Monday, April 13, 2009

Hear Ye, Hear Ye...

I have an announcement. A proclamation, of sorts. And please believe me when I tell you that I mean this with the utmost respect and sincerity, and truly do not want to upset or offend anyone... 

I hate everyone and everything involved in the airline industry (except pilots. hi! i love you! oh, and the air traffic controllers! love you, too! don't do drugs!). 

I have never been a huge fan of flying. But there used to be these nice people involved that at least pretended like they wanted to make my travels tolerable. And I swear I am not making this up, the counter people would not only greet you nicely and check you in... they would take your luggage from you! Was it all just a dream??

Now everything is self-serve. So I have to check myself in, weigh my own luggage, and then haul it over to the belt to be whisked away. And the one or two people that are actual employees have clearly been instructed to either ignore everyone or bark condescendingly. By the time I am at the gate, I am a sweaty, stressed, defensive mess, ready to take out my frustrations on the vacant, uncaring woman telling me my flight out of that hell hole is going to be so late, I am sure to miss my connecting flight! 

It's all so demeaning and depressing because they have finally figured out that they can treat us anyway they want, because we are trapped. There is no alternative. Trains have their own set of nightmarish issues. Cars are limited by time, distance and gas prices. And it's darn near impossible to get your hands on a covered wagon these days. 

So we're at their mercy. And they know it. Which, I suppose, is fine. But I guess what I am wondering is, where is fundamental human decency? The smiles? The "pleases" and the "thank yous"? Are people too busy to be pleasant? I'm not even asking for something as outlandish as nice. Is it really too much to ask?
 

29 comments:

Kristina P. said...

I know!!! And everything costs more money now. Booooo.

J9 said...

I know, and I agree, it seems like each person has placed their own wants and desires/schedules ahead of anything else, like safety and coutesy for other beings.

Sally's World said...

I feel you pain, we have never had a bag 'big plane' experience, we travel with Virgin and they are so bloody brilliant with special assistance, the wheelchairs, not letting us queue, its always been great, but we have had some srange 'small plane' experiences.


we were flying over to the bahamas, and the receptionist announced there was a small delay while the PILOT! fixed the plane... when we saw it, i thought it was a cheek to call it a plane, it was like a rusty old car with wings practically duck taped on!!!! my husband had to pull the door shut from the inside while teh pilot kicked it shut from the outside....

i can't belive we took the kids on it, but it was in our quest to see the dolphins, and in the end it was okay, they had to weigh us and tell us where to sit so it was evened out...i had to sit next to teh pilot (i have never prayed so much in a short space of time)

Michel said...

AMEN! I've always hated those guys!!!! Why can't anyone act like they do on the commercials?!?

Don't even get me started on the bitches who act like you're putting them out if you can't hear them b/c your headphones were on when they started talking and by the time you noticed that they were standing there, all you heard was..."you?"

Now you've gotten me all fired up. Perhaps we should all form a class action lawsuit and sue for false advertising.

Tabitha in Bliss said...

I don't fly, but when picking up or dropping family off there I have seen the ignorance they call service.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

I was on a plane yesterday. You are singing my song.

dana said...

There's just TOO MANY PEOPLE anymore. And most of them are on the verge of opening fire at any moment. We didn't live like rats in a cage 20,30 years ago. Say a permanent goodbye to decency and courtesy.

Under the Influence said...

First, you should send this letter to the airlines you flew on and also to your opinion section in the newspaper!

Secondly, we took the Amtrak from Kansas City to Flagstaff, AZ and it was THE BEST TRIP EVER. We loved it. Got the sleeper car, checked in and went to bed. It was a 24 hour ride, but highly entertaining and our kids loved it! Movies, food, games, a room with a bed and endless snacks.

Jenn@mylifewiththecrazies said...

I havent flown in a few years.. taking my son and teenage daughter to Disney in July... hope we have a nice easy flight! Sorry for your struggles!

It's Always Something Around Here said...

You pretty much summed up exactly how I feel about flying!!

No common decency any more....so sad.

The yelling and demeaning tone of nearly every employee you encounter when flying just makes me so irritated.

I so dread flying anymore!

Heather of the EO said...

I find myself saying (sarcastically) "SO sorry to bother you" far too often these days. Yes, especially at places like airports, but even at places like Target. Seriously...you're getting paid to be rude? GRRRR...

