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The Angry Travel Agent Blog: Flying used to be an occasion

The Angry Travel Agent Blog: Flying used to be an occasion

Old Nov 23, 14, 2:31 pm
  #1  
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The Angry Travel Agent Blog: Flying used to be an occasion

I am posting my first article of the Angry Travel Agent here for your entertainment.

Remember the days when flying used to be an occasion? Yeah believe it or not, people used to wear suits and ties when they flew (see "Airplane", or the gag in Family Guy„It's a Trap!)
Not today, let me tell you. Now you're lucky if they even pick you up at the airport, and everything is extra. No Kidding! There's one European airline that doesn't even bother picking you up at the jet bridge. No they make your stampede across the tarmac for the stairs. **MOO!!***. Now why would people bother running? There are no assigned seats on Ryanair. So it's first come first serve, but Ryanair has the solution. Speed boarding. Yes for a small fee, Ryanair will let you have the privilege of cutting in front of everyone else. Ohh. It begs the question. What if everyone else buys a speed boarding card? Do they have a * turbo boarding card *? Then they have to come out with the * I called shotgun* service. Of course Ryanair isn't the only one charging extra for the privilege of getting a seat. Most low cost carriers and a lot of traditional carriers such as British Airways charge extra for a seat request. Awesome!
Airlines used to provide refreshments. It wasn't 5 star, but at least you it was free. Nowadays, if you were a virgin before your flight, you aren't afterwards because you just got ....ed by X airline. Yeah that's right if you want a beer on any US flight it's 7 dollars! Ohh 7 dollars for a light beer. That must be some good ... beer. Can we get some organ music while they poor it for me? It must be nectar from heaven.
You've probably heard the rumor that Ryanair and some other airlines are going to start charging to use the bathrooms. That is a rumor (maybe), but what absolutely is true is that Ryanair special ordered Boeing 737 planes http://edition.cnn.com/2011/10/17/tr...aving-schemes/ . Yeah that's right, Ryanair wants to have one toilet per aircraft. What if you gotta take a ....? **Well tough .... if you gotta take asshit**! Guess you better wear some adult diapers.
Of course all airlines are cutting their luggage allowance, and all US carriers charge for checked luggage on domestic flights. I mean god forbid you actually might need clothes. Of course some Low cost carriers are even weighing the hand luggage and even one airline *Spirit Air* , charges money for that. Now I get to pay for them to lose my luggage.
With the race to the bottom trend in air travel, with low cost carriers leading the way, we can easily imagine what the future of travel will be like. Let's have some fun and speculate as to what travel could look like.

Continue
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Old Nov 23, 14, 2:37 pm
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Don't be like this customer

At a business travel agency in Berlin that will remain nameless to protect the innocent, in the very recent past, the following story occurred:

At approximately 18:40 local time, That would be 17:40 Greenwich Mean Time (this fact will be important later) I received a call from an administrative assistant who needed to immediately rebook her boss's flight for a later flight on the same day. The flight was a Lufthansa flight from London Heathrow to Linate Airport in Milan. The first thing you should know in this instance is that Linate is the “other” airport in Milan,the more common destination is Malpensa (MXP for those who know their IATA codes). The importance of this fact is that there are fewer flights to Linate which means fewer re-booking options. In this particular case, it meant that the flight with Lufthansa was the only non-stop flight from London Heathrow for that day.

I told the customer is that I had to check the rules for changes. I could see that the fare was changeable, the booking code was a business class fare, but I wanted to check because the customer may have had a corporate fare that may have been free to change. I was not able to do this though because the woman was in a hurry and just told me to book him on the next flight. Of course, she was meaning the next available flight which was with Alitalia, and the customer was booked on Lufthansa. You would think that if her boss travels often, and he does, that she would have a modicum of knowledge about how airlines work. That was not the case. I quickly explained to her that the ticket was issued with LH and that she could not rebook with AZ in the same ticket.This is when she started to get impatient. She said she did not care and that I needed to book the ticket right away. I always love to deal with people who do not allow facts or reality to interfere with their desire for whatever it is they want. In an effort to accommodate the customer's wishes, I informed her that I could book the flight and then ticket it separately, basically not rebook the flight, which was not possible, but to sell her a one-way ticket on AZ that would be booked into the same reservation. Here is where things started to get interesting. Until this point she was just impatient, but now things took a substantial turn for the worst.

