Introduction to Flight Reviews: 7 hours stuck in a Delta Airline airplane

30 06 2007

Delta Airlines 6499We are now quite familiar with customer-written hotel reviews; we also know about the trendy use of video reviews of hotels but what about reviews of flights?!

Yesterday I stumbled upon an incredible amateur video that made it to the top #20 of the most watched video of Youtube. The statistics speak for themselves:

Views: 76,062
Comments: 468
Favorited: 175

Robert McKee took a Delta flight (n°6499) and got stuck on tarmac during 7 hours straight.

[youtube R06dAgpmmbg]

Fortunately, he had a video recording device (a lot of batteries) and enough know-how to edit and post this video to the Consumerist Blog.

The same way, I thought of blogging my last trip to Barcelona (with a connection in Rome); it was an Alitalia flight planned at 7pm from Nice. The flight was delayed, re-scheduled at 11:45pm, then delayed again to finally be cancelled around 1h20am. My flight finally got scheduled 24 hours later. It got cancelled twice! After the first cancellation, a voice quickly came out of the airport speakers saying:

Airplane on tarmac

“We will try to repair the airplane with the help of Air France’ staff; Alitalia technicians will be sending instructions by phone from Rome to the technicians located at Nice airport, so they can repair the airplane.”

Priceless! I twittered it but unfortunately I did not have any good audio or video recording devices to record this.

We all have our own stories of bad luck while traveling, but thanks to the Web 2.0 user generated content, customers are now capable of getting a worldwide audience to denounce bad (or excellent) comercial practices. Airlines too, should care about what they say to their customers and how they treat them as information is spreading fast, otherwise it will be published on hundreds of blogs (including the famous blog of Robert Scoble) …

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UK online travel agencies ready to blacklist hotels!

15 03 2007

I just read an article on Travelmole stating that Lowcostbeds.com and OnHolidayGroup have decided to blacklist hotels!

Lowcostbeds logoOnHolidayGroup

Both UK companies will use a system called Travelsafe in order to be able to determine what hotels must be blacklisted or not. I know for a fact that in the past Opodo also partnered with Travelsafe in order to perform health and safety audit with its hotels.
According to Travelmole, Lowcostbeds.com and OnHolidayGroup will use the system to be Travelsafe systemable to blacklist the hotels, apartments and villas that does not satisfy the new standards; I have no information about those specific standards yet, but there will be a focus on safety standards in such areas as fire, food hygiene, and swimming pools.
About child safety, upon completion of the audit, Travelsafe will classify hotels into 4 categories: Gold, Silver, Bronze and the ones that are said to be non compliant.
It will be offered the possibilities to assist hotels that are said to be non compliant to implement the necessary improvements. If they refuse, there will be “blacklisted and banned from all Travelsafe member sites.

This new “hotel trend” for safety accommodations got its root from last September tragedy when two young children past away from carbon monoxide poisoning in Corfu. I found an article of the Independent (London) reporting that the mother of the two children was highly motivated to push the industry leaders to take measures to prevent such tragedies in the future. It seems that she has been heard!

There are already “no fly” lists, I guess a “no-stay” list is a logical next step in the industry..

Note: ABTA signed an agreement with another system called Argent Health and Safety to release its own health and safety database this week: ABTA Resort Check (I removed the link.

If British OTA are about to blacklist hotels, Australian hotels already blacklist guests

Guest Behaving Badly logoI have seen several different types of blacklisting in the past:I have read about hoteliers in Australia who blacklist “bad” guests on a dedicated website launch on December 2006: Guest Behaving Badly GBB. Its product manager Josh Ginty said “more than 1000 holiday property providers nationally have already joined the database.

This article on USA today’s hotel blog also has very interesting comments regarding this issue.

The rationale behind this hotel trend? “Customers have the ability to rate hotels with websites such as TripAdvisor.com. So why shouldn’t hotels be able to rate customers?” as reported by Daniel J. Solove in a very interesting article called “The rise of customer blacklists”.

Who should be blacklisted next?

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RyanAir nightmare at a poor promotional event in Barcelona!

18 09 2006

The ireland based company Ryan Air decided to organize a promotional event giving away free round flight tickets (17€ with taxes ) to people waving banners displaying messages against the spanish airline Iberia on the famous place called Plaza Cataluña in the city center of Barcelona.

‘With this initiative we wanted people to see for themselves that flying with Ryanair is much better than flying with Iberia,’ said Ryanair’s executive for marketing and sales in Spain.

Manifestantes reunidos por Ryanair en Barcelona300 people were present, but unfortunately when RyanAir staff ran out of flight claim forms to distribute, the promotional event turned out to be a nightmare for RyanAir. Indeed people started protesting against the staff, complaining that they complied with all the requisites and thus that they were honestly eligible for their tickets. Local police rescued RyanAir staff in a local police station and people started changing the name Iberia on their anti-Iberia banners for RyanAir!

Throughout the day, RyanAir hurried-up to offer their apologies and announced that they will distribute 1,000 more tickets.

RyanAir organised this event without any previous notice to the local institutions, and will finally have to respond for false advertising as many of the unlucky persons present at the event went to the police station to file an official complaint against RyanAir.

Iberia replied and stated that ‘it showed how little confidence this company must have in their own service if they have to attract customers in this way.’

Sources:

http://vueltaalmundo.blogspot.com/2006/09/vuelos-gratis-con-ryanair_05.html

http://www.barcelonareporter.com/index.php/news/comments/tables_turned_on_ryanair_during_publicity_stunt_against_iberia_in_barcelona/

http://www.lavanguardia.es/gen/20060904/51281933415/noticias/ryanair-pide-disculpas-y-ofrece-otros-mil-nuevos-billetes-gratis-barcelona-iberia-consumidores-clickair-girona-mossos-milan.html

http://www.elpais.es/articulo/economia/Boicot/Barcelona/campana/promocional/Ryanair/elpporeco/20060904elpepueco_6/Tes/

Photo: REUTERS

Update: RyanAir Spain did not say if it was linked or not to this event but they just announced the replacement of their marketing and sales director for Maribel Rodriguez, who is the former marketing director of GB Airways for Spain and Portugal.

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Breaking news: Iguazu falls reduced to a trickle

29 07 2006

I just found an article from CNN.COM mentionning the fact that the world famous Iguazu Falls have been reduced to a trickle due to the worst drought in the last 20 years in that part of the world*. Unfortunately I have not been able to find a picture to go with this post, so let’s appreciate a great shot of this gift of mother Nature.

Cataratas de Iguazu

*It is located in extreme northeast Argentina on the border with Brazil.

Many people who went there told me that there was 2 hotels very close to the falls but only one has rooms with a direct view on the falls, The Sheraton International Iguazu (careful not all the rooms have balconies! do not forget to specify it when reserving your room).

Anyway it is amazing to see that there are so few reviews of hotels located in Iguazu National Park on Tripadvisor.com, I don’t get it; Sheraton has 50 reviews and the 3 others altogether have 9 reviews. Does that mean that North American ppl don’t go to to visit the magnificent falls of Iguazu? Not sure.. anyway now you know where to go next!
It can’t finish this post without a trendy satellite view of the falls thanks to Windows Live Local.

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