Selfish Tweets From Twitter Travellers

Twitter is a fad that is certainly growing in popularity as many people find it to be an immediate and very public forum for sharing their views. I find Twitter quite useful, and I even use it myself. If you’d like to follow my inane ramblings on Twitter, then just add @grumpysguide to your follow list and my views can haunt you for the rest of your days.

As I have an abiding interest in travel and follow many travel related tweets I have found links to many interesting news items, opinions and articles. The true value of Twitter, that I can see, is not so much the tweet itself but the information that the tweet leads you to.

One of my interests is aviation, so I follow tweets relating to aviation in general and airlines in particular. I have noticed a trend for many people to complain about airlines on Twitter. Sometimes those complaints are quite valid, such as complaining about lost luggage or of turning up to the airport with confirmed seats to find the plane is overbooked and you’ve been offloaded. Other messages are so obtuse I have no idea what they are saying.

I’ve noticed a growing trend for Tweet Travellers to complain about delays, which is fine, but many take it very personally, as if they are the airline’s only customer, and many use threatening language.

It’s ok to use Twitter to inform people that you will be delayed, that’s an example of how useful Twitter really is, but I don’t get why people whinge about or threaten an airline when it occurs.

The simple fact is that airlines hate delays more than do their customers, and they certainly don’t delay planes on purpose simply to irritate customers. Delays cost airlines money. The longer planes sit on the tarmac the more money it costs, and they can’t really take a hat around to their passengers asking them to contribute more. Delays also play havoc with airline schedules. Planes are really only profitable when they are flying, not when they are on the ground.

Most airline delays are caused by extreme weather. It may be a perfect day where you are waiting for your plane, but the weather may be atrocious at the airport from whence your plane is flying, or even a couple of airports before that, and each flight compounds its delay.

The second greatest cause is technical; usually a small problem with the aircraft that can be easily fixed, or needs to be double checked. Personally, I don’t really want to fly on an aircraft that has a technical problem, no matter how minor. I am more than happy to sit in the airport whilst they fix it, or if the problem is major, while they organise a new aircraft.

What I don’t do is go on Twitter and have a whinge. I may inform those waiting for me that I will be late, and even then my preference is to call or text directly rather than use Twitter as I know the recipient will receive the message. With Twitter it is still pot luck as to who will see the message.

Personally, and here’s where I have the type of whinge I am complaining about, I really don’t care if someone is ticked off about an airport delay. It happens. It’s usually unavoidable. There is normally a good reason for the delay which is to do with safety.

If an airline did decide that it wouldn’t delay its flights, ignoring extreme weather and engineering issues, it probably wouldn’t attract too many passengers as its planes would have a habit of falling out of the sky. That’s a scenario our whingeing Twitter Travellers should think about next time ther vent their spleen.

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