(it's possible I had a run-in with the lady in the bakery at Target who treated me like poo for asking for their FREE kid cookies...I really wanted to tell her it's silly to give away free cookies if you don't want people to ask for them. Dumb.)

Annie said...

Remember when we used to actually dress up to travel??

Summer said...

isn't there a pill to help in dealing with that? I'm all about finding the pills.

Em said...

This all started when airline travel became cheap enough for the masses.

Now, go eat some cake, damn it!

(Jo, I'm so looking into that Amtrack thing. Sounds very cool.)

Kimberly said...

Loved your line about the covered wagons. I agree with you about the self service, it sucks!

Annie said...

I love the beach, so flying is a necessary evil.

jori-o said...

Yeesh. I haven't flown for awhile, so I won't even know what to expect next time I get on a plane---but obviously I shouldn't expect much!!

Jenners said...

yes... it is too much to ask apparently. I mean, you pay $600 a ticket and you can't even get a soda????? or peanuts????? or a blanket???????

Denise @ Sunflowers, Chocolate and Little Boys said...

Flying sucks. Those people are rude and uncaring.

Brenda Jean said...

Wow, I haven't flown in like 20 years and now I'm thinking it would be better to NEVER fly. We took a train on our honeymoon and since have only driven. I read my husband some of your blog and he was laughing too. What the heck are the airlines thinking letting things get this bad? Idiots.

Lee of MWOB said...

Yeah I'm with Jo all the way. Send that letter onward lady ! These lame people NEED to know how lame they are. :-)

And how about a little Amtrak ride out to Cali? It might take you like a couple of weeks but it could be fun... ;-)

CaJoh said...

I guess I need to pull that covered wagon out of the basement so we can go to Yosemite in May. I better remember how to put it together so that we have enough time to get their and return by Labor day.

Tony@ That One Paticular Harbor said...

I hear ya. Colleen my better half was a flight attendant for 20yrs for D, and I until 2 months ago had a job that caused me to be an air warrior 65k miles a year on a plane. We have seen is it all and I guess you could say it is very disheartening the way that most who work for many airlines have lost the skill set of customer service, but to be fair many fliers have lost or never learned common sense and kindness towards other fliers and those who are trying to serve them. It is a vicious cycle.

texasholly said...

AMEN!

My favorite experience was with a curb side check-in guy who HELD MY FREAKING LUGGAGE HOSTAGE until I tipped him...well. He kept referring to the sign that said that the $4 PER BAG that I had just given him DIDN'T COVER HIS SERVICES. And since I wanted my luggage to arrive at the correct destination I had to stifle my urge to slug him or lecture him on what TIPPING means...you know, for GOOD SERVICE!!!

I need to go lay down now, my blood pressure is a bit high...

Wendyburd1 said...

A few years ago I flew a nice shoot off of Delta called Delta Song. Luggage was free, complimentary drinks. This lil menu with cool things to buy like a fruit and cheese tray. The stewards put on boas and funky sunglasses as they went over the emergency stuff. Every seat had a tv and you could watch tv, play trivia against other people onboard, rent a movie or rent games.

They did away with Song. This year I skipped PAYING to check luggage because my Dad is a saint and drove Max down. I bought myself a water and bagel before boarding so I didn't have to PAY for a beverage or snack. I sat there as the stewards rammed me as they walked by repeatedly and never apologized...they took what people liked about flying away! And jacked up the prices even with fuel prices down!!

Soxy Deb said...

Oh sweet potato pie, while I sympathize with your plight, and I'm sure it was miserable for you, I have some bad news.
Brace yourself.
It would seem it's not just airlines. It's people in general. Yes, I said it. I have come across FAR TOO MANY people lately who can't seem to be bothered to simply smile a little smile here or there. A friendly gesture to be sure, and it hurts no one. Yet... a large amount of people catn seem to muster the energy required for such a simple task.
I wonder what's happening to people. I try to smile at everyone. No matter. And it makes me happy when someone smiles back. It's the little things, ya know?
Sorry, I didn't mean to go on, this just struck a chord for me.
:)

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

Isn't it amazing how the prices have gone way up but the service level has gone way down...that is just so wrong on so many levels!

Lindsay said...

I have to second Soxy Deb. I'm making a conscious effort with Livers to teach her good manners, because I for darn sure don't want her to grow up without knowing the basic niceties that make the world going round much nicer.

(I also don't want her to be one of the students I would've talked about when I taught as being rude, full-of-herself, or with obvious lack of parenting.)

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