With the holiday season around the corner, many of us take advantage of long breaks and travel either for pleasure or to return home to loved ones.
As this is the month of giving and sharing, let’s not forget those who sacrifice their festivities in order to provide us with service and forgive those who are grumpy this month because they missed having jolly good fun and spending it with their family.
One service line that comes to my mind is the airline crew. With holiday seasons, it is common to encounter overbooked flights, flight delays and lost pieces of luggage. While we might be anxious to get going to our destination, we need to remember that most of the time the front line crew are not to blame. Yes, they might be representing their airline but there is little point in screaming at their faces, is there?
Check-In Airline Crew
Most of the times, these people are lowly wage staff handling with a massive crowd eager to check in their pieces of luggage and print their tickets. They have to repeatedly ask you to present all the passports of the passengers and do it with a smile. It doesn’t help that you are stuck behind a family of 10 with 5 screaming overly excited kids in tow.
My advice: Check in early or even better, check in online.
- If you are nice to them, they might even upgrade you to a window seat or a business class. (Upgraded to an aisle seat when I couldn’t do so online.)
- If you asked politely or appear with a puppy face, they might turn a blind eye to the additional 3kg from your overload luggage. (Achieve that many times on my part.)
They are the ones who usually faced with the worst customers typically when there is a plane delay. You are stuck in the boarding area, anxious to get to the plane and settle into your seat. The moment the PA announced that your flight is delayed for the next 10 minutes, you’ll see a horde of angry passengers surrounding and harassing the poor crew who is trying his or her best to persuade you that the plane will get off in due time, plastering a tired smile.
My advice: It is a good thing when flights are delayed. Rather have the flight to be safe, the crew to be careful than to risk it. This is the mantra that I keep telling myself whenever my husband’s flight is delayed or postpone and he can’t come home in time.
- Always have a good warm scarf or wrap with you. You can always use it as a pillow or an emergency blanket if you need to sleep in the boarding area.
- Bring along your devise chargers. I know folks always bring along their mobiles and laptop with them but checked in the heavy chargers. If you have chargers, you can still work or play on your devices. Watching movies online will probably ease your impatient nerves. (I have been stuck in a 3rd world airport with no wifi for 5 hours but I managed to get a lot of my articles written with no distractions.)
Okay, you finally board your plane, don’t go growling at the flight attendants when she asked to see your ticket. She just wants to make sure that you are boarding the right flight. Remember, as much as you might think that her or his job is glamorous, she needs to face the grumpy passengers when they are told to buckle up when the seatbelt sign is on, get bumps and bruises from the food carts while explaining why the roasted chicken meal is no longer available and clean the washroom after some jerk messes it up with his leftovers.
My advice: Board early and know where your seat is so you don’t back up to find your seat. Try to keep your carry-on luggage to one piece so everyone gets a space to put theirs too. And don’t be an idiot, trying to sneak a peek at your mobile phone when they announce all mobiles should be switched to flight mode.
- Smile and say your warmest thanks whenever the flight attendant does something for you. They really appreciate it.
- Have all your requests ready when you call for assistance. Nothing is more irritating if you keep pressing the call button for water, for an extra blanket, for whatever you need for the tenth time in the same hour.
- If you want extra food, ask early. They might reserve for you especially when it is a long flight. I always get my extra croissant this way.
I’m sure there are plenty of unsung heroes in the airline industry like those who ensure our plane is ready and safe to take off, those who are in the control tower, those who prep our meals on board. Take this holiday season to be kinder to those who need to work in order for us to enjoy our time with our loved ones.
Do you agree with the above? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Best things in life are meant to be shared, start spreading MiddleMe around, after all, sharing is caring.