Why do they do that?!

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This topic contains 133 replies, has 34 voices, and was last updated by  icenspice 26 Feb 2015
at 12:00

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  • Anonymous


    We don’t seem to get too many rants on here – not from regular posters, anyway – and I think it is high time that we livened things up by having a “rant” thread.

    Here is the thing that is really bugging me at the moment. Background – I am tall (6’3″) and currently have a very bad back (four damaged discs), which means my back hurts like hell, and bending hurts even more (in fact I am under medical instruction not to bend at all at the moment).

    So here’s my question: Why the *** is it that nearly every time I go into a modern hotel lift I have to squat (normally I would bend double, but currently I can’t) to press the blasted lift button?? Yes, yes, I know it is supposedly to help the wheelchair-bound, but you know what? Pretty much every wheelchair user capable of pressing a lift button has arms, and can reach up – and, frankly, much more easily than I can reach down to a button somewhere near my knees. It’s even worse in modern trendy hotels where the lighting is so dim and the lettering on the indicator plate so small that anyone whose eyes are located above their crotch is going to find them impossible to read. So I am now reduced to squatting each time I get into a lift, which is resulting in some very funny looks. So why the *** do they do that???

    While we are on the subject – the new-fangled hand-dryers (Dyson Airblade and similar) – the current trend seems to be to set these so low down one might be forgiven for thinking they are for drying one’s feet. I am currently finding these virtually impossible to use, so unless there is a handtowel option (which seems increasingly rare) I leave the restroom with damp trousers because I have to wipe my hands on them. More odd looks.

    It is bad enough that nowadays airline seats are too small/short and there isn’t any legroom any more – being uncomfortable is one thing, but being in a position (literally) where I have to contort myself to use these things is driving me insane. I honestly believe there can be no sensible reason for this, it is just a ridiculous trend, and I for one would like it stopped.

    Do share your own rants about things (travel-related, if only loosely!) that make no sense at all.


    Ian. I hope you are not referring to the notorious Door Close button? You know, the one that wears out first in Hong Kong 😉


    Agree with you about the lifts Ian, maybe not on the hand dryers. Your fault for being so tall! Hope your back gets better.

    Ok, my rants are travel related.

    1, The new fangled milk portions in a sort of long plastic bag, I generally ask for a good handful of the confounded things as I end up spilling most of it. They are impossible to open them without spilling some milk. Most airlines use them now, not surprised the planes stink!

    2. Women that queue up to pay for something, then when they get to the front of the queue and hand over the items they wish to purchase they wait for the operator to tell them how much and then decide to start rummaging to find their purse to pay for it. It is almost like it is a surprise they actually need the purse….did they think it was going to come to £0!

    3. Anybody on a mobile phone when I am trying to get a nap/relax/eat/drink/read/write/, I find this worse on trains. I don’t mind the call, it is the shouting in to the thing that gets my goat. When on a mobile myself I am conscious of those around me and talk just loud enough for the person on the other end to hear. Most calls I am sure are a total waste of bandwidth. Mine excepted of course!


    I like the idea of a rant thread. I am particularly well qualified to contribute (ask Mrs DG) but I will restrict myself to one rant.

    Why is everything associated with UK immigration so cack-handed? For today, I will leave out the inadequate staffing of immigration desks, the loss of Iris, and the woeful e-passport readers, and concentrate on the pre-boarding check at the other end.

    What is the point of this? When I pass through the gate and onto the airbridge at CDG, say, there is a boy from some security company half way down the ramp who has to check my passport and boarding card again? Why? Why is the check at the gate not enough? At GVA it is before you go through the gate (where, at the gate, the same things are checked again). At FRA it can lead to a chaotic muddle as the crowd round tha gate tries to work out where it is going. Why check things twice, why not make the one check that can be automated (where the barcode on the boarding card is read, and the passport can be swiped) efficient and definitive?

    And then, there are some mainland Europe airports where this double check doesn’t happen as you board a UK-bound flight. But I am not going to say where, in case some looney decides to clamp down there as well.

    I know it is to prevent terrorism. Interesting how most terrorist acts in Western Europe are perpetrated by those born and bred in the country concerned.


    Ian – can sympathize and I’m only 5′. I’ve experienced opposite where I could not reach button for floor I wanted, luckily other person in lift was taller and obliged. My rant about lifts is the two-way opening ones, if you’ve gone up in it then surely you can remember which side you entered/exited. Hand dryers also annoy me, not warm enough/too high/too low. Hands have usually dried long before Airblade decides to work.

    Mr Michael – you reminded me of the milk pots, which are also impossible to open without spilling. Also the foil lids on flight meals, cuts from those not pleasant. You are so right about queuing women and mobile phones.

    My rant for today is check-in staff who try to find something wrong with your hand luggage, although bag is correct size/weight with no additional supermarket carrier bags. Asked at LHR to show bag, comment made “that looks heavy, you’re not going to put anything else in it are you?”. My reply “you can weigh it if you wish”. That was declined so why make that comment and not follow it up. A few purchases were added and no problem at gate.


