DNA of Travelers

DNA of Travelers

Typically I love sticking to the topic of miles and points but occasionally because of the six degrees of separation clause, I find myself engaged, enlightened and engulfed in other travel topics. Reading Stephanie Rosenbloom’s article in The New York Times titled “A Recipe for Air Rage” set off deja vu for me because of the passionate and disconnected flow of comments triggered by the topic.

Was it the readers of The New York Times, the DNA of those who travel or is air rage simply a topic that draws out our most primal discourse? As it turns out, two out of those three seems to be the answer (DNA and the topic). I’m thinking that The New York Times is not to blame and its readers can return to The Grey Lady’s other topics, namely Arts & Culture, Food & Dining and my favorite section, Science (really).

Yes, it seems to be in theDNA of a traveler. I came to this conclusion because within a few days of the article being published, comments became so misdirected that the newspaper made a decision to shut down the conversation. I have no idea how many comments had been offered (hundreds?) when the Times closed the topic–but it doesn’t seem that often that this happens–even with politics, religion and of course, sex, drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll.

The reason I deduced it has to be something about the traveler, is that the topic was about annoyance, whether directed at the airline or their peers traveling the same flight. The observation for me, and thus the deja vu, is that travelers simply get annoyed with other travelers easily, regardless of the topic.

In my later years of heading FlyerTalk, a day did not pass where some traveler expressed his/her annoyance with another traveler within those forums. The topic didn’t matter, it only mattered that another traveler was across the keyboard. Benign topics such as livery colors and flight attendant uniforms soon lead