Hola from Cape Town and some words on customer service

Well, the new Mrs Ellis and I have just arrived in Cape Town and checked in at the very grand Table Bay Hotel after a somewhat testing flight…

Not because Virgin Atlantic are not good at what they do but because Laura seems to have picked up the 24 hour bug that is going around and spent about six hours of the flight in the loo being sick.

Her absence gave me the chance to have a think about the cost cutting Virgin Atlantic is undergoing and how that affects the travel experience but to also compare their crew with those on our EasyJet flights to the wedding last week (see my previous post here).

While the two obviously differ in terms of what they offer in terms of service, they are both cutting costs and cabin crew on both airlines are still the customer facing side of the business

From Virgin’s perspective, the onboard masseuse seems to long be a thing of the past, but I never used them anyway so it has absolutely no affect on my flight experience

You also no longer get a printed menu in Upper Class, rather the dishes are announced over the PA and then you choose when the cabin crew takes your order.

On previous flights, everyone I saw read the menu always asked the crew to ‘remind them what was on offer’ when they came to order anyway so again, not a great loss.

The type of food on offer has also been ‘downgraded’ – think sausage and mash rather than steak – but the quality is still pretty high.

It’s the kind of cost cutting that would seem prudent at a time like this. Downgrade slightly and make up for it with superior customer service. And its’ where the crew on our South Africa flight really made the difference; they could not do enough for Laura to try and make her more comfortable and likewise the rest of the passengers around us.

It was all such a far cry from the grumps on EasyJet last week where there idea of cost cutting is to halve the size of the onboard Snack Pack but charge the same price and where customer service came with a snarl rather than a smile.