Oct 8, 2009

Be Nice to the Staff...

Today I'm feeling philsophical and I love to observe human nature and ponder why we are what we are. I just came across this video featuring the CEO of JetBlue. Near the end I think he offers some very sage advice to travellers:

The rudest passengers in my experience are usually from the largest cities. Maybe it's a tendancy that evolves when the anonymity of the crowd shelters us from the consequences of our behaviour? For example, more than once I've been berated by a swellagantly-attired businessman because I chose to delay the morning departure due to icy runways and crosswinds at his destination. "I have an important business meeting today! You have to get me there! ..." To which my (unspoken) reply is: "If the meeting is that important, then why weren't you smart enough to fly over last night?"

Related to this rudeness is a total lack of awareness that in all competitions between humans and Mother Nature, Nature rules. Many big city dwellers have grown so unaware of our dependence upon nature that they think it's a personal affront when their lives are distrupted by snow, ice, wind, or thunderstorms.

Meanwhile passengers from maritime regions who earn a living from the sea or know someone who does - or passengers from the smaller prairie cities whose livelihood is closely attached to farming - have a different mentality. When informed of weather-related delays, their reaction is usually a shrug and a comment along the lines: "Well, you can't control the weather now, can you. I guess we'll get there when we get there."

Over the years as GooseAir passed off flights into smaller communities to the Feeder Airline, and my schedules became a steady diet of high density airspace and big cities, it was a true downgrade of working conditions in my book.

My conclusions from these meanderings? Be nice to one another. Be aware of the reality we all share. And always know that in the end, Nature rules.


Aviatrix said...

I'm trying to put into words the awe and respect I have for the natural forces that can cover a whole province in snow overnight, or move a huge body of air at such a velocity to uproot trees. It is at the whim of nature that we aviate at all.

My verification word is "shiverp" and perhaps that comes close.

Rui Medeiros said...

Great post!
Once I was waiting for boarding when a flight got cancelled due to weather at the destination aerodrome. An old lady next to me said something like: I'm glad the flight was cancelled, because when they go in bad weather we almost die landing there.
I guess the dying is exaggerated, but it must be scary.
This may mean in Azores the nature is still respected, and that must be part of why I want to stay here.

Anonymous said...

As a line pilot, I often saw the results of passenger staff interaction. One morning I took a delay out on Indi and arrived in ORD late. While behind the counter pulling paperwork, I listen to lady who had missed her connection,unload on the agent in a tone and language befitting a DI at Parris Island. The agent(one of great skill), had been rerouting her via another airline. After one too many words, I watched him hit the cancel button and say "I'm sorry, you will have to wait for our next flight to xxx at 1:30 pm" A smile and please would have been so much more productive.