Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

But Did Bags Fly Free?

It's not just the Olympics that are competitive anymore. Any service one can possibly imagine has upped the ante in order to sway customers to using its services. Airlines are no different. I recently flew Southwest Airlines and got not one but TWO bags of snacks: pretzels and vanilla wafers. It was a veritable Thanksgiving feast for those of us in economy. I also liked the number system that carrier uses to board the plane: each traveler is assigned a number on check-in, and that's the order in which fliers enter the cabin; no edging up to the counter or darting in front of people with overlarge carryons or kids...just civilized stampeding.
Well, it seems that VietJetAir has gone the rewards idea one further. On a recent flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Nha Trang, the stewardesses were dressed somewhat more casually than one might expect and performed a dance routine for the passengers before takeoff (that's airplane takeoff, not what you are imagining). Since Nha Trang is a noted tourist destination, at least according to the Vietnamese, the airline wanted to do something to "...capture the holiday atmosphere." Instead, according to some bureaucrat somewhere, the airline "...violated local aviation regulations" and issued a fine that amounted to $956 US. The dance portion was filmed by several fliers using their portable phones; this, of course, brings up the obvious question, "Why weren't those phones turned off prior to takeoff?" Seems to me that some passengers were breaking the most sacrosanct of airline rules: If it has an "off" switch, turn it off!
Perhaps free drinks with little umbrellas in them would have established the same "holiday atmosphere" and saved the company some money. On the other hand, I'll bet future flights to Nha Trang will be full!


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