Excellent passenger service – Why can't all airlines be like Qatar Airways?

Back to Forum

This topic contains 10 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  LuganoPirate 26 Mar 2018
at 16:00
.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)

  • alainboy56
    Participant

    I must launch a thread here about a recent flight to Italy and back, to show how airlines should treat and deal with passengers.
    I had booked a flight from Sohar (Oman) via DOH to MXP return
    Outbound flight on time no problems, and DOH to MXP was an older A332, but still with smart interiors and considering I had first flown on this particular aircraft DOH-Casablanca more than 12 years ago, they are ageing well. On that point, I do believe they will be transferred to Air Italy (the old Meridiana) soon.
    Two days before the return date, (14/02), QR in MXP called me to inform that the DOH-OHS (Sohar) flight had been cancelled, and there was a flight 6 or so hours later. I proposed that they send me to Muscat, on a much shorter connection, and provide a taxi from MCT to OHS. Of course MXP station had to ask the ‘bean counters’ in DOH for permission, and not surprisingly (to me) they refused, even though the station manager in MXP had said it was a perfectly reasonable proposition, especially as DOH had offered me a hotel room to compensate.
    On the departure date in question at check-in (14/02), there were lots of pretty girls giving away roses to couples (alas I was traveling alone, although I did offer to make a couple with one of the lovely ladies), for Valentines Day, and apparently also gave a prize flight holiday for 2 to a newlywed couple to the Maldives. I was also told that those lovely ladies had welcomed the inbound flight by presenting roses to returning couples, as they were collecting their suitcases from the carousel.
    How nice, and what a way to make good publicity and to ensure that those pax on the flights both inbound and outbound will remember Qatar Airways, and consider them in their next flight plans.

    To return to my particular quandary, I flew as I had requested to MCT, and took my own taxi to Sohar.
    I then recently wrote to QR about this matter, and asked why they could not see that my proposition was a very sensible one. They responded to me in agreement, apologised, and duly refunded the taxi fare of nearly OMR50, (approx GBP100).

    Could anyone suggest any other airlines that would be so benevolent and kind? .. Do I hear Ryanair from anyone?

    If H.E. AAB reads these, or has some lacky do it for him, keep up the good work, your airline truly is a 5* airline. And as I wrote in my email communications with QR, anyone can fly an aircraft from A to B, but when things go slightly pear-shaped, that is when an excellent airline shines through and rises above the crowd.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    @alainboy56 – Whilst I am pleased with your outcome, the ending would have been far more ‘5 star’, had the airline listened to the MXP Station Manager. Why should there be a need for the passenger to write in for the solution, the Station Manager should have had the authority in the first place to authorize what effectively was a savings for the airline (presume the hotel etc would have cost more than the £100 taxi)…


    alainboy56
    Participant

    @martynsinclair — ah yes, but you know who is ‘manning the fort’ down in DOH. Its full of, how shall I call them politely … NRI’s (look it up if you are not used to terms from these parts), whom are absolutely desperate not to lose their golden NRI status and therefore never ever make decisions – EVER! Furthermore the ‘Muwatans’ (locals) like it like this, as they keep absolute control of everything that way.
    So yes, it perhaps could have been handled even better, but all’s well that ends well.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    NRI = non resident Indian. What is the problem with calling them that? It’s a statement of fact, it’s not derogatory or demeaning in any way, it’s what they are, although some are not Indian but rather from the sub-continent, but dressing it up in euphemisms is pointless and can be hurtful. Furthermore most of them do an excellent job under often difficult and unpleasant conditions. When I had the misfortune to have to do some work in that part of the world I was shocked at the way the non resident Indians are treated, particularly by the Emiratis in DXB who are just vile.

    South Africans are quite comfortable with people referring to themselves and each other as blacks, whites, coloureds, Indians etc, despite our racial history.


