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Hard trip home

February 10, 2002

I am at Hong Qiao Airport in Shanghai. It seems I am out of fortune today. The flight CZ3592 (Shanghai->Zheng Zhou) by the China Southern Airlines was delayed due to technical difficulties. The original departure time is 10:25 am. But until 11:25 am, the plain is said to be still in Zheng Zhou. The estimated departure time is unavailable. I have to wait in the airport, very boring, and am very dissatisfied with this experience.

As a passenger, I believe the following items should be improved.

1. When passengers were waiting, they should be kept informed.

There are a large space that can be improved. The frequency of the status broadcast is too low. My expectation is once per 30 minutes. They should broadcast like:

"We are sorry to inform you that flight CZ3592 have to be delayed due to technical difficulties. The earliest departure time is not determined. Please wait in the waiting room and we appreciate your cooperation"

At least, this help passengers to know that they still need to wait. Otherwise, some one may think: "Has the flight already departed but I just didn't got the information?"

2. A sorry letter should be distributed to all passengers.

I noticed that they have prepared such letters. It should be distributed but they didn't. A laser printer will be of great help to shorten the time to print related information on paper.

3. Contact information should be distributed pointing to the person in charge or call center

Passengers were left there alone, without any contact information. This caused anxiousness and flame in the crowd. Whenever an event is held or any project, a clear message should be delivered to everyone involved that who should be the central contact person or dispatcher of calls. Thus the passengers, in this case, will be assured that someone will take care of them and know whom to turn to when help or information is needed. The organizer should have some kind of paper ready. Be sure the owner of the contact information is well trained and knows how to answer calls.

At last, the flight took off at about 6:30 pm....

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