If you are going to get stuck at an airport and your flight is going to be endlessly delayed and possibly canceled, one word of advice, pray to God that you are not stuck at LaGuardia Airport. It sucks. Watching delays unfold and getting bad updates and then inevitable cancellations are frustrating and bring out the worst in all of us. Airline staff is not helpful and nobody has a clue. Usually, they point to a gate complaint line that is a mile long and have you wait there. If you are really lucky, you get a snack voucher. As for a hotel, dream on!
What I never understand is why the airlines do not better prepare their staff for dealing with these situations. At the airport, I saw queues and queues of people trying to get out and I thought how bad airlines deal with this stuff and yet this is where they should shine. Stranded passengers, helpless passengers, simply giving soothing words and realistic directions and expectations on how to get out of the mess would be helpful. It is always a drag to watch this debacle. It could be so much better. It’s as if they have no training on what happens when stuff goes wrong. That’s the only time they have to worry and that’s when they can really overperform. We know the airline food is bad, the seats are cramped, and the service in general on the plane is very average, so how about excelling at this? Help passengers who are trying to figure out what to do, concentrate on the pre-boarding service, calm people, assure people, and take a genuine interest in getting people into a good frame of mind. Maybe they should have yoga attendants at the gates helping passengers breath. It’s a shame. This is an area where you don’t have to do much. Just be service-oriented and kind. Is that too much to ask?