aberdeen with Eastern Airways. As it was my first internal flight, and first flight with Eastern Airways, I was a bit aprehensive about whether the flight would be worth the ticket price of Â£109 plus parking, however any doubt were soon dispelled with a very professionally trained crew, and excellent service. Unlike even some trans-Atlantic carriers, drinks and snacks were free, and alcohol was also free. I was offered Bucks Fizz on my morning flight up, and champaign on the evening flight down. Also as this was an internal flight, security was more relaxed, check-in was okay, but check-out was a breeze.
The biggest advantage of flying though has to be the amount of time it cuts down travelling by. If I were to drive or take the train to Aberdeen from Nottinham, it would take around eight hours, and cost between Â£75 and Â£125. The flight takes one and a half hours and costs Â£130 with parking. While it may be significantly more expensive then the cheapest train ticket, the overall saving of thirteen hours of travelling makes it well worth the while, especially as the experience is so good with Eastern.
The moral of the story? Screw the bus, screw the train and screw the car. Flying is now cheap enough to be number one way to fly for 2006.