Allow me say that I am a very rational person, and to this effect I will always explain in a rational way what the situation is to a customer. If something is not possible, I am happy to give clarifying information to the customer to explain why it is not possible. I have to get this out first because the reaction of this particular customer was to go absolutely bat-.... crazy; there is no other way to describe it. When I tried to book the new flight into the reservation, the system(Amadeus) would not let me, because the new flight's departure time was actually only 20 minutes later than the flight that her boss was not going to make in the first place. The system gave an error message that the flight was already boarding. If the flight is already boarding, that means check-in is closed and no new reservations for the flight are possible. So the actual flight time for the LH flight was 18:40 which means that the flight was due to take off in less than an hour because of the time difference between central Europe and the UK. Her boss is not going to make this flight for whatever reason so she asks me to book a new flight whose departure time is twenty minutes later than the original and I have been on the phone with her for about eight minutes which means that the new flight is about an hour from take-off which means that it is now too late to book the flight. Now she starts to freak out. She informs me that it is possible to book the flight because the time in London is actually one hour earlier than in Berlin and that I must be stupid not to know this. I relay that I am aware of this and that it has no bearing on the situation because the airline has begun boarding the flight she wants, making it impossible to book the new flight. This information bounces of her thick skull like a fat lady on a trampoline and she continues now to berate me and to express her frustration with our travel agency. “What kind of 24h service is this? Unbelievable!”. Yes, I do work in the “emergency” or after hours service, but that does not mean I can work miracles. I told her the system will not let me book this flight; her answer was:“I don't care about the system that is not my problem, just get another system and book the flight I want.” Apparently, in her reality, time does not continue to move forward when she does not find it convenient to do so. Also, it should be a simple matter for me to switch reservation systems (as if I keep a spare in a drawer next to my desk) because it must be possible to book a closed flight on some system, even if I do not have that system, because it is just bad customer service to refuse the customer's desire, even if it is ....ing impossible. This is when I started to get testy and began to raise my voice a bit to try to explain that it is not possible.Stupidly, I offered to book her boss on a later flight that had a connection in Munich so that he could still reach his destination on the same day. There are some people who will not accept a solution to a problem that does not fit with their desired solution and this woman was one of those people. She acted as if I was offering to amputate her right hand because she sustained a paper cut on her thumb. Now she asks to speak to another agent. She asks this at least three times in ten seconds without giving me a chance to answer. I consider this the last refuge of the most unreasonable customers.Unreasonable customer: “If you can't /won't help me (give me what I want) then it is because you do not know your job and I need to speak to someone else who will accede to my wishes.” I was happy to put this woman on hold, as her voice was starting to sound about as pleasing as cat coughing up a hairball.

My colleague, a woman, took the phone and she lasted about two minutes trying to explain the situation before the woman just hung up the phone. It was at this time that my colleague recognized the name of this woman in the booking notes and informed me that this was the same woman that she had had a horrible experience with about a month ago. My other colleague, who has about 10 more years of experience in this kind of work than I do, told me that if she called back, he would take the call. She did call back and he tried his best to be friendly and helpful, but within three minutes he was also exasperated with this woman's persistent desire to ignore reality. He explained it was not possible to book the AZ flight. He also explained that there were no more direct flights from London tonight to either of the airports in Milan. She even asked about other London airports and he checked but there was nothing possible to offer a direct flight. He ended up putting the phone down on her. My colleague explained to us that she was demanding her boss be booked on a flight with Cathay Pacific.Cathay Pacific does not fly a route from London to Milan, only Milan to Hong Kong. So apparently, in keeping with her version of reality,any plane that flies from London should be able to divert to her desired destination so that her boss can arrive in a reasonable amount of time even though it was her retarded boss's fault that he did not make it to the airport on time in the first place. So naturally, the solution is always to call up his mentally unstable,self-important, twice divorced, middle-aged administrative assistant and tear her away from eating cat food in her small one room apartment on Friday evening, forcing her to miss 15 minutes of Germany's Top Model, her favorite show of all time, so that she can exercise her only true talent- being a total ..... to some complete strangers who are only trying to do their job in a difficult situation.


P.S. She called back less than thirty minutes later and asked to book the first flight leaving Saturday morning. Of course this solution never occurred to her before her boss informed her that the airlines have flights every day of the week. Full story here
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Old Nov 24, 14, 12:55 pm
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Originally Posted by Angrytravelagent View Post
I am posting my first article of the Angry Travel Agent here for your entertainment.
Good luck. You're going to need it.

Incoherent ramblings rarely gain traction over time.
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Old Nov 24, 14, 1:02 pm
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
Incoherent ramblings rarely gain traction
seems pretty coherent, but no humor/satire
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Old Nov 24, 14, 5:21 pm
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More paragraph breaks would be helpful. I got a headache just skimming through it.

Although probably just because the post here was a copy and paste and that messes with formatting
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Old Nov 26, 14, 1:52 am
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You sound like someone with a lot of experience.

But many people are time constrained and will not devote 10-15 minutes to reading plain text without some sort of payoff. How do your readers benefit from reading about someone b*tching about their job?
Why not spice up your stories with a few photos?

