Negative and Nasty

Riga Airport

Although I could say this was the worst airport I have ever been to, a simple photograph tells you Riga Airport was busy the morning I was there. Also, I joined the wrong queue and could have gotten through much more quickly if I had read the signs - in English - properly.

I love the internet. In particular, I love how it’s opened up the world to me in a way I could have only dreamed of twenty years ago. On the downside, however, it also attracts some awfully negative, nasty folk who hide behide the anonymity the internet provides.

As part of my travel planning at the moment, I spent some time online tonight looking at flights, seating plans, airline reviews, airline food reviews and accommodation reviews, and all I can say is: “what a bunch of bitches”.

On the one hand, you would hope anonymity might lead to a higher level of honesty, but a lot of the time when you read online reviews, you just know it’s more about “their issues” than the service or experience they have in fact received.

Some of the weirdest ones I’ve seen online tonight include…

“Little personal attention from the crew, meal choice offered as it was served”

– Darl, they’re serving 300 people in a small piece of metal hurtling through the air. What did you expect in economy, a discussion about Satre and a foot massage?

“Yes, when booking it seemed tempting to book something that is $150-$300 cheaper. But you do notice the lack of service and food on your journey”

– Well, dir… if you shop at a discount store, you should expect a discount service.

“Positively surprised. Flight on time in a decent A320. Good seat pitch in row 5 and edible warm meal rounded off by round of drinks, tea / coffee. Smiling crew a bonus. Paid a very competitive price and would recommend Finnair”

– In essence, she’s saying she was expecting something awful, and was surprised when that wasn’t the case. Raise your expectations, darl…

“When I tried to call Finnair, nobody dared to answer the phone.”

– What does that mean? When did you call? What sort of baggage does someone carry when they assume an unanswered phone call means “nobody dared to answer the phone”? “Everybody’s out to get me” is the next logical thing to say in such a review.

And finally…

“Maybe their European service is OK, however, having been on their long haul flight and comparing it to all other long haul flights I’ve been on, I would rate them 0/10, maybe 0.5/10. ”

– Honestly, would you ever seriously rate anything as 0/10, except perhaps an act on Red Faces?

I find it remarkable that people write such awful unsubstantiated reviews, expecting first class travel when they’re travelling on budget airlines.

Equally unhelpful was the overly positive review, along the lines of “this was the best place I’ve ever stayed”.

Many of the reviews I’ve read tonight were really unhelpful, as they didn’t actually give me an accurate portrayal or description of what was on offered and what was delivered.

You can’t just say it was good or bad. You need to be specific.

It’s like they say about Twitter…. “everyone’s talking but nobody’s listening”.

These reviews do, however, give you an insight into the weird and wonderful people you’re going to have to travel with.

I’m guessing the person who writes online reviews also puts their seat into recline as soon as they get on the place, talks incessantly all night while everyone else is trying to sleep, and constantly asks for assistance from the flight-attendant.

The only thing is to pray to God you end up seated next to someone with normal views, and not some of the oddballs who write online reviews.

PS. Yes I know I write online reviews here too.

  1. James, we listen to you on twitter, don’t worry! :P

    On a similar theme my biggest gripe with online restaurant review sites like Eatability is not so much the comments themselves but there’s no moderation in the scores. I don’t mean holding back a comment and deleting it if it’s rude, but it needs someone to have an overall view – otherwise there are large anomalies like my local pizza place scoring more highly than Tetsuya’s. The better the restaurant the bitchier the comments. “I signalled the waiter telepathically to say I’d like more bread and it took him 15 seconds to get to my table. I’m never eating here again”. I’m writing a post about just this on my new (watch this space Jan 2010) food blog. :)

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