15 September 2012

A letter to Eagle

Dear airline bosses
An open letter to Air New Zealand and its subsidiary, Eagle Air,
Dear Sir/Madam
We'd like to think we're a pretty fair bunch in South Canterbury, that if something is not working we'd listen to the reasons and, if they made sense, we'd move on.  But right now we don't feel like we're getting that from you guys regarding flights in and out of our airport.
Firstly though we have to say we appreciate having an air service. It's important to the district and, hopefully, we're using it enough for these guys to be making a profit. And we accept it's going to cost more to fly from Timaru than from Christchurch. If you wanted to trim fares though, don't let us stop you. We pay more for the convenience of not having to drive to Christchurch, and not having to pay for car parking once there.
And we also accept that you can't plan for bad weather, and, actually, when you cancel flights because of that we're quite happy not to fly either. It's reasonable too to expect us to ring you if the weather's bad to see if the flight is still on. But … yes, sorry, there had to be a but.
What we don't think is fair is if you have maintenance/technical/engineering issues that you know about a bit in advance, and you don't let us know. In advance. We've had a few cases lately where people (your customers), have only found out the flight isn't running when they've arrived at the airport. Other times, they've found out only because they double checked on your 0800 number a few hours before, and managed to hastily arrange alternative flights. Is it too much to expect that you ring these customers as soon as you know a flight is cancelled? We don't think so.
And by the way, we know you might be down a plane or two at the moment because of some hairline cracks in their tails, but if you're short of one for our link, just let us know as soon as you do. It's the not knowing and late knowing we hate. Oh, and if we have to go to Christchurch because of maintenance/technical/engineering issues we think it's fair we get some refund for that, because we've lost the convenience factor we paid that extra money for. At the very least, we'd think you'd organise to get us to Christchurch.
That's about all we've got for now, looking forward to hearing from you.
Happy flying,
Your South Canterbury customers

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