Angry Little Man

Some goober in the news is complaining that he was treated badly after telling airline people that he would be angry on a flight because he didn’t like something about his fare or something.

Shouldn’t it be a fair assumption that by now everybody would know that we are supposed to be nice at the airport?

Is it reasonable? No it isn’t. Most airline customer service is horrible at best. Is it the way it is? Yes.

So accept it. The way things are is that you MUST BE NICE AT THE AIRPORT.  As a worst case you could be shot dead by security forces for being weird or rude. At the very least they will send your baggage on a tour of the planet.

Airline people are as a rule a little pissy about the lack of job security, pay cuts, the tragic events of 9-11, long hours, mergers, and  changes in the employee parking.

So PLEASE be nice, you owe it to yourself. Nice will get you everywhere. Act nice even when you don’t feel nice. 

Try a random act of kindness when you least feel like it. Buy yourself a Hershey bar and eat it slowly but don’t tell anybody. For the sake of transportation be nice on the outside.

The people that work at the ticket counter are trained to ignore you to an extent that is unbelievable. You probably will not affect the outcome of their day much less their career so don’t rage against the machine.  Write a cogent letter if you have been wronged.

Please take my advice and float like a leaf on the river of transport, it’s almost always a great day to fly and hardly ever a great day to get arrested.  Or shot.

3 Responses to “Angry Little Man”

  1. Really great post, thank you. “Float like a leaf on the river of transport”; I am going to repeat that.

    I have a question about what the [sometimes] nice airline people can do to help customers make connections. Does it really work to call the departing flight and ask them to wait? I get that the folks on the plane and at the desk are busy with things other than my schedule … but is there something I can politely ask them to do to help me? Specifically, on December 23 (!) I am flying from California to Florida via a 45 minute connection at O’Hare. Should I just give up and reschedule that flight?

  2. It never hurts to ask about connection information. If you are “Weather Advised” by the airline they are off the hook for your connection, accomodations, and compensation. Nearly worst case is a cot in the terminal. Worst case is no cot, no food.

    If you are weather advised ask if there is an alternate route you can take and what the chances are of making it all the way if this puts you on stand-by.

    Try to ask questions that can be answered with a word or two. Ask the airline person what they think you should do as personal advice. The last time I did this we ended up taking a train to D.C. from New York but we were ahead of a few thousand passengers that spent the night in the airport terminal.

    Take snacks, a book, and a smile.

  3. I’m making a bumper sticker of “Float like a leaf on the river of transport” its going on my bag before I fly home for winter break.

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