Few things beat outstanding customer service

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I wrote here about this mileage run.  Here are my flight photos and short comments, as usual.

I usually try to dispense with long flight reviews and try to keep them as short and quick as possible.  However, from time to time either a really bad or a really good experience deserves its own post.  Fortunately for me, I’m writing about a good one.

I’ve flown the United Polaris business ‘soft-product‘ several times and again from NRT>SFO a few weeks back.  But this post is less about Polaris, as it is about simple, yet outstanding, customer service.

The problem

I went out of my way to ensure I was sitting upstairs.  There’s just something about the privacy of a 747 upper level, which even the upper level of the bulkier A380 lacks.  If you read my Mileage run report, you read about the mistake I made in Denver.  Well, let me tell you I made the mistake in Beijing as well.  In one of the re-routes my upper deck seat changed, and I didn’t notice.  I wasn’t a happy camper when I realized it, both because it happened and also because I didn’t notice when it happened.  What made things worse was that I was facing the rear of the airplane.  You know, that weird United configuration…ugh!  Thankfully that will eventually be phased out.

The turning point

At this point, I was trying to just tell myself that I still had a Polaris seat, that I’d enjoy good service, and good dining, and that I was still flying in a 747.  It was starting to work, so I tried the last thing I could think of…maybe there was an empty seat upstairs that I could move into.  So while boarding was still going on I walked upstairs and I found Kazue, getting some pre-departure drinks ready for the upstairs folks.  I asked her if there were any open seats in the upper cabin, and she told me she didn’t think so, but she would let me know for sure in a bit.   At this I returned down to my rear-facing lie-flat seat sad and resigned.  I wouldn’t get to fly my likely last time on a United 747 on the upper deck.

To my surprise no more than 5 minutes later, Kazue came over to my seat and asked me whether I preferred a window or an aisle seat upstairs.  For a second my response was going to be “whaaa?” but I recovered quickly and intently responded “window”.  She had made some sort of arrangement upstairs with two passengers so I cold get what I wanted.  I had already opened a couple of my Polaris items, so she took those for me upstairs and set up my seat, and did the same for the lady that would be taking my seat downstairs.  Wow!  What a start to my flight!  Going from disappointment to the exact opposite within minutes, thanks to Kazue caring about my wishes.

But it wasn’t just Kazue, the whole crew’s service was impressive, and it didn’t feel forced at all.  Throughout the flight, they were so approachable, and were putting so much effort into pleasing customers…it was a beautiful thing to watch.  If all United flight attendants had the same desire to please customers as this Tokyo-based crew, boy oh boy would United have an awesome reputation today.  I’ll be writing a flight review that will contain all the info about all things Polaris.  A great flight indeed!

I made sure to recognize this crew via the Customer Care contact form.  I think it’s good to give compliments to crew members when it’s deserved, as it surely becomes an incentive to keep doing so.  On the other hand, I also make sure to share my thoughts when I’m not happy with the service I received.

See this example of how little money you need to spend in order to travel in premium class, plus pay nothing for your hotel and/or car rental, and how to get it done.  Also, don’t forget that you’re welcome to ask me any questions about booking your own vacation that you may have, or reach out to me if you’d like me to set up a plan and do the booking for you.

Give me your thoughts