Caribbean Airlines Will Need to Rebuild Customer Trust

Though it is said that air travel is statistically safer than traveling our congested highways, it’s the high probability for loss that gets me. Thankfully, all 162 passengers on board Caribbean Airlines are alive but when I heard the news of the crash late Saturday night, I felt a sense of unease.

As someone who travels frequently, this type of news always shakes me even though my attitude is, if it’s going to happen, there’s little I can do. I think of the time a few years ago in Spain when news reached us of a crash just as we were about to board a flight. We were delayed for several tense hours but when our flight was ready, we went with it. I also recall the American Airlines crashed near Queens in 2001. I tried not to see any of the photos as I was flying out the following morning. And finally, I think of a friend who was lost on Air France 447. The relief I’ve felt that no lives lost were almost overshadowed by these other thoughts.

Despite the 2010 crash of American Airlines in Jamaica (no lives were lost), there have been few crashes in the region. Before Saturday, Caribbean Airlines, since 2006 the successor to BWIA (British West Indian Airways), had a spotless record. A few months ago, it took over ownership of Air Jamaica, an airline that had a not-so-spotless on-time record and an excellent safety record. It has a well seasoned crew.

But many passengers will not be thinking about that when they go to book their next flight on Caribbean Airlines. When asked by the media for an opinion, a man on the street said flat out that he would not fly the regional carrier.

We shouldn’t be so quick to write off Caribbean Airlines. No doubt, it will need to work hard to rebuild customer trust. It can start by reminding passengers of its excellent record.



6 comments on “Caribbean Airlines Will Need to Rebuild Customer Trust

  1. It would be unnerving to hear a flight go down. Fortunately, the pilot was skilled in his ability to land that plane where no lives were lost. Future passengers needs to consider that.

  2. Definitely. That’s the biggest thing to remember.
    I’m not listening too much to the news but it seems to me they ought to also do some pretty aggressive pr to win people back. Somebody needs to be viewing media footage of those man in the street interviews, following what’s being said on social media, via email, etc. Just last night, I spoke to someone in a store who said she wouldn’t be flying with them. I said the same thing: the pilot landed the plane safely. But it sounded like her mind’s made up. Granted, they won’t change some people’s minds, especially if they were already on the fence but they sure need to – hopefully, they have – mount an aggressive pr campaign and do some damage control.

  3. People have to kinda reflect on basic common sense, really. As long as planes fly, there will be times when they go down. Nothing is 100%. Just because people change airlines, doesn’t mean an accident is less likely to happen. The way I see it, it would be best to stick with Carribean because they are going to be overly cautious in all areas, now that this other accident has occurred.

  4. We have an expression in Jamaica that says, a man who’s going to die by drowning cannot be hanged.
    CA will still have to do some damage control though, stress their safety record, the fact that their pilot was skilled enough to save passengers’ lives, etc.

  5. I think if people stop and think about the fact that no lives were lost, it should bode well for the airlines.
    They have had an excellent reputation for years, but as we all know, even the best airlines have the occasional fatality; a hazard of the medium.
    However, the FAA is quite on top of things and airlines with shoddy records are not spared their wrath.
    Thank God all were safe! Like you, I love traveling and whenever I read about a crash, it breaks my heart…

  6. I was really surprised to hear what that man had to say. With more and more people living farther and farther away from their home countries, planes are the only way to get us there quickly and economically. I mean, I’d love if there was a road from Miami to Jamaica but there isn’t. We have to be realistic and grateful that no lives were lost. The shuttle had several accidents but if I had a chance right now to go to the moon, I wouldn’t hesitate.

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