09/04/2010

easyJet refuses to appear on Infrarouge

The recurrent problems of easyJet were to be the subject for the televised live debate programme Infrarouge on Tuesday 24 August. It did not happen because easyJet refused to send any representative. Why?


The subject of easyJet flight cancellations, deviations and long delays, plus the poor level of treatment of passengers caught up in these problems, has been a long-running saga this summer. One might have thought that easyJet would welcome an open debate on these problems, at which they could have clarified why these problems happened and how the lessons that they have learned will help to prevent any re-occurrence.

Instead, they choose to avoid any debate: why? Perhaps the idea of real passengers saying how they were really treated when things went wrong worried them! Perhaps they feared that someone other than them might present statistics unfavourable to them! Or perhaps simply they want to pretend that July 2010 never happened!

This last supposition is what emerges from the interview of Thomas Haagensen in the Tribune de Genève on 3 September.  He gives a very clever presentation of statistics, which sometimes refer only to easyJet Switzerland (demonstrably the main problem), sometimes to all easyJet flights from Switzerland and sometimes to all easyJet flights all over Europe. Without any specification of what precise steps were taken, he implies that certain steps improved the situation in August. The truth is that August was always going to be less bad than July, and September ought, as usual, to be less bad than August (as shown in the graphics for 2009). However, his most revealing remark is that no statistics will be issued for the (very bad) month of July. In other words, he is ashamed of them, and just wants them to be forgotten about. Strangely, the independent airline statistics web site flightstats.com has recently sent me a comment on easyJet, saying that

we have recently had some problems with easyJet, they used to provide us with a feed but that stopped.

All this points to an airline which has tried to run too many flights without having the necessary resources to deal correctly with  problems as and when they arise. Then, instead of analysing the problems in an open manner, easyJet wants to conceal them and forget about them.

The philosopher George Santayana once wrote

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

If we let easyJet forget the past (month of July), rather than openly drawing lessons from it, then next July will most likely be a repeat.

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