This is the refrain we hear everywhere and now I just read that Lufthansa is cancelling 30,000 summer flights because of “lack of hands”. This is a problem that has faced Canadian airports and airlines and passengers are frustrated. They don’t care about the reason why – they just want to get on their flights on time….
So why is there this shortfall in staff. It’s not just in the travel industry either. Restaurants and hotels are also short staffed and we have seen many of our favourite restaurants close down. Some people blame Gen Z – they don’t want to work for minimum wage and they don’t want to put in the hours at the entry level. You know who I blame …..
Yep (I am in that bracket) it’s all our fault. You see when covid hit many boomers were at or over the age of retirement but today’s boomers are fit and healthy and could easily have worked another ten years but they probably decided to take early retirement. Hell – on those days sitting in my office with no phones ringing and flights grounded I felt the same way. Early retirement would be good!
Now those ex-flight attendants, pilots, airport managers, servers and baggage handlers are saying “What the hell – I’m not going back to that!”
Back to what you might ask. Well first of all there is the abuse, verbal and sometimes physical, that front line staff have had to endure. I am not sure where people come from feeling that by shouting at someone (who is just an employee) they can get a multi million dollar corporation to stop and pay attention.
Listen, I am the first one to admit that it was a crappy 2 years (or more) and still continuing with flight cancellations and schedule changes. It will be a while before things are back to normal – whatever that was.
Recently a friend flew to Toronto. Her flight was two hours delayed. Frustrating, yes. Especially when it is the red eye so instead of departing at midnight the plane lifted from the tarmac in YYC at 2 am. When she arrived in Toronto she walked passed the check in desk where people were lining up for this same delayed flight. Obviously they had to do a crew change and clean up. There were two women at the desk shouting at the Air Canada check in agent who kept saying to them (in a calm voice) – I am sorry you think I am a useless human being but I am doing as much as I can do.
In South Africa we have an expression we use that can be applied to all situations. If you see something sweet you say “shame” and if someone tells you something sad you say “shame” but in a case like that sort of verbal abuse you just want to see those people do the walk of shame that we saw in Game of Thrones. (People who don’t know Game of Thrones – ask your friends.)
And while all this is going on what are those retired boomers doing? Going to Zumba classes? Playing endless games of Wordle. Listen if you know a boomer that was in the service industry tell them we need them to come back.