You Never Win a Fight with a Customer

The decision this week to prevent Lufthansa and its subsidiary, Austrian Airlines, from landing at Tripoli airport had all the signs of a temper tantrum on the part of the Libyan authorities.

The German airline had suspended flights to Libya for security reasons, in a move that apparently caused some offence, and when they announced the resumption of service they were told, for no apparent reason, that they must wait a few more days.

Capricious behaviour like this inconveniences not just the airline, but also all the passengers who depend on it, many of whom are travelling to or from Libya for the purpose of doing business with the country and making it a better place.

As a result of the uncertainty, several delegates pulled out of the Austrian trade mission to Tripoli; we can never know what deals might have been done had the full delegation been able to travel.

There is an old saying in business that "you never win a fight with a customer." As Libyan commerce becomes freer and more open, that old adage becomes even truer -- public servants and others would do well to keep that in mind.

2 Responses to You Never Win a Fight with a Customer

  1. Zak gariani 26th February 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    Airlines and airports and businessmen and embassies and even nations operate on a reciprocal basis.

    All should treat others like they want to be treated.

    These airlines saw it in their interest to suspend flights. And so it is their right.

    The Libyan authorities saw it in their interest to stop them returning. And so it is also their right.

    Once both parties learn to respect each other and communicate concerns and differences, all this bickering and tit for tat, will cease.

    Till then, the public on both side suffer and lose.

    Government entities could care-less. Either at the airport or in the state run airlines.

    Civil servants still get paid their salaries, whether you fly or not.

  2. Dr. Mohamed Karbal 3rd March 2013 at 9:10 am #

    I believe it is unfair to call it “temper tantrum” on part of the Libyan officials. At a time when Libya is fighting rumors that were spread by the supporters of Kaddafi’s regime regarding its lack of security, Lufthansa takes its decision to suspend its flights to Libya and gives such rumors a degree of credibility. The decision by the Lufthansa is proven to be uncalled for and was based on rumors and speculations.

    Moreover, the old saying in business that “you never win a fight with a customer” is true because Libya is the customer not the airlines….

Leave a Reply