Last winter, there was a salt shortage and airports were forced to close. The excuse? ‘Unprecedented’ cold weather. This winter? Exact same problems… Airports shut. Media loving it. People sleeping on floors. Passengers complaining about lack of information. It’s so predictable i could start writing the script for next winter. Swap winter with ‘radar failure’ or ‘terrorist alert’ and it’s the exact same problem… lack of communication and preparation.
Happy people are informed people
I’ve spoken about this many times before but one problem i’ve had in college over the years is turning up (having gotten up early and driven for 50 minutes) only to be told i’ve no classes. Could that be avoided? Yes, and that is always what i’m arguing about – not the fact i’ve no classes, the fact i wasn’t informed soon enough.
Airlines & airports need some kind of system which alerts passengers to delays and cancellations immediately. Over the past few years, i’ve noticed airlines are all too eager to get spokespeople on news channels and radio but it’s the people sitting around and lying around inside the airport that need to be spoken to, not the likes of me sitting on a sofa drinking tea with my feet up.
This only angers passengers further. These representatives are all too willing to appear on TV or radio to defend their companies reputation, but they won’t talk to their own passengers face to face, which is what all passengers want.
Free stuff makes people happy
Keep people up to date, talk to them, meet them face to face and situations get defused. Free stuff also helps. With all of this snow and ice, airlines, in their defence, can’t do much about it… they’re relying on airport authorities to make sure runways are clear / safe.
Again, nobody minds waiting around so long as they’re informed immediately and treated well. Passengers should be given free internet access, water, food, transport from airport… they shouldn’t have to pay because airport authorities have failed to prepare properly.
And that’s all this is… a lack of preparation. Is it unprecedented weather? Maybe, but there were plenty of people predicting it. Maybe not snow at a specific time, but a very cold spell in general. It’s not as if it was African weather one minute and Artic the next, this is one of the busiest times of year for airports so it would make sense at this time of year to be *over* prepared and expecting the worse rather than getting caught out by unexpected snow showers.
There’s nothing worse than being delayed whilst you’re trying to get home. Spending Christmas in an airport or a hotel isn’t something that will be forgotten easily but that’s the nightmare scenario facing up to 40,000 people in Dublin today / tomorrow.
Lack of communication & lack of preparation, that’s all this is. ‘Unprecedented’ is always an excuse. Watch out for that word coming from DAA and airlines… it’s their way of saying “It’s not our fault, shit happens”.