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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Information is spreading…fast.

6 02 2007

I have been looking around to find out if hoteliers were uploading video about their hotels on www.youtube.com or www.dailymotion.com. My third try was to search for the term “hotel madrid” in youtube.com, and on the first page of results, I saw the following entrance:

Youtube hotels

Translation of the spanish comment with the video: “Don’t go to the hotel Mediodia in Madrid in front of Atocha.” [...] “This is our wash basin.” This video has been here for 3 months now, and is posted under the category “Comedy”. It has already been viewed by 361 persons.

Here is the video of an anonymous customer of this hotel located in Madrid:

[youtube QaQM4GZ9Ilw]

I was looking for a new type of hotel promotions (using youtube, dailymotion and else) and in the end I found a new type of hotel review… I saw a lot of comments on the internet about Travel 2.0 and a lot of them were trying to define “Travel 2.0″. Maybe it is just about that; about spreading the information, about having potential customers more informed.

On the other hand, there is no way for the hotelier to remove such a video from youtube, even if he has already completed a renovation in his hotel or even he has fixed the problem. This applies to Tripadvisor as well. People should not pay attention to old comments, as hotel management team may have changed and as the hotel may have been renovated since then.
I recall people who told me that there were hotels that disallowed the use of camera and filming devices in their hotels in order to keep the mystery around their hotel intact…Anyway hoteliers won’t have any control over people using filming devices in their hotels; they cannot hide those flaws anymore.

Here is a positive hotel review of an independent hotel called Hotel Las Palapas in Playa del Carmen (Mexico). You will see that it looks very professional and nicely edited with commentaries of the guest. A nice piece of work. That reminds me I need to go to Tulum!
[youtube Pq5_qJ7Uyvs]

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