So we're all recovered from the big exercise that (pardon the pun) went down over the weekend.
A great job done by all parties concerned however having just had a look at Muscat Mutterings from the ever-entertaining Sythe, I was stunned to see the web-page that the powers that be have decided to put up on the Oman Air website.
This is, in my humble opinion, taking the exercise a step too far. W
ay too far in fact.
You can see the page (if they still have it up) by clicking here.
There's even a rather mawkish statement from the CEO - what on earth were they thinking?
Yes, airlines do post stuff like this on their websites after accidents but seldom to this level of detail. A simple phone number is usually enough. I've never seen anything about body counts and identifying the dead coming up on airline sites before.
Go to any photos of airline crashes from the past and the first thing you will see is the titles and name of the aircraft being covered-up by the airline as no airline wants its name associated with an accident - even if the plane in question is theirs! Accidents and airlines should not be put in the same sentence from a marketing and PR point of view!
Too many presuppositions in this idea. Putting a tiny "exercise" in brackets at the top of the page and repeating it in the text is not enough. People scan webpages - and just seeing the words Salalah and Muscat would be enough to send some folks with families in the region scrambling for mobile phones.
Is there a version in Arabic? What if the reader only has a vague command of the English language. Unnecessary scaring of relatives, friends.......potential future customers! THINK!
And I suppose it would be useless of me to mention how this can further damage the already unstable sales prospects for The Wave.
People will always be people and therefore, as sure as you like, the comment "They must have had a good reason for choosing The Wave." will be echoing around the world at this point.
"Come and buy in The Wave - top quality construction, golf course, sea views and the odd emergency drill in case a 50 ton airliner ends up in your back garden! - not that that will ever happen!"
These things are done worldwide on a monthly basis. But they are done with discretion and certainly not blasted all over the airline's website.
And now that I type this, I've just been informed that Gulf News has picked it up here.
"He said a real aircraft without passengers was placed inside the Wave property behind the Muscat International Airport."........... WTF?!