Szpylbert has started flying a lot for work over the past few years and is often annoyed by how unpleasant air travel is. Intrusive and badly organised procedures at the airport and unnatural closeness to strangers on the plane. Making things worse, your cartoonist seems to be a magnet for those who struggle with the basics of normal behaviour. Ever sat through an 8 hour flight with a curly-haired teenager you’ve never met before sleeping on your shoulder? But despair not if you’ve got the funds: with an upgrade to business (or at least premium economy…) you are allowed to be a human again.
Let Szpylbert tell you about a “customer journey” with German national railway company Deutsche Bahn. Trying to purchase a ticket at Düsseldorf airport, no cash in pocket:
Attempt 1 – credit card plus ticket vending machine. Credit cards not accepted.
Attempt 2 – get cash from station ATM then use vending machine. Unsuccessful, the ATM dispenses only 50 euro notes and the ticket machine doesn’t accept 50 euro notes.
Attempt 3 – go to counter and ask to buy from idly sitting DB service agent. No can do, this particular counter is for information only.
Attempt 4 – get in line at other counter, wait to purchase by cash from grumpy guy. Success. A boiling mad cartoonist barely made it to the train on time.