I don’t know about you, but one of my least favourite parts of travelling by air is the experience of queuing for security. I understand that it’s necessary, but the queues always seem so long, and inevitably the process involves removing shoes, belts and other random items of clothing. Not only this, I clearly must look suspicious as I always seem to get singled out for a more thorough ‘pat down’ – which is never the most pleasant of experiences.
I was travelling back after a business trip recently, and I entered the dreaded security queue. I was travelling with hand-luggage only, so I knew I needed to separate out my overnight bag (which contained liquids, deodorant etc) for inspection separately. I knelt down to open my bag to grab my liquids, and when I stood up I was absolutely caked in mud. I couldn’t believe it – the floor was so dirty that if you touched it the mud would cling like a magnet!
I was extremely surprised. Being a keen Twitter user, I thought I’d give the airport some instant feedback. They probably weren’t aware – perhaps a cleaner was off sick. I won’t mention the airport, but I tweeted:
“You need to clean the floor in the security queuing area. I kneeled down and my suit trousers are now caked in dirt!”
I forgot about this, brushed myself down, boarded my flight and got on with some work. When I landed, my phone chirped as I’d received a reply. However, rather than looking to resolve the issue, the airport staff tweeted me back to describe how “challenging” it is to keep the surfaces clear (!). I would have assumed that they would have used the insight I provided them to provide feedback to the cleaners or the cleaning manager – but it seems they didn’t, they just offered an excuse. An opportunity for continuous improvement was missed. What a shame!
What this means for business and business analysis
Now, you might think I’m being rather self-indulgent by blogging about my airport gripes…and you might well be right… but there’s a serious point to be made about business and business analysis here.