There is a huge difference between the terms "the customer is always right" and "the customer comes first". The former simply means that no matter what happens, even if imminent danger is present, the customer ought to be followed. The latter on the other hand means that the customer's safety, comfort, and expectations are all met equally. A customer who travels by air has one primary goal in mind, and that is to get from point A to point B safely.
Sadly, some people take this too literally that it has become a source of quarrels or even physical assaults between customers and business establishments. In commercial aviation, this "customer is always right" is not always true, especially if safety and security are to be compromised.
Air travel has been growing and growing through the years. Commercial airlines have been ordering new aircraft to be able to fill in the demand. As this grows, the safety of aircraft and airlines have become a major concern. The safety of passengers is definitely a top priority of airlines and aircraft manufacturers, comfort and flying experience are simple secondary.
In the midst of the growth in air travel, more types of passengers are already able to fly, and these include those who demands for anything they want because as they think, "the customer is always right". But is it?
No it is not! The customer is not always right!
Let us cite a situation:
Passenger stands up during landing procedure, fasten seatbelt sign is on.
Flight attendant: "Sir, please return to your seat and please put on your seatbelt sign."
Passenger: "Sorry but I have to get my laptop to email my boss."
Flight attendant: "Yes sir that may be important, but we are landing right now and you have to remain seated with your seatbelts on and your tray tables up. The fasten seatbelt sign is on and we have to obey it."
Passenger: "Please allow me to get my things. I am a passenger, I paid for this plane ticket, so I am always correct."
Take-off and landing are usually the most dangerous parts in a flight. If let's say something goes wrong, the aircraft skids off the runway, throwing the passenger around the cabin that may result to major injuries or even death, was the customer here right?
Another example. The flight cannot take-off due to a technical problem that had appeared on the aircraft. Forcing the aircraft to fly with such problem can end up in a catastrophe. However, some passengers demand that the aircraft should take-off on time to the point they quarrel with the airport staff, ground crew, and flight crew. They exercise their "I am a customer, I am right." If this was to be followed and the aircraft takes-off despite the danger then suddenly, it blows-up in mid-air or crashes (this incident has happened numerous times in the past), were the customers right?
This is the reason why airline staff do not give in to the "customer is always right" thing during safety procedures, protocols, and policies, it's because they are not always right, especially if what they want is against airline safety policies and regulations. However, they are in the receiving end of backlash, verbal assault, and online shaming.
Buying a plane ticket does not automatically give authority to passengers to demand for whatever they want or to do whatever they want. No! In fact, buying an airline ticket subjects the passengers to all airline safety rules, regulations, terms, and conditions, which basically airline staff and crew are carrying out.
In commercial aviation or commercial air travel, safety is always paramount. It is about "making the customer come first", and that includes your safety and security as paying passengers. "The customer is always right" is actually wrong.
Note: This article originally appeared at ITSACREWLIFE.COM. Slight modifications were made to fit this website.