Cranky on the Web – Getting Bumped, LAX Grows, After Hours Email


Why airlines bump passengers, and what you can do about itVox
I spoke with Vox on a big article they put together about bumping. Maybe a couple of inaccuracies in here, but overall, it’s fairly complete.

LAX, Ontario, John Wayne airports see passenger numbers growKPCC 89.3
I was quoted in a year-end look at traffic growth at LA airports. LAX has seen good growth thanks to strong foreign demand and fighting between domestic carriers for supremacy at an airport nobody dominates. (There’s audio in this one as well.)

In the Trenches: After Hours EmailSmall Business Center
I have an internal struggle about how to deal with emails I see that come in after hours.

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20 comments on “Cranky on the Web – Getting Bumped, LAX Grows, After Hours Email

  1. Great articles! Just a thought regarding your In the trenches article. Any time you’re tempted to be on your phone or checking email after 7pm, just consider what’s more important to you: one more work email or creating a moment with your kids. Having read your blog for several years, I have a feeling you’re more the “hang out with my amazing kids” type. So put your phone down, it doesn’t need you to grow up to be confident and awesome.

    1. Hovig – That’s actually why I find myself online so late. I stop working each day about 430p and then take a couple hours to be with the family. The kids go to bed around 7p and that’s when I log back on and for a few more hours. So I do get to spend time with the kids, but then I just need to catch up after hours. The bigger issue is, I suppose, on weekends when there are longer times in between work hours.

      1. Thanks for your email. I will be out of town from December 31 – January 4, 2015. The office will be open until 12:00 Noon on 12/31 – so if you need immediate assistance on 12/31, please call the office before noon. I will be back in the office on Monday January 5, 2015.

  2. Never used to be , but your messages have most of the right hand side
    chopped off. Have no idea what your articles are saying. Please fix. And
    no, it’s NOT my computer or settings. Thanks.

    1. Not a cure but scroll down until you find the link to View post online. It put’s it so you can read without scrolling And yes cranky this has become a problem ever since you switched over to your new isp and really needs to be addressed. Very annoying.

      1. Thanks Dave. It has never done this before, and I’ve subscribed for a long
        time. Don’t know why this particular communication has chosen to do this.

    2. aussiefa – Haven’t heard of this one yet, so can you be more specific about what’s going on? You’re talking about the email messages? What email program are you using? And is in it a browser or a separate application? If it’s a browser, which one?

      Might be helpful if you can take a screenshot and send it to me so I can have the team look into it.

  3. G’day Cranky…

    I have read and thoroughly enjoyed – and even learned a few things –
    your daily posts . But I have a problem that I don’t know to solve .

    First, the technical: Dell Dimension E521 with added RAM, Windows
    7, Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird, Samsung 17″

    Ever since your move to postmatic I must “scroll” horizontally
    across the page to get all of your thoughts. And it’s not just one or
    two characters.

    Can you help?

    My first flight was on Braniff, Memphis to Ft. Smith, AR., a DC-3.
    First overseas flight was BOAC London to New York. I slept downstairs
    on the curving seat.

    I envy you!

      1. Hi CF Thanks for your response to me and it seems I have the same prob. as
        alanlouis, except I’m not able to scroll horizontally and get the whole
        post. Any insights or remedies would be great.

  4. A nice week of posts, Brett. I’ll skip the overbooking/tarmac delay subject (VOX Article) as it has been worked to death.
    After Hours Calls to your specific business: You’re right! Put down that cell phone! First, you have staffers scheduled and available to respond to urgent requests. If a client is currently in motion, they should already know how to reach someone if necessary and what can/cannot be done for them. As long as the after-hours telephone announcements are perfectly clear (including fee issues), let the potential client make their own decision! As you have carefully noted, after-hours services ARE available, even for new clients, but For an Additional Fee. Your stand-by staff can and will respond. For a web or email contact, the quick, automated response is ideal, if it clearly explains the details and costs associated with immediate service – and a point of contact for immediate service. I think you already do that.
    Routine service hours of 13×5 are sufficient and suitable alternatives are available. Save the rare, urgent services necessary for a troubled client already traveling, CC is not intended to be a 24×7 business. CC’s standard are high, services are excellent and IMHO you do not need to modify your existing policies. In other words, Turn OFF that cell phone when you are engaged in family activities.
    A great year for your blog, CC continues to improve and grow, and congratulations! -RfS

    1. RfS – Thanks for the thoughts. We are indeed a 24 hour business, but only if someone is traveling. And it’s very clear that people need to go to their concierges if they have a problem while traveling. (If they email us directly or call us, then the message clearly states that as well, so there can’t be any confusion unless people simply aren’t paying attention to anything.) But you know, as a business owner, I always have the feeling of needing to provide the best service I can. I need to put the phone away, but it still nags at me. Sounds like I need a shrink!

  5. Hi Cranky, I assume you have thought about hiring a staffer or two in another time zone to cover what is after hours in the US (your primary market, I assume)? Is there not enough demand for the after hours service to justify going global? Are the HR/payroll issues too complex for a small business to justify this?

    Interesting article, as always.

    1. Oliver – We have plenty of people who cover all the time zones. I’m not working 6a to 7p PT every day; that’s for others. But we only staff during the times when demand is highest. There isn’t enough demand for after hours full staffing. People are on call if someone needs urgent service, but that’s it. We might end up being able to justify Saturday hours next, but so far, it hasn’t been necessary.

  6. Re: answering e-mails after hours – that’s always a difficult battle, one I constantly struggled with myself at my old job. The problem is, once you let the genie out of the bottle by responding to an e-mail or returning a call after hours, there’s no getting it back in. People figure out they can get service for free, and WILL take advantage. What was always difficult for me was the thought that I might disappoint a client or manager by not responding to them until the morning, but think about it this way – if a CC client or potential client is going to badmouth you to others because they don’t want to pay the after-hours fee and you didn’t respond to an e-mail at 9 P.M., is that someone you REALLY want as a customer?

    My advice – put the phone down, at least until you’ve tucked the kids into bed and spent some quality time with Mrs. Cranky. If you’re the OCD-type that just has to check e-mails before heading to bed, then spend a few minutes cleaning out your Inbox before heading off to bed yourself. That approach always worked for me, allowing me to calm my OCD side while not interfering with family time. If there’s something that you absolutely think needs to be addressed, you can – though again, if you have a policy that after-hours calls are subject to an extra fee, I’d be really wary of creating exceptions, lest you want word to get around that your policy is “flexible”.

  7. Have you thought of composing the email, but delaying the actual sending of the email until your normal business hours? Sort of like your posts here are activated at 3:45 am PCT.

    1. TC – Yeah, I’ve done that before. (Boomerang for Gmail is awesome.) But
      it sort of defeats the purpose if I’m going to be doing the work after
      hours anyway.

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