Will the company with the worst customer service please stand up?
When it comes to the travel industry, I have the inside track on that answer, because I run a travel blog. Last week, I surveyed my readers. And they told me.
The winners? Airlines, hands down.
More than half the respondents — 58 percent — said air carriers have the worst service. Coming in second: car rental companies (37 percent). Cruise lines and hotels trailed the pack at 6 and 5 percent, respectively. More than 500 people took the survey.
Equally interesting was what they said about the service.
This one was a tough one – they all have pretty bad customer service.
I finally chose airlines because they truly seem to care the least about their customers, looking on them solely as revenue generators versus being humans.
That’s the assessment of Nancy Dickinson, who in addition to reading this site is a travel writer, herself.
Another reader said, difficult as it was to choose, he voted for car rentals.
I am very irritated by the confusing terminology, the load of extra fees they can charge, generally outrageous gas prices charged, the increasing questions about damage, the confusing array of discount offers, and apparent intentional lack of clarity about what’s covered and what is not.
Here’s what happened to reader Kris Hillard when she and her husband tried to fly in style on Continental Airlines last year.
We used AMEX points to upgrade to first class – what a disappointment.
No real food in the lounge in San Francisco, and had to pay for a decent drink. We when boarded the plane and asked us what we would like to drink my husband requested champagne and they laughed at us.
When we went to the lounge in Houston the two attendants who are supposed to welcome you actually ignored us for over five minutes until I finally said something.
If this is how they are treating people in first class I shudder to think of what is happening in coach. We will never fly them again.
She won’t have to. Continental has merged with United. Hopefully, the new airline will start thinking about its customers differently.
Certainly, the airlines have their work cut out for them.
“They’ve forgotten what customer service is all about,” said one reader. “They treat people with the utmost disrespect.”