Mike on America

Mad As Hell And I'm Not Gonna Take It Anymore (Really)

Larry Kellner, Continental CEO
Source: continental.com

If you've seen the movie "Network"you understand the above headline. I'm sitting at Gate 7 at Providence Airport..G.F. Green or something like that. Who cares? I'm delayed, again, by 3 hours. I'm going to miss my connection in Newark, and will be condemned to spend the night at Newark 'Liberty' International. Liberty? What, are you kidding???

We now have a 'polling' capability on the cnbc.com Web site. I don't need a poll. Larry Kellner, CEO of Continental, and the rest of the folks in the airline CEO club should be collectively ashamed of yourselves. It's the worst run business in the U.S. and likely the world.

I've been looking at glassy-eyed gate agents who impart no information unless pressed, who avoid customers when they can, who spend as much time talking to flight attendants and pilots as they do to customers and who blithely check out for the night waving goodbye to the rest of us left sitting at the gate.

Even I know that when the plane that's leaving for Newark is leaving hours late, and it's the same plane that is going to come back and pick us up, that the flight we're flying on is going to be late. Does the signage ever change? Do they ever admit that it's going to be three hours late in advance so you can make alternative plans? No. Hell, had they told me four hours ago when I got here that it was going to be late, and they knew, I could have DRIVEN to Newark and made my flight. Do they care? No.

It's an inherently dishonest business. Weather delays? Where? Am I going to miss my flight? I don't know. I can't say. Can you arrange for a hotel for the mother and four kids stuck in Newark? Sorry, it's weather. Where's the weather? We don't know....get the picture?

As I sit here and the son of a pilot bounces a tennis ball against the wall for the thousandth time--I'm wondering, why do I put up with this?

From this day forward I'm not. No more flights to Newark. No more accepting my 'fate' with a stoic smile. You want to cheat me out of high quality customer service, you want me to accept without question your explanation of what's going on? Fuggetaboutit.

The funny thing is that the kid with the tennis ball is more savvy, and honest, than anyone at the airlines. He's obviously been flying since he was in the womb. The minute the flight was announced as being delayed he knew we'd be hours in the waiting. He told his Dad.

At least he brought the tennis ball. I'm mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. As soon as I get out of Providence. Or is that purgatory?

See you along the road.

Questions?  Comments?  mikeonamerica@nbcuni.com