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Travel Tip – Be Polite!

November 15, 2007 | Posted in: Travel Tips

Over the past few weeks, I’ve tried my best to offer advice and tips that can help you better make it through the hustle and bustle of the Thanksgiving travel season.

If I had to offer one more tip, it would be a simple one: treat the ticket agents and other airline employees as nicely as possible. It could save you a world of hassle, as one passenger recently discovered.

This is a bit of an old story, but it keeps coming up, so I think it’s worth talking about. Especially with so many of us set to fly next week. It concerns a passenger named Barbara Arbani, who, as reported by Chris Elliott and distriuted by Tribune Media Services, is “a self-described ‘innocuous-looking grandmother.’” But when Ms. Arbani had a bit of an altercation with a ticket agent, she “found herself being sent to a special.

Transportation Security Administration screening area as a ‘selectee,’ courtesy of the agent.”

Now, according to Ms. Arbani, the disagreement she had with the agent was a polite one, and it may very well have been. But it is no secret that an angered ticket agent can make your day of travel a little more miserable. There are more stories like Ms. Arbani’s.

There are also tales of ticket agents sticking unruly passengers in a seat next to the bathroom, refusing to let passengers carry on luggage, and, of course, kicking passengers off a flight.

If you have a complaint or problem that needs to be taken care of when flying, you have every right to see that the airline handles it properly. However, you might save yourself a bit of a headache if you handle it calmly and politely.

I used to get upset about delays and the lack of quality information provided — preventing me from planning my next step. Now I just accept the system is broken — try to write about and solicit ideas on how it can be fixed — for the most part good people are put in a bad situation they can’t control, until the system changes, its just better to as my Hawaiian friends like to say “hang loose” and not get to bothered.

2 Responses to “Travel Tip – Be Polite!”

  1. Nicci says:

    I can attest to being kind can really be helpful when in a bad situation. I was on an international flight from Vienna to Atlanta. A woman boarded with her five children all under the age of seven. The children were fine until the seatbelt light went off and then they became the terrors their mother allowed them to be. The ran laps from one end of the plane to another threw toy amongst themselves (with an occasional thumping of fellow passengers when one of them missed) in the aisles. About hour one into what was going to be a long flight, a male passenger got up and asked the flight attendant to deal with the issue, a half hour later the children who had been spoken to were up and running again. The male passenger at that point lost his mind on the flight attendant and just started screaming. This caused the mother to get up and scream at him and a name calling match ensued with all of there as witnesses. In the mans defense he had been hit twice with a hard toy in the head, and he had already asked the mother to have them stop. But the poor flight attendant should not have been spoken to in that way. Feeling terrible for her I went in the back where she was barely holding on and offered her a piece of chocolate I was bringing back from Austria. After eating the whole bar she had calmed and was ready to take on the brats again. The flight continues and the children keep getting worse and worse so much so the pilot comes out and threatens to land the plane in Reykjavik if she doesn’t do something about them. Then we hit the storm. The storm had quadrupled in the three hours since we had taken off and was now one of the largest storms in the Atlantic. We were going to try and fly around it and we were going to be late landing in Montreal (remember I said my flight was going to Atlanta. At this point we were also hitting what i can only call plane crash worthy turbulence and everyone was really scared. Everyone except these kids who thought it was cool. I was at the restroom with the mother at one point and told with us hitting air pockets the way we were and losing altitude it probably would be in the kids best interest to sit down. I further explained that as a child I was flying when the plane hit and air pocket dropped and since I wasn’t bolted down my head slammed into the ceiling of the plane cracking my skull open and giving me an almost life threatening concussion. I thought she should know this could happen and with the storm who knew when we could land if something were to happen. Her response was to scream at me and push me. Again, I kept my cool. Until about forty minutes later when one of the children was running up the aisle with a car and walloped me square in the eye with it, slicing my face open. I then joined the man in the losing the plot group. I got up bleeding everywhere and just lost it on this woman. To the extent that I hovered over her bleeding on her until she was wearing as much of it as I was. I know juvenile, but I really had had just about enough. The flight attendant rather than force me back into my seat moved me to first class, where luck of luck a well respected plastic surgeon and his plastic surgeon wife took very good care of me. When we landed the man who freaked out the mother and the children were all taken away by federal marshals. I was allowed to stroll off the plane and get into a waiting limo to take me to a hospital to have my stitches redone with medical thread.
    Many people say it was just because the airline was so afraid I would sue, but I still believe it was because I was kind to that flight attendant.

  2. Jessica says:

    The best part of this article is the comment left by Nicci, I can’t believe this mother would be so irresponsible to cause anguish to all the passengers, I hope she got punished hard and banned from flying with her monster gang!

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