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Anonymous30 Dec 2007
Would it be great if we could write about the great times we have with travel, airlines, hotels and such likes. I am sure that the providers do not go out of their way to make life hard for us. But yes sometimes things do go wrong, and these times can be inconvenient, but a smile and polite behaviour normally gets the best response. I am sure we have all seen the traveller who shouts, swears and has terrible behaviour when an something has gone wrong. But lets be honest, have we all not had a secret smile when they then declare loudly ‘I am a Gold card holder, I pay your salary’. Its an automatic guarantee to get the minimum response from the provider. Yes many of us are Gold card holders for the various loyalty schemes, but again a normal use of tone and behaviour really does get the best possible response, practically all of the time. Or am I just being too confortable in my travel, and accept that things will go wronge from time to time and make the necessary plans for this?30 Dec 2007
I agree with Toby – essentially it is like saying “Do you know who I am…?” which we all know is someone taking themselves far too seriously. I believe in good manners and yes I do get tired and frustrated sometimes but hotel staff / airline are usually trying to help. It is quite unusual to get someone who is going out of their way to make life difficult even though it feels like it sometimes…2 Jan 2008
Absolutely I agree. No reason to get upset. Some people act like Stressed Eric, and it never gets them anywhere:
You see this a lot on the Airline TV programme.
Whilst it is important to stand you ground and ensure you do get reasonable service, a rant rarely helps matters.
But you can imagine what it must be like even for the best behaved frequent traveller when for the umpteenth time something goes wrong, and he/she erupts. One can only take so much!!
Personally, I think it’s a feeling of a lack of control which makes passangers behave like that. Once you read publications like BT, the excellent Ask Alex pages for instance, you tend to be more aware of what’s going on, what it is reasonable to expect in terms of resolution, and how best to benefit or at least minimise the negatives in the bad situation.
I had a 20 hour delay coming from the East Coast US last year – tech issue witht the BA 747. I was in Club, Upper Deck. Stewardesses couldn’t have been nicer, they just popped the champagne and kept it flowing, so everyone was in reasonable spirits when we disembarked to the overnight hotel.
I always pack essentials/washbag and enough kit for an overnight in my hand baggage so had what I needed (mostly) then proceeded to make a claim on my Amex travel insurance for a slap up lunch of caviar and champagne in Miami, a morning spent shopping.
On my return I wrote and received 30k miles as compensation. Lost a day in the office, which was annoying, but ultimately beyond my control, and not much I could do about it so what’s the point in getting stressed?
I really think an article on how to complain well, both in writing and in person, would be good for inclusion in a future issue of BT – perhaps with feedback from someone who deals with complaints all the time so we can get an understanding of the issues from their perspective.6 Jan 2008