That said, I do appreciate the lack of promotion and product pushing.
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Old Nov 26, 14, 1:15 pm
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Originally Posted by CDKing View Post
More paragraph breaks would be helpful.
I couldn't hack through it. What did it say?

OP might like to get familiar with a writing convention called a "topic sentence."
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Old Nov 26, 14, 1:37 pm
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
I couldn't hack through it. What did it say?

OP might like to get familiar with a writing convention called a "topic sentence."
+1
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Old Nov 26, 14, 2:09 pm
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Well, in a spirit of helpfulness, I would rethink the non-standard grammar and (especially) diction, and I would really focus on narrative structure. Specifically, there has to be a pay-off at the end. The other thing I would do is try to edit out all the plain nastiness -- which no one is going to mistake for humor. You also need to have a new angle, a point, and rehashing the "LCCs are trash" theme isn't going to do it.
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Old Nov 26, 14, 4:33 pm
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I'll echo some of the sentiments above....I think it's possible the blog could become something of interest but there is much work to be done...

- I am perfectly fine with any level of profanity and vulgarity, but know that you will turn off some possibly large portion of potential readers with the amount that you are using. If you're OK with that, that's fine. Also, profanity is most entertaining when used in a witty manner or in the right context - even though it doesn't offend me, repeated profanity with no point quickly becomes trite.

- Who is your target audience? It comes off as being geared toward others within your TA industry. Nothing wrong with that, but if you're shooting for a wider audience, it doesn't quite come through that way. The posts come across as the type of water cooler conversation one might have with co-workers.

- I guess related to the above, as a traveler, there isn't much pulling me into the posts really. In fact, it may be a turnoff. Tags such as "stupidcustomer" and "f----ingcustomer" make it seem like you'll mostly just be complaining about customers. Again, that may be great for an industry-insider discussion (though even that can get old eventually) but who else wants to read nothing but TAs complaining about their customers?

- I do enjoy an "angry" angle when it's constructed with the right amount of sarcasm and humor. That, to me, is entertaining and something I can be drawn into. OTOH, writing that is just plain angry (ranting) is a turn-off, (except a very occasional "angry post" when warranted). I wouldn't continue following a blog that is nothing but rants.

- The posts so far are either just a link to a news story, or lengthy run-on stories with, as others have said, no real payoff at the end. It's like reading someone's answer to "So how was your day?"

- Spelling and grammar errors simply have to be cleaned up. Four words into your description of the blog's purpose one encounters a spelling error.
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Old Nov 27, 14, 11:32 am
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Originally Posted by 84fiero View Post
II do enjoy an "angry" angle when it's constructed with the right amount of sarcasm and humor. That, to me, is entertaining and something I can be drawn into. OTOH, writing that is just plain angry (ranting) is a turn-off...
Right on -- that's the difference between self-indulgent venting and entertainment.
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Old Nov 27, 14, 10:03 pm
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I have my own rant-blog that I enjoy writing but the amount of profanity here makes it very hard to read. Rape analogies I find a massive turn off.

EDIT: Continuing reading, I'm actually pretty disgusted by the number of rape analogies...
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Old Nov 28, 14, 8:17 pm
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Honestly, I have no interest in reading angry blogs. I like traveling and I don't mind that lots of people who are flying are wearing jeans and shorts. While I respect that you're trying a new angle, I find it rather uninteresting. I like that flying is affordable and I'd rather have that (even with the $7 beer) than the way it used to be, sorry.
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Old Nov 29, 14, 8:17 pm
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Well the last two posts don't show much promise...

One on 27 Nov complains about some travel website, wegolo.com, which apparently causes offense because of a football theme on their page.

The 29 Nov post vents about censorship on TripAdvisor, apparently after the blogger's post was deleted or something.

Grammar, punctuation, and spelling are rather poor still. I actually wonder if the blogger's first language is other than English.

The more I read, the more the writing sounds like that of a 13 year old boy.
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Old Dec 12, 14, 9:55 am
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Originally Posted by 84fiero View Post
Well the last two posts don't show much promise...

One on 27 Nov complains about some travel website, wegolo.com, which apparently causes offense because of a football theme on their page.

The 29 Nov post vents about censorship on TripAdvisor, apparently after the blogger's post was deleted or something.

Grammar, punctuation, and spelling are rather poor still. I actually wonder if the blogger's first language is other than English.

The more I read, the more the writing sounds like that of a 13 year old boy.

There will always be trolls like you, but that's fine. Have fun getting your kicks off of ad hominem attacks. You can't point to a single grammar mistake. The wegolo site is ridiculous as it's made to market to Americans by people who have zero understanding of Americans.
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