Alright, so I have to be fair. Several weeks ago, I wrote part one of the article Amongst the Masses. Actually, I never intended for there to be a part two. But, I wrote it before the holiday rush. And, as usual, the holiday rush kicked my ass. I truly believe that people are at their truest and worst behavior during the holidays.
You see, I still think that the airport is a real hassle for everyone. And, I understand why it is frustrating. The whole experience is a royal pain in the derrière. I get it. But, one can only observe so much bad behavior before you start to think that some of these people just need to get over it. There are much more horrendous atrocities in the world than your flight being delayed 30 minutes. The interesting thing to me is that the worst behavior doesn’t usually come from the business traveler. They fly enough to understand how the system works. So they tend to have more reasonable expectations. It comes from the family of 10 who never travels.
They are the ones who blame me personally for not having a place to change their baby’s diaper–as if I have anything to do with airplane design. They are the ones who leave that poop-filled diaper in the seat back pocket. (Not to mention the crushed cheerios, gummy worms, chips, skittles, and ripped-up magazines on the floor.) They are the same ones who get upset when their 18 month old–whom they purposefully chose not to buy a seat for–has to actually sit in their lap. Oh boy, could I go on. But, I tend not to enjoy blog rants. So, I better move on quickly.
I can handle children. I don’t have any of my own, which is wonderful; but, I can handle them. It’s their parents that are the real problem. When I look at the rotten behavior of the parents, I can’t help but wonder how these kids are going to be when they are adults. Probably, worse.
As much as I want to provide good service, it is really difficult when people’s expectations are so completely out of whack. Seriously. So, this is my own counterpoint to the first article. All you have to do is go to one of the many airline discussion boards online. I read them from time to time just for kicks. People really have no idea. They are paying less for their tickets than ever in airline history and are expecting more than ever. But, I guess that really is the American way. Get more, pay less. What exactly did you expect when you bought your tickets for $150 each way to go coast to coast. The person next to you probably paid $600 for the same flight.
Personally, my favorite complaint is when someone shakes their itinerary at me and says, “We were supposed to go from Norfolk, Virginia to El Paso, Texas, NON-STOP. We just found out that we have to stop 3 times before we get to El Paso.”
So I say, “May I see your itinerary, please? Thanks…oh, I’m sorry, do you see here were it says ‘stops’?”
“And, under that it says ‘3’?”
“And, it says ‘total travel time=13 hours 41 minutes’? That means that today you fly from Norfolk to El Paso, you have 4 flights/3 stops, and it will take you 13 hours and 41 minutes.”
“Oh.”(followed by silence and a seriously nasty look)
Really? People do not read. From Norfolk, Virginia, they could have flown all the way to Hawaii in that amount of time on a NONSTOP. Sorry, I said that I wasn’t going to rant. Well, I promise my next post will not be a rant. I just had to get it out of my system. Happy travels! ;-p