Massive snowfall (and I do actually mean objectively massive for a change, not just seems massive because up to now it’s looked like June, a la the past three winters), which can only mean one thing, boys and girls – yes, it’s the biggest busiest transfer weekend of the season! Oh, joy.
Not that this worries me, house-sitting the parental château in balmy Burgundy. It would be nice if I could work out how to persuade the TV to show me something other than BBC Alba, but whatever, there’s always the wonderweb for entertainment. Specifically Twitter this weekend, awash with incoherent screams of rage from people hanging about alpine airports. Really, it’s like @realDonaldTrump on steroids.
As ever it’s the poor sods at Crystal Ski who get the worst of this, probably because of a) the sheer volume of punters they move every week, and b) their pretty sophisticated use of social media to communicate with their customers. Warning to businesses considering this strategy – it’s a double edged sword.
Now, I get that being stuck at an airport/on a coach/in a local sports hall is not quite how you want to spend the first evening of your ski hols, and could reasonably be described as a tad annoying. But really, do you seriously imagine that behaving like an enormous toddler on Twitter is going to do anything other than make you look like a complete tit?
Take, for example, @beezymarsh, hanging out at Chambéry:
Seriously, copying in Mail Online and The Sun? This isn’t a a customer complaint, it’s a tantrum.
Then there’s @sarahwi10462786 who first spits the dummy on the coach:
… and then does it again when they’re forced to go nuclear on her:
FFS woman, just get off the damn bus. You’re not the only person involved here.
@gaynorcaldwell2 seems to think she’d have been happier to be stuck at home:
This is one of the daftest assertions I’ve ever heard. Leaving aside the nightmare logistics involved, is it even possible to push every Saturday TO flight and transfer back 24 hours? You imagine all those expensive coaches are sitting about in garages for days at a time just waiting for last minute bookings? Or that there are a zillion vacant flight slots at London airports? Not to mention the howls of outrage and subsequent claims that ‘the roads were fine’ and ‘you overreacted and ruined our holiday’ etc etc. The mind boggles.
Gaynor is right to point out that the weather was forecast, though this just makes the various ‘we didn’t get fed’ tweeters look even sillier. You all knew there was going to be a bucketload of snow. Everyone knows that this can mean transport carnage in the Tarentaise. Look at a map – there’s one road in and out, what can you expect? So did you load up your hand luggage and your kids’ backpacks with nuts, energy bars, fruit and chocolate, just in case? Or did you assume that should it come to the worst, someone would be able to do the loaves and fishes trick for several thousand stranded passengers? In the event of zombie apocalypse, you lot are going to have to make a serious effort to raise your game or it’s going to be curtains in the first five minutes.
@timpbrown and @GkkgSmith are concerned that Crystal don’t have an army of managers ready to swarm the airports at the first sign of trouble:
Scaremongering about terror attacks seems a trifle dramatic here, unless you’re expecting something which closes half the roads in the Savoie and leaves your customers stranded all over the alps. Though I suppose one should never actually rule out zombie apocalypse.
And while it might make the stranded guest feel better to scream at someone wearing a badge saying ‘manager’, it’s not actually of much practical use having all your management stuck at an airport being screamed at. This is, unfortunately, one of the joys of life in frontline customer service. (And yes, we do all think you’re a complete git.) Given a limited supply of managers, they’re more use to everyone on the phones/in resort. Time spent being abused is time not spent trying to find solutions.
Shoutout here to @HennyWoolard, a voice of reason in the middle of all this nonsense:
Tweeting from the Isle of Man, Henny has plainly been here, done it and got the T-shirt, and she’s happy to tell her fellow twitterers when they need to man up:
And now, in a bid to forestall next week’s tweetstorm, I give you the current snow forecast for Tignes, broadly applicable to most of the rest of the alps, and relevant to anyone travelling back from the Tarentaise:
Keep an eye on this. If it carries on in the same vein into Saturday, take a few precautions. Pack food and drinks. Make sure all your batteries are charged. Buy some playing cards and teach the kids how to play Shithead. And try to keep your complaints rational, relevant and off Twitter.
Final word from Henny:
Yes you can. You are all awesome. Now get out and enjoy the powder, you deserve it.