Flying

KLMThe Dutch make a mean wooden shoe, but things go downhill from there. Customer service is just not in their blood. I came up with a list of 10 things they could do to improve the KLM flying experience.

  1. Greet us instead of hanging out in a group staring at us as we arrive,
  2. Don’t say the plane will be there in 30 minutes unless you know that it will in fact be there in 30 minutes,
  3. Tell us why the flight is being delayed,
  4. When it doesn’t show, don’t announce to us that it will now be another 30 minutes, but that you will believe it when you see it,
  5. If you do finally tell us why the plane is delayed, you might find a better way to say the electricity isn’t working and the technicians don’t know why,
  6. Don’t tell people not to leave the security area unless it is an emergency when the standing-room-only security area has no bathroom,
  7. Don’t sigh and huff when people have that very emergency,
  8. Don’t blow up at customers who ask why they are not being better informed about what is going on during the 3-hour delay.
  9. From time to time, just to see if anyone might need something, you should come out of the galley where you hang out behind the closed curtains during the whole flight,
  10. Smile at least once at at least one customer.
We arrived “rode hard and put away wet” at our hotel in Delhi at 5:35AM on Wednesday morning (we should have been there by 2:00AM). We were planning to meet in the restaurant for a quick meal and a 9:00 shuttle back to the airport for our final flight to Silguri. That’s 3-1/2 hours for a quick shower and however much sleep we could squeeze in. Sound like a rough ride?¬† Well despite all that the team did great and was up and excited to get to Bright Hope English School in teh morning.
The flights to Siliguri were great. Number 11 on the list above is for KLM to send their flight attendants to India to learn about amazing customer service from Jet Airways and Air India. We met Jonathan and Ruben at the airport, who brought is to our hotel in the new Bright Hope vehicle. We were greeted at the Barsana Hotel by Sweetie (that is her real name), who welcomed us “home” and reminded me that we are family here.
P1030529We went to Bright Hope and got to visit a bit with the girls and the staff. Anita was already at the school and will be with our team here. The Bright Hope folks made us a wonderful dinner and we talked about what we will be doing in the coming week.
In summary, we have arrived and are doing well and are fully engaged. Please pray for us this week – for stamina (some of the team are having a bit of jet-lag since we are in a time zone that is 12-1/2 hours earlier), for wisdom with our time and resources, for favor with the locals as we engage them to do some of the water and construction work, and for our encouragement to the team here. They do a lot with only a few people and are exhausted. We want to be a refreshment to them and not a burden.

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