Friday, December 2, 2011

Hesitate - negotiate (passengers vs. airline in Hong Kong)

Just about everything that you encounter has a list of terms and conditions, in which things are printed in black and white. In the proposal world, I encounter a number of terms and conditions from various customers. No, I won't give any examples, but I can say that at the end of the day, just because something is printed on paper does not mean that it will come true.

CNN reports a case in Hong Kong where some airline passengers were due compensation. According to the letter of the contract between each passenger and the airline company, the compensation was supposed to be a certain amount. For the nine-hour flight delay, the compensation was supposed to be $50 (I don't know if that is US$50, or some other denomination).

But some passengers used a clever negotiation tactic:

When Hong Kong Airlines flight 752 from Singapore arrived at 530 a.m. Wednesday morning, the airline says 80 passengers refused to get off. The travelers, mainly members of package tours from mainland China, demanded the airline increase the original compensation offer of $50 per passenger.

Twenty-one of the passengers stayed on board for another five hours, requesting reimbursement for the unused hotel rooms they had paid for the night before. The airport police were called in to negotiate and the passengers finally at 10:25 a.m., after the airline agreed to pay them $150.

The interesting part of this to me? These were passengers from mainland China. Or, to use terms from my youth, "Red China" or "Communist China." Apparently the Cultural Revolution didn't wipe out all traces of a desire for profit-taking.
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