Japanese budget airline warns passengers not to gripe

15-Jun-2012 Intellasia | CTV.ca | 7:01 AM Print This Post

Want to stow away your bag on this flight? Try putting it in the overhead compartment on your own. Got a complaint about the service? Keep it to yourself, at least until the plane lands.

A Japanese budget airline has come under fire for putting up notices informing passengers that its flight attendants aren’t obligated to be polite or cater to the whims of those on-board.

Among other unusual edicts, the notices posted by Skymark Airlines told travellers that crew members wouldn’t put up with any grievances on board, according to UK news outlet The Telegraph.

Instead, passengers were encouraged to direct any complaints to public consumer agencies.

A Skymark Airlines jet liner lands at Kagoshima airport, southern Japan, on Tuesday, February 1, 2011. (Kyodo News)

“In case a passenger does not understand that, we will ask the person to leave so that we can take off as scheduled,” read an excerpt of the notice obtained by The Telegraph.

Travellers who appreciate a cordial “you’re welcome” after a “thank you” may have balked at the notices as well. The guidelines indicated that Skymark’s attendants weren’t obligated to use “polite language” when speaking to passengers; courteousness just isn’t in the job description.

Another decree in Skymark’s eight-point “Service Concept” stated that cabin staff wouldn’t help customers stow their bags away.

The rationale behind the seemingly brusque rules is that the crew’s role is to ensure safety, not tend to passengers, reported The Telegraph.

Justifications aside, the notices have drawn the ire of the Tokyo Metropolitan government, which has asked the budget carrier to take down the guidelines.

Skymark acquiesced late last week and agreed to revise the notices.

But there may be something to be said for a gruff attitude and a lack of courtesy, at least from a business perspective. Though the traits are generally considered negative qualities, certain businesses have become famously novel for their bad customer service.

Diners in San Francisco expressed sadness last April when a Chinatown eatery known for having the “world’s rudest waiter” closed its doors. Similarly, other restaurants such as the Jack Astor’s chain have tried to cultivate humorously rude reputations with gags such as a neon sign out front telling customers: “Sorry, We’re Open.”

In Skymark’s case, however, the notices weren’t intended to be amusing.



Category: Japan

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