When you fly a lot, small things that happen are no big deal, but if they go wrong on first flights the impression you get of that airline is jaded for a long time, if not for ever.
My younger son used BA on business for the first time last week. He’s young and starting out so it was economy LHR to ASQ (Austin US via Miami) His seat was changed at check in – op reasons he was told – found himself between mother and daughter, one in window one in aisle, neither wanted to change. His video not working for whole flight. Also saw his original seat (aisle) occupied by half of a couple (with working screen). Flight left late, arrived late, weather apparently. Missed his connection at Miami, overnight in Hotel paid for by him as “weather doesn’t attract compensation”, Day late arriving at Austin this time via Charlotte.
Yes, we know things happen that are beyond our control and some things here were no one’s fault in particular but he’s now flying Emirates as he has to get to Japan in October, swearing never to use BA again for the attitude and unhelpfulness he found – first long haul alone and without the support he might have expected, although probably everyone was playing by the book. Just, he found, it appeared no one actually cared.
Would other airlines leave the same impression or dealt with things a bit differently? I rather doubt it but that’s me being jaded after many years of flying. However, I think it shows how one poor trip can colour the future and why airlines can get the reputation they get if they don’t treat everyone as if it were their first flight.
Apologies for the moan.