Our national carrier must discipline its misbehaving staff
It was early afternoon on Monday, November 18, 2019 when I had boarded the Ethiopian Airlines flight No. ET196 bound for Dessie via Bahir Dar. My destination was the city of Bahir Dar where I do currently reside and conduct my official government business.
I do fly on a regular basis to discharge my duties using the national carrier with greater pride and prestige. In fact, I am a 30-year trusted and dedicated passenger with a magnificent and fascinating track record as far as the consumption of its splendid services is concerned.
With this outstanding background, I cannot hide that I have fairly enjoyed both the internal and external services of Ethiopian Airlines apart from a few complaints, though. On certain occasions, its domestic flight is not managed in the interest of the client. Definitely, most of its terms and conditions are usually imposed on passengers in defiance of their will and desire who should have been honored otherwise. All of us very well know that the national carrier is the sole service provider and we are at its mercy without any alternative capable of challenging its uncontestable monopoly.
Amazingly, the little food and drink our national carrier provides or serves to its passengers is always the same and has no change, unfortunately looking and tasting monotonous, especially for regular fliers. I have always communicated this discomfort to the ever-smiling flight attendants, the company of most of whom I love and appreciate, though, but to no avail in terms of modest improvement.
Another area of complaint relates to some of our hostesses who try to communicate to the foreign passengers with unbearably poor English while welcoming and seeing off their clients. What a bizarre, that a few amongst them are even unable to read out the message that has been prepared in advance and handed down to them in proper and understandable manner!
To begin with, I am a blind client of the national carrier whom the company should adore and is bound to serve with extra privileges in full compliance of the national and international laws. Nevertheless, what happened to me in person during that particular flight I was scheduled to take from Addis to Bahir Dar was to the contrary. In a nutshell, it was pretty discriminatory because of my blindness. While still on the ground, as the plane was preparing for takeoff, a lady came in and approached my seat only to inquire and be informed of the fact if I have an assistant to accompany me during this particular journey in the air. When I said no, she further asked me to tell her if I have been allowed the by their ticket office to fly by myself.
Merhatsidk Mekonnen Abayneh
Senior expert in law and peace and security studies