news & views

White Christmas

Posted on the 22nd of December 2010 by Christopher Goddard, Managing Director

I think most people in their lives wish for a White Christmas at some point. When I say most people, I exclude airlines.

To sum up 2010 for airlines, the term “annus horribilis” seems the most apt. First they have had  the Icelandic volcano issue, then some of them had a couple of A380 issues and now they have snow like it has never snowed before throwing one of their busiest periods into absolute chaos. I now have a greater understanding when Warren Buffet answered “Why would I ?” when posed the question “why have you not invested in an airline? The gentleman is not one of the richest men in the world by making silly investments one would think.

Overall though, and being one of those caught in the volcano incident, I have to say that the airlines have conducted themselves very well. Those of you that have read my blogs in the past know that I am sometimes a touch scathing of airlines but credit where credit is due. They have communicated well with both industry and consumer and have done all things possible to ease the pain particularly when a couple of the issues are completely out of their control. So in the spirit of Christmas, I say to the airlines – well done.

What the above issues have certainly highlighted is the importance of booking your travel through your travel manager. If you elect to book things on the internet, you unfortunately have to deal with the airline directly when incidents occur. Being the mammoth companies that they are, trying to deal with them when thousands of other passengers are trying to do the same thing can be a massive cause of frustration. The adage of “without a travel agent, you are on your own” is no more true than in situations like the volcano or snow. Why spend up to six hours waiting on the phone when you can get through to Maxim’s straight away? Something to keep in mind next time you need to travel.

All that is left for me to do in 2010 is to wish each and every reader a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2011.

May Santa Claus bring at least one gift that you absolutely cannot do without.

All the best.