“We sincerely apologize for the delays, it was due to operational reasons and the weather etc. etc.” Thank you, Azman Air! Please, we shall also allow you to add other reasons, as many as you’d like, for delivering us to Kaduna a few minutes to Midnight, instead of circa 9pm as scheduled and for allowing me to drive on a very lonely airport road, to and risk robbery and kidnap (This is not a joke), to get to my house by 00:36am. I suggest that you also feel free to adopt any of these, very critical, reasons: The pilot was doing his nails; the flight Engineer’s wife ‘surprisingly’ delivered a baby; we were waiting for the ‘Chairman’; belle de purge the 2nd officer; The winds blew northerly instead of southerly and we didn’t quite know where it would turn again, whether south, east or west or whether it would divide into two prongs, one from the East and the other from the West, and catch our flight in a crosswind, so that, instead of landing in Kaduna, we might find ourselves, suddenly, in middle of Sambisa forest (Boko haram’s haven) and we don’t want to jeopardize the lives of our beloved passengers.

Please let your imagination run wild. The excuses are just rote anyway and there’s no repentance intended, so, fire on. He who visits the Parrot must be ready to hear.

A record of 16353 delays in six months or 91 per day by Nigerian Airlines (Premiumtimesng, 26th September 2016)? Aviation fuel scarcity not a good enough excuse, I’m sorry. Thanks. If it is then it’s the duty of your marketing communications educate and convince us that you deserve our understanding and empathy.

Yes, this is to say I’m unhappy with Azman and Nigerian airlines generally. We understand your difficulties, but I hate more your halfhearted attempts at assuaging our hurt.

They’re many things wrong with our airlines (and with Services generally) in this country and a lot of it has to do with how we neglect time as part of the total service offering. We expect our customers to bear ‘African time’ with us, which they are, frequently,  forced to when there’s no immediate substitute – Azman is the only regular flight to Kaduna and Kano for now.

Customers pay for services but are most often left with a bitter taste of dissonance in their mouths that remains permanently unresolved, because they’d been served poorly, without regard to their time, and then, annoyingly still, the attempt at service recovery, by an apology, is usually halfhearted and clearly just a courtesy and no more. A service is a scripted and staged Act, but a very fluid one with many improvisations, so failure is always lurking. How well you recover matters in how successful you will be in appeasing your customers and in keeping their loyalty; it’s all about marketing. Customers are not dummies; explain, be sincere, let them know how you will prevent or minimize re-occurrence. In addition, you can also offer freebies in appreciation, to further emphasize your sincerity.

Remember Okada, Harka, Kabo, Chanchangi, IRS, Aero et al.

Improve or remove.