When a cruise ship cannot sail to a port due to weather, the captain is a hero for protecting us (and everybody says "read the contract!"). Or when a cruise ship misses a port due to mechanical problems, that is unfortunate but not the line's fault (and everbody says "read the contract!"). Nobody says they don't care about their customers. Everybody ridicules the idea of writing angry letters.
But when an airplane cannot depart due to weather, the captain and airline are dogs (and nobody says "read the contract!"). Or when an airplane has mechanical problems and cannot depart, the captain and airline are dogs (and nobody says "read the contract!"). Everybody agrees they don't care about their customers. Everybody supports the idea of writing angry letters.
When you're on a cruise ship you have food, entertainment, comfort and fun, whether you're in a port or not. Usually the old saying of "It's not the destination it's the journey" applies. Plus, your probably not going to be late for another connecting ship or miss something because your ship is late. Your paying but there is no real misery factor (unless you're sick)
On an airplane, that is not your destination. There is not much to eat, there is very little fun and you surely aren't comfortable. You can be late, you can miss a connecting flight and you'e paying for this misery.
It's all relative.
HAL Volendam 2004
HAL Maasdam 2006
HAL Zuiderdam 2007
HAL Eurodam 2008
CCL Paradise upcoming 2010
When you have to stay at sea, due to weather, as almost happened to us once...we missed a port to fuel up for it, and drat, it didn't happen...at least we had food, our own cabins and entertainment, and bathrooms...
When an airline holds you hostage on the tarmac for 9 hours, or so, with NO bathrooms, NO food, crying babies, crying everyone....excuses up the ying yang why they WON'T take you the 100 feet or so to the terminal so everyone can deplane, well....you get tthe picture!
Trip, with her book & tea!
Chat Hostess & Board Moderator
Firstly, airlines do not put in their ticket contracts about possible changes in itineraries, so I can see where some people would get angry. If you have carefully read a cruise ticket contract you at least expect the possibility. I had an issue on one flight once(Northwest flight from Memphis(TN) to Alexandria(Louisiana)) and though I was exasperated that I was running late I ended up being patient and the airline offered free miles or another option to the passengers on my flight, after several complained. I think a stern, but polite, complaint can do a lot of good in these situations while just getting angry helps nothing.
Regardless of how we feel, neither planes nor ships have control over the weather. And, a smart captain or pilot will avoid potentially dangerous conditions. So, it is not really smart to complain at all. Nor is it effective. Because nothing will change the situation, only the handling of it. These days, I'm not sure that courtesy will get you any more than being obnoxious. But, I fly as little as possible anymore.
I would rather not fly in an airplane that has a mechanical problem. Yes, the frustrating thing about air travel is the lack of truthful communication. Like the departure board showing that you will leave in 10 minutes and there is no aircraft at the gate.
When you book a flight to Chicago and get left in Milwaukee they you have a right to complain and write angry letters. If you took a cruise and it returned to a different port (happens sometimes) and the cruise line did nothing to get you back to your vehicle, you have a right to complain and write angry letters. (This has not happened to me, but from reading here on CM, it seems the lines will either bus you back to your embarkation port, or maybe let you hang out on the ship until she can get back to where she came from.)
A Bad Day At Sea [with power] Always Beats A Good Day At Work
Alaska 2014 - haven't picked a cruise yet
Carnival: Glory 2004, Destiny 2008, Splendor 2009, Freedom 2011, Valor 2012, Dream 2013
Celebrity: Summit 2011
Princess: Ruby 2010, Caribbean 2013
My point wasn't unreasonable complaints as much as reasonable complaints with a courteous, yet pointed, letter. It seems airlines want to resolve issues with customers if they are nice about and prefer to lose the ones that get angry since they can be problem customers. For the record, I have had flight delays that worked against me and ones in my favor(like the one that allowed me to catch my flight). The one where I got miles in my frequent flier account was a trip I should not have been on. Long, (physically) painful story.