    Nice topic Ian…..
    Hope your back gets better soon, I had never suffered from a sore back until I came home from back home, a month of clearing my family home back in BC, after my mum left to party with the angels, then add in a long-haul flight back to Scotland = excruciating pain resulting in me doing a passable impression of a discarded piece of plywood lying in the middle of the living room. I would happily have allowed a vet to shoot me!! So, my thoughts are with you …..
    Now to my rants……..
    1) Agree with Mr Michael’s point 2, and am going to add in the fairer sexes ability to turn extracting cash from am ATM into an exercise in advanced accountancy. —— Check balance- print statement—study statement —withdraw cash —- check balance—- print statement ….Now, if I see more than 2 ladies standing in the queue I don’t even bother joining the queue!
    2) I quite like the fancy dancy air dryers, what drives me crazy, is hotels/establishments that believe going upmarket means removing urinals from their toilets. Sorry, but god created me with the tools to use a urinal……
    3) Back to queues, people who wait until they get to the belt and the scanner at security before removing boots, belts etc. Get a bloody move on you idiots; I have a dr5ink in the lounge to get to.…….
    I’m sure I can think of more things that irritate the hell out of me……will need to wait till after my meeting.


    Well, here’s my rant for today – only because this make NO sense to me at all….

    Gale force winds in Leeds meant that the BA 0925 to LHR was cancelled.

    I was booked the following day, on the 0925 to connect with a BA flight to ORD.
    Knowing we were due gale force winds the following day, and having seen this flight cancelled before, I thought it best to be proactive and call the Gold line to make a change to the LBA flight.

    IF the LBA is cancelled as i arrive at the airport, there is NO opportunity to make the connection in LHR – it’s too late to get to MAN for example so I would be stuck.
    I call the gold line and ask if I can travel instead, the day before, on the afternoon flight because its 90% certain that the morning flight will be cancelled and I can see tickets on sale (BA.com) for £75.
    I explain that I am quite happy to book myself a new ticket and into a hotel at LHR and pay myself, I also explain that there is no chance of me making the connection if the flight is cancelled in the morning.

    “not sure we can allow that” she says, “they will cancel the onward as a ‘no show”….. So I tell her again, “all I want BA to do is to protect my ORD flight – nothing more nothing less”

    “I am being proactive, trying to prevent an issue in the morning, at my own expense and you can’t even protect my connection?”

    “I will have to ask a supervisor” she tells me…. Meantime, with time running out, I book a One way LBA to LHR and a taxi to the airport….

    After 20 mins on hold with BA, my cab arrives and I leave for the airport so I am cut off.

    Arriving at LBA, I ask a Servisair clerk what can be done to ‘protect’ my ORD flight – she tells me – “easy, it will take 3 mins” and it did!!

    Sure enough, in the morning, (now in an LHR hotel) an SMS from BA telling me the 0925 from LBA is cancelled and please contact them.

    Why do they have to make it so difficult??
    Their answer should have been “yes, don’t worry, it’s taken care of” instead of the standard – “not sure we can allow that”

    If I hadn’t been as proactive, I would have missed my connection and BA would not have been able to resolve on the day!


    Canuck – you have the “tools”? Plural? Wow, I know Canadians are special, but I didn’t know it was that special…..


    @ian, I wish your back better.

    My only rant on this matter, I WISH I NEEDED A HAIR DRYER!


    DavidGordon.. A big 😉 but I’m afraid our North American cousins do like to boast!

    Martyn, I know we share the same hair stylist and how I love NOT having to use a hair dryer!

    MrMichael, fully agree on point 2.


    Whoops, back on rant.

    Sorry about the back Ian, my mother had a similar problem and despite the doctors warnings she went to an Osteopath. Two sessions and she was cured.

    My rant now is Internet and Telkom in south africa. It’s diabolical. Still waiting after 3 days to be re-connected despite it being a 2 minute job.


    Ian – Being 6’7″ I can really empathise. Wrt back issues a really beneficial tip I was given was to replace your mattress every 3-5 years. The avg lifespan is 8-12 years. The Relyon Ultima “firm” was excellent for me.

    As to rants
    – showers without any height adjustment option or separate hand held option. Also I have no problem helping a “vertically challenged” person put a case into an overhead locker however when said case weighs 20kg plus and needs a bench press it is a bit much. Similarly beds with footboards.

    – On SH, in the old days, over wing exit seats could not be booked/secured until the check-in person had ascertained you could physically assist (or at least not obstruct) with an emergency if necessary – so it was usually fairly easy to secure one. Now many more avg people with no real need, take the seats.

    – Crew who fail to reverse meal serving order so one could end up not getting a first choice main on any meals service.


    Well David & LP…… I’ve been called special and I’ve been called a tool and no doubt I’ve also been called a special tool …..And that’s just by friends and family!!
    But rest assured, recently I’ve struggled to put one tool to full use, so having more than one would be a waste ….. : )

    Back on rant mode…..and BigDog’s showers…..I’m going to add those Oooooooh la la de la de da, usually boutique hotels with their plunge showers, fitted with multiple gleaming ,sparkling knobs ( staying on theme : ) that control water pressure, temperature, direction, flow capacity and probably the lunar tide……..The consequences of this excessive myriad of gleam management can be very painful indeed.

    Imagine waking up on a Monday morning, hung-over from the weekend excesses, in a strange hotel and a full week of joyous work ahead of you…… You stumble into your bathroom to notice this wondrous water world…… “This’ll freshen me up “ you say to yourself …… You stand full of anticipation awaiting a spa like experience to freshen you up into the week, washing the weekend cobwebs away……..You boldly turn the tap and ………………………….

    An artic whoooosh of icy water horizontally blasts your nether regions with the force of a polar bears bite, you double over in pain whilst your brain computes how to turn off the continuous blast of water that is now following about the shower like a heat seeking missile !!

    And I’ve not even started on ……whatever happened to the simple rubber plug! .


    Canucklad – thanks for making me laugh! Visualisation certainly helps. Made the brain-numbing task of checking security clearance forms a lot easier. That leadd me into another, travel-unrelated rant about failing to read/understand instructions. Strange how the non-UK nationals manage 100% perfect completion. Better not say anymore, boss might read this.

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