North Korea: flight attendants redefine customer service

There’s no shortage of gripes among both business and leisure travelers about the level of service we receive from the airlines. We’ve all had our shares of miserable customer service experiences, from bad experiences with orange juice to getting bumped by the beverage cart. Yet, nothing compares to what you experience on Air Koryo, it seems.

There’s only one airline that flies in and out of North Korea. From Beijing to Pyongyang and back, Air Koryo takes care of everything you need. Yet, unique characteristics of the hiring process lead to a vastly different experience from that found here in the United States. The planes are described as “rickety,” and one can assume there will be little more than the basics (well, this part is just like home).

%Gallery-105693%Randy Schmidt, cameraman and editor for CBS News, recounts his recent exchange with a flight attendant on Air Koryo:

“Where are you from?” the North Korean flight attendant asks me.

“I’m American, but I live in Japan.”

“I hate America! I hate Japan! What would you like to drink today, sir?” she said.

Perhaps it was because the flight was international, but at least the guy got a beverage!

Schmidt further observes:

The comment is not personal. North Koreans are schooled to believe that America and Japan are enemies, but that hatred is directed at the governments of those countries, not at individuals.

[photo via Wikipedia]