One thing that irks me and is a perfect fit for this week Whine Wednesday edition is when aircraft board or arrive through an apron position through bus transfer.
As if the trouble of disembarking by stairs, dragging luggage around and walking through hot, cold or wet weather wasn’t enough, often the airlines do not even provide a separate bus for Premium and Economy Class.
Before you start thinking ‘What a ridiculous whine is this?’ let’s focus on something else. The airlines are spending a lot of money on their lounges and inflight products to give their customers (especially those in First- and Business Class) a good impression.
How to ruin this investment? The easiest way is to put a Business Class customer after a 12 hour flight into a packed Bus that is waiting on the tarmac for 15 Minutes with open doors, no matter how hot or cold.
I don’t get how airlines can make this horrible mistake to neglect that passenger care and service doesn’t end once the aircraft is ‘wheels down’.
But even boarding is a misery in and for itself when the airline tries to save a few pennies and sends only one bus. The perk of priority boarding is completely foregone. You push and pull in the bus, then wait behind everyone even though you sit in the first few rows.
Today I had such an experience again, flying out of Frankfurt Airport on Lufthansa.
John flew on LAN Chile to South America out of Milan a few days ago and it was the same situation. No priority bus for Business Class passengers. British Airways at Frankfurt is also notorious for this.
It wouldn’t cost the airlines that much money to just order a special bus for priority boarding / deplaning in order to take care of their premium passengers. I think this element is one of the gravest mistake an airline can make because it always leaves a long lasting impression how your trip ends.
If you fly Thai Airways in First Class, arriving in Bangkok you get picked up with a buggy and they escort you to immigration. Is that *really* necessary? No, but it makes it’s mark to end your journey this way and customers remember it.