Before I go on a massive rant about what happened with my flight back to England last month, I think it’s worth talking about how important it is to make sure your boat works before you pop it in the sea… especially if it cost £50 million.
As if being out of action for a week after bumping a harbour fender wasn’t bad enough, the vehicle deck on the new Condor Liberation went on the fritz – causing 24 vehicles to be left behind. I ‘CARn’t’ believe it! That was terrible. I’m WHEELy Sorry for that EXHAUSTing joke. Anyway… poor Condor. They’re not doing it on purpose – it genuinely does seem like a bit of bad luck. I guess it’s pretty embarrassing to have two accidents in such a short space of time, and I imagine it’s a PR nightmare. I feel bad for the passengers who were trying to get from one place to another too – I can speak with conviction on the frustration of wanting to get between two places and not being able to. It sucks.
Also, if you’re responsible for the transport routes between Jersey and England then you should definitely be held accountable for the fact that your boat doesn’t work, accidents and bad luck aside. I’m sure Condor know this, and I hope they’re nottoo stressed out about it – there are always teething problems with new things but if it were me I would have tested for these problems without getting the general public involved. Speaking as both a member of the general public and a frustrated onlooker of the general public, I can tell you now that the general public are a bunch of tossers.
I had the pleasure of being eye-witness to some A-Grade general public ‘tosserism’ at Jersey airport when my Flybe flight to Southampton had to abort a take-off, taxi back to its stand, and let us all off, to be told shortly after that the flight wouldn’t be going due to a technical fault. I wasn’t too bothered by this, because I feel like getting annoyed about things that you can’t change is a waste of time. I’m already losing my hair prematurely, and I don’t want what’s left of it to turn grey.
There was something wrong with the ‘auto-feathering’ system, or something. I don’t know the specifics. All I know is that I’m glad they chose to check it out rather than just wing it (pun unintentional… or pun intentional, if you like) and fly over to England hoping we didn’t all crash and die. What I can say is that the Flybe flight attendants and the Jersey Airport staff were all very helpful and handled the situation rather well, despite the heckling from a few self-entitled idiots who believed someone had broken the plane on purpose in order to disrupt their super important life.
After waiting in the terminal for about half an hour we were told that the plane would not be going so we would be booked on the earliest flight the next morning. To me, this was the equivalent of saying ‘we’d rather wait 12 hours and inconvenience you ever so slightly than potentially risk your lives on a plane that probably doesn’t work’… pretty considerate, if nothing else!
Still, it didn’t stop Mrs ‘Look-at-me’ in seat 12B from voicing her daft opinion. “That’s just not good enough!” I heard, calling from the back, in her ‘I only buy sugar-free Elderflower squash for my son Felix’ posh voice. I remember thinking to myself that I should say something, but it was late and I don’t like confrontation. I wish I had though, as I later found out that she had a go at the nice airport lady when she was queueing to re-book the flight. What the hell did she mean!? What’s not good enough? The fact that they want to make sure the plane is alright? I genuinely think she believed this innocent Jersey Airport employee built the plane and should have magically fixed it there and then.
To me, it’s a daft sense of entitlement that so many people have. I understand that if you’re paying for a service you should get what you pay for, and you shouldn’t be one of 24 people whose vehicle got stuck on a boat–as a company you have a duty of care for customer satisfaction, but when it comes down to technical faults or things that can’t really be helped, just stop having a go at people who have nothing to do with it.
A lot of people are dead set on doing exactly the thing they want to do, and any sort of deviation from that, even if it is just a minor inconvenience, is the worst thing that’s ever happened. It’s all about perspective – I just read about the fatal plane crash in Jersey in the 1960s and one couple’s brave efforts to get involved and help, and the way it affected them afterwards. I’m not saying that this could’ve happened to us, but putting relativity into practice, being delayed a little bit because of a technical fault isn’t really too much of a problem.
I guess what I want to say is, sometimes it sucks that companies can’t manage the services that they’re responsible for, but don’t waste your energy getting upset about things you can’t control. It will make you get older faster, lose your hair prematurely and end up looking like me.. and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.