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Great vegetables are my best consumer experience this week, while airline service disappoints

Unusually fine vegetables make my happy, while putting up with airlines makes me cranky.

My best consumer experience: Wonderful green beans and Brussels sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

Often during the winter, the organic green beans at my local food co-op look like they have rust or something else on them and the Brussels sprouts are moldy.

This week, both looked amazing. I bought them and cooked them when I was hungry for a snack.

My doctor told me to eat more vegetables because I’m getting close to being in the pre-diabetic category, a concern because diabetes runs in my family.

My worst consumer experience: Airline customer service

Iberia Back

I have a respiratory problem, and it works best if I sit in the front of the airplane by the window.

American Airlines does a good job of referring me to a special department and arranging for the seat I need. However, when another carrier operates a leg of my trip on American, things become difficult.

I started out my recent trip to Spain on British Airways. Its planes are configured so that the coach seats are all behind the wing. The agents just tell me nothing can be done, unless I want to pay a lot more for business or first class.

Then there’s Iberia. I tried without success to arrange the seat I needed before my flight because the seat I was assigned was behind the wing for my trip from London to Madrid. The reservation agents I talked to said they couldn’t assign seats in advance. I called six times. They told me to ask at the ticket counter. Often ticket agents say to ask at the gate. Neither one of these options works very well. Most agents just don’t care.

Due to a mix up about the time in London, I was one of the last people to get on the flight to Madrid. There wasn’t time to ask for a different seat. It was quite frustrating. Fortunately, the trip was short, so I didn’t have many problems.

Copyright 2013, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

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