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May 9, 2011 | by  | in Opinion |
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The Week That Wasn’t – Abuse From Middle-Aged Woman Yields Positive Result

Jetstar “didn’t realize anyone was upset”

Following a 12-hour delay in flights between Auckland and Wellington last week, during which Jetstar staff were pelted with abuse from angry customers, the budget airline have promised to “fix problems when they arise”, according to representative Cheryl Pimpernel.

The delay began with a minor engine malfunction, which took five minutes in total to fix, but the great length of the whole delay was based on what Pimpernel describes as “just sort of mucking about” and “playing silly buggers”.

“Yeah, you see, whenever there’s a delay we’re generally a bit relieved. It gives us a bit of a break where we can relax, but it’s never occurred to us that the delay actually might be causing the passengers a bit of upset.

“Wednesday was the first time that a passenger has actually pointed out to me that in fact she had somewhere to be and would have preferred a slightly faster resolution. And, boy, did she tell me!” laughs Pimpernel. “Her raised voice and aggressive attitude really helped us sort out the situation.”

The woman responsible for making Jetstar change their ways, 36-year-old business owner Shelley Kirby, was enraged that she would miss a lunch-date with her business partner in Auckland and verbally attacked Pimpernel calling her a “dumb whore” and claimed that “[she didn’t] think Jetstar was even trying to find a solution”.

Kirby’s groundbreaking suggestion—that Jetstar should “just fix the problem”—has led to increased efficiency and a much higher level of customer satisfaction for Jetstar.

Prior to these events, Pimpernel was oblivious to the fact that passengers do actually mind sitting around in an airport for hours, waiting to see if a plane would ever leave for their destination. Pimpernel contacted her superiors who immediately rectified the situation, thanked Kirby for her constructive criticism and vowed never to just piss about while they could just fix the plane.

Since the events unfolded, Kirby has started a highly successful consulting agency, Common Sense, which offers business solutions for situations where businesses might not be acting as efficiently as possible. Kirby recommended that if her local ASB branch put more staff on throughout the day, lines would move faster and people’s banking wouldn’t take as long. Test results for Kirby’s theory remain inconclusive.

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