Rob Golledge ponders tactics to avoid a stressful flight in his latest ‘ramblings’ taken from the Amadeus Industry Eye customer newsletter. ————————————————————————–
This week I received an email entitled ‘5 ways to avoid stress overload on your next flight.’ But to my mind there’s just 1 rule to remember: turn left upon boarding the aircraft. You’ll end up sitting in the premium cabin, or on the flight deck; either way it will be a whole lot nicer than the experience down the back of the bus.
But even if you’re not travelling premium, you can still add those little touches to make your journey more comfortable. This is what Amadeus research referred to as ‘virtual’ cabin classes. I don’t object to airlines charging for à la carte ancillary services as long as the essentials – like wings (and I’m not talking chicken) and oxygen masks – are always included in the air fare!
Communication is key. Problems arise when passengers are surprised to learn they need to pay for an inflight peanut (or checked baggage). Had they known in advance, they would have preferred to purchase something delectable from the airport deli (or gone commando). It really boils down to informed choice: do I choose to upgrade some or all of the services I value, or would I prefer to find alternative ways to cut costs, such as bringing my own cheese and crackers.
Another tip to avoid stress is to consider the whole journey, not just the flight. So when I travelled to Europe last month, I chose to buy access to one of the independent airport lounges and I upgraded to business parking even though I was travelling for pleasure. Both choices made for a more pleasant journey.
This bespoke, tailor-made approach fits the needs of modern travellers much better than the mass-market tourism of the 1970’s, when everyone was happy to wear kaftans like Demis Roussos. Will it make travel a more costly experience overall? The jury is still out. But at least travellers can choose where to spend their money on what matters most to them.
And finally… “My fear of flying starts as soon as I buckle myself in and then the guy up front mumbles a few unintelligible words. Then before I know it I’m thrust into the back of my seat by acceleration that seems way too fast and the rest of the trip is an endless nightmare of turbulence and near misses. And then the cabbie drops me off at the airport.” — Dennis Miller