One of the things that frustrates me about travel on world class airlines (at times) is the number of times I’m asked to complete a survey while in first class. Often these are huge, ten page surveys that can take half an hour to complete. At the same time I think it’s a nice way to keep the crew on top of their game, since they know they’ll potentially be “graded” on their performance. The surveys are almost always sealed once completed, so I had always assumed that the crews never read them.
Then there are other airlines that don’t push the surveys as much, but still have comment cards or surveys either upon request, in the seatback pocket, or in the in-flight magazine.
I stumbled upon this very interesting trip report on FlyerTalk.com. Someone was flying from London to Istanbul in business class, and there seemed to be problem after problem, to the point that the passenger decided to fill out a comment card. As the trip report reads:
Once I’d finished my main, the FA who didn’t get me a drink tried to take away the tray. I had to stop her as I still had my dessert to go. I asked if I could get some water and champagne, and she went off to get it. So, it took 1 hour 20 minutes before I could get a glass of something fizzy, and that wasn only by asking twice. By this time I was pretty fed up, so decided to fill out the complaints/comments form in the back of the magazine. I handed this back to the purser.
About five minutes later, she came back saying that she was very sorry that everything had gone wrong today. She seemed very concerned, especially with the onboard service. She then asked me (very politely) if I’d be able to reconsider haindg in the form saying that the onboard service was poor, and she gave me another form to fill out. From then on, the service was incredible. I was given a plate of small cakes (not sure where they came from, no one else got them as far as I could see), and my glass was never empty for the rest of the flight.
First of all, I’m shocked that Turkish Airlines doesn’t have a policy against flight attendants reading the comment cards (or maybe they do but the purser decided to read it anyway). Also, I think it was very unprofessional of the purser to ask the passenger to reconsider handing in the form.
At the same time, I’m kind of torn about this. Would you rather have a flight attendant read your comments while onboard and improve for the rest of the flight, or would you rather have a miserable flight and possibly have management have a talk with the crew after the fact (though more than likely nothing will happen)?