Costa Rica News – As a frequent flyer to Costa Rica, I have logged over 500 flights over the past twenty five years. To say the least I have had experience with almost every airline offering flights to and from Costa Rica. I started with Eastern Airlines, Pan Am, Lacsa. I then moved briefly to Aero Costa Rica and Martin Air. I ventured on to Taca, American Airlines, U.S. Airways, America West, Frontier, Continental, United, and Jet Blue.
I do not mention their names so as not to reward them with publicity and have nothing t gain by mentioning them in this article.
You can feel the attitude of these airline employees in their reponses when confronted with complaints about cancelled flights with no compensation, chronic delays, understaffed counters and lost luggage by sitting around the board room. They read letters aloud, either laughing at the passengers vitriol or “compete” to see who has the angriest letter. When an incident is so aggregious to attract the attention of the media, the airlines look at this as free advertising
There is a theory help among those that run “low cost” carriers that goes more or less like this; passengers will always chose the lowest fare when they fly no matter how horrific their past experience. Studies have shown that while we may choose another carrier at a higher price once or even twice, over time we will return to the carrier with what appears to be the lowest price no matter how rude the service or how long the delay. The management of these “low cost” carriers know this.
I say “low cost” because while the base fare they quote may appear to be low, once you add on fees for fuel, luggage, carry on luggage and your seat, it is often higher than one f the major carriers that allow free luggage and does not charge for these other services we are used to having as part of the price of a ticket.
Recently I have noticed that those that work for the airline also know that management does not pay attention to complaints and as a result they are not held accountable for their actions. They are free to treat passengers with equal disdain especially when they are asked to put forth any extra effort to assist a handicapped passenger or someone that does not speak English very well.
I have witnessed an attendant address a group of passengers waiting to disembark by saying “You idiots heard the announcement so get out of my way” and another responded to a question from another passenger.”You fly this airline all the time because I have seen you so stop asking me stupid questions!”
The attendants will also use the precious overhead for their personal luggage forcing passengers to check luggage at a fee.
So what are we, as passengers, to do? If you have flown out of Fort Lauderdale lately you know the airline that shall not be given free publicity.
Perhaps a coalition of airline passengers for those of us that travel toCosta Rica ore than once a year to negotiate a waiver of fees or special discount?
The bottom line is that only through hurting their bottom line will we as passengers be able to effect a change…or is it impossible? If you have had an “incident” on this carrier or have a suggestion on how to address this situation, unlike the airline, I am interested in hearing from you.
Please comment below about any experiences you have had with airlines and any thoughts if we can make them accountable for their actions…..if there is a way……..or is it like ICE or Amnet in Costa Rica, where we are forced to accept their downtime on their service and deal with rude customer service reps?