    alainboy56
    Participant

    @captonianm – Actually I have worked in the Gulf for nearly 35 years and I was not using an euphemism, I was merely being polite, as contrary to your findings, I would describe a big majority of them as useless. For me it largely stems from their culture of helping their brothers, cousins, nephews best friends, other village members etc etc etc (and they take huge baksheesh from each other for doing this), to get a job in the Gulf whether they are qualified or not. I will give you one blaring example of this. Answer me why in UAE particularly, and I don’t have specific numbers, but can safely say that maybe more than 75% of Indians in UAE are from just one state alone. There are many Punjabis and Sardars, there are also many Madrassi, we have even in our company’s set up, quite a few Rajhestani, but in the majority, easily the most found here in UAE are from the state of Kerala. There are I believe nearly 30 states, but this one outnumbers all others by miles and miles.
    And this is because the first immigrants who came to Dubai and Sharjah as fishermen and traders 60 years ago when even the currency in these parts was the Rupee, were from an area called Malabar in Kerala, and even today a lot of the Emiratis will call all Hindis ‘Malabari’. I have enough in my company’s set up, they are almost all related, and are a ‘big mafia’ led and controlled by the PRO who is of course, one of them and has taken commission from all of them!
    So generally they are not skilled, and what they do learn, it has been picked up here over the years, working with other races, such as ‘White’ Arabs and Europeans and always, always fearful of making the wrong decision and losing their golden NRI status.
    This I write not from racism, but from realism, of a 35 year working experience with them. I repeat I am not racist, and work with so very many of them as employees, and as business working contacts on a permanent daily basis.
    So I’m sorry to disagree with you, but that’s why I was not surprised by the initial decision to reject my proposal. However when you write a complaint, this has to be referred up, and the next tier are normally ‘White Arabs’, even perhaps ‘local’ ladies, and they WILL make decisions in the best interests of the airline.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    alainboy56 :

    I expect one or both of us will be reminded that we’re going off topic but ….

    I did not take your comments in any way as racist, and you have 35 years of experience in the Gulf whereas mine amounts to months. I don’t know what industry segment you work (or worked) in but mine was airline IT, distribution, revenue management, and ticketing. Most of the Indians (term which I am using loosely) were well educated and numerate, and good workers. A lot, at least 50%, were from Kerala which I always understood to have a very high standard of literacy and education compared to other parts of India.

    You are absolutely correct when you say they had no decision making powers, and part of my work with them was either making the decisions on matters which they referred to me, or explaining to them what channels were available and under what circumstances, for them to refer to. Working with them was certainly not without its frustrations.

    Thanks for your interesting input.


    alainboy56
    Participant

    @captonianm — Your last paragraph sums it up.
    One last point to prove that I am not racist against Indians. I have had affairs with two Indian girls in my life – although neither were from Kerala! Ha ha ha ha.

    So no other comments from readers/participants on my view that QR really are the best airline, and I was not particularly highlighting the resolution of my quandary, more so on the Valentines Day gesture. I am not aware if this was done in many other stations too, or only MXP? Can anyone else clarify this matter?


    Montysaurus
    Participant

    Can we stick to the point here please!


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    @captonianm – Actually I have worked in the Gulf for nearly 35 years and I was not using an euphemism, I was merely being polite, as contrary to your findings, I would describe a big majority of them as useless. For me it largely stems from their culture of helping their brothers, cousins, nephews best friends, other village members etc etc etc (and they take huge baksheesh from each other for doing this), to get a job in the Gulf whether they are qualified or not. I will give you one blaring example of this. Answer me why in UAE particularly, and I don’t have specific numbers, but can safely say that maybe more than 75% of Indians in UAE are from just one state alone. There are many Punjabis and Sardars, there are also many Madrassi, we have even in our company’s set up, quite a few Rajhestani, but in the majority, easily the most found here in UAE are from the state of Kerala. There are I believe nearly 30 states, but this one outnumbers all others by miles and miles.
    And this is because the first immigrants who came to Dubai and Sharjah as fishermen and traders 60 years ago when even the currency in these parts was the Rupee, were from an area called Malabar in Kerala, and even today a lot of the Emiratis will call all Hindis ‘Malabari’. I have enough in my company’s set up, they are almost all related, and are a ‘big mafia’ led and controlled by the PRO who is of course, one of them and has taken commission from all of them!
    So generally they are not skilled, and what they do learn, it has been picked up here over the years, working with other races, such as ‘White’ Arabs and Europeans and always, always fearful of making the wrong decision and losing their golden NRI status.
    This I write not from racism, but from realism, of a 35 year working experience with them. I repeat I am not racist, and work with so very many of them as employees, and as business working contacts on a permanent daily basis.
    So I’m sorry to disagree with you, but that’s why I was not surprised by the initial decision to reject my proposal. However when you write a complaint, this has to be referred up, and the next tier are normally ‘White Arabs’, even perhaps ‘local’ ladies, and they WILL make decisions in the best interests of the airline.

    Baksheesh or rashwah?


    alainboy56
    Participant

    @FDOS_UK —- Or maybe Wasaatah, but these are arabic words, so maybe we should find the word in malayalam (the lingo of Malabaris)


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    I can’t answer about QR, but if I’m in the air on my birthday and flying Swiss, they usually present me with a small gift and a glass of champagne which I think is very nice. A friend of mine on his “honeymoon” with wife number 3 was upgraded to Business between Zurich and Portugal and also given champagne. Of course we all said had he not divorced twice before he could have afforded Business himself 😉

    But roses? No never. But then the Swiss are not exactly renowned for their romantic gestures!

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
BTUK October 2018 issue
BTUK October 2018 issue
Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription
To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below
Polls