Tuesday, October 16, 2012

How not to provide customer service (aka airberlin)

I arrived Berlin TXL on Sunday for a 4 day conferences that started Monday.  I am speaking all four days of the conference.  I flew airBerlin (a oneWorld alliance member) connecting from American Airlines.

My luggage did not arrive.  I filled out the missing bag form and headed to the hotel.

Today it is Tuesday.  I haven't seen my luggage since I gave it over to the AA staff at BMI on Saturday morning.    Fortunately as an AA Executive Platinum I managed to put some crucial clothing into my carry-on bag.  However, it won't see me past today.  I am fortunate Hotel Berlin,Berlin has same day laundry service so I can do laundry in the morning and get it by the evening for my next day's presentation.

So far airBerlin has been able to give me no clue where my luggage is.  Every time I get someone from the hotel to call the telephone number I was given the response they get is "there is no information on bags from the United States".  Really?

My fear is what happens if my bag doesn't arrive?  I leave Friday morning (very early at 4am) to catch a 7am flight home via LHR and British Airways.  I have 3 very expensive, unworn suits in that suitcase.  I'm afraid I'll never get to wear them at this point.  And from other posts on facebook and http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/airberlin-topbonus-696/  I fear that I may also not be compensated for my missing suitcase.

In over 20 years of flying I have never had such terrible customer service from an airline.  How airBerlin made it into the oneWorld alliance is simply beyond comprehension.

[Note:  The bag finally arrived on the 16th.  However, it was re-tagged and arrived DUS 14th and tagged to arrive TXL 15th but then had another "rush" tag put on for the 16th.  It could have been here yesterday and it wasn't. ]

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Liars and Outliers - the book

A blog I have kept on my radar for many years is the one from Bruce Schneier.  Security, specifically for me around computers and networks, has always been an interest to me.  I've seen how exploits worked and studied them to better understand the underlying principles that make them work.  Mostly to better understand how to defend against them.  For example, one of the first exploits I worked on was understanding forging IP addresses in TCP/IP packets and HTTP headers back in the 90s.  And yet I'm still surprised by how many programmers continue to put information they use to establish "trust" into easily forged headers.  Fortunately I've been involved early enough on some projects to squash misguided efforts like that.

Bruce authored the book "Liars and Outliers" and it was one of the few books I purchased for my Kindle as a pre-order because I have not been disappointed by his previous works.  It is a well thought out and methodical book that builds and builds one block at a time.  I highly recommend it (as do several other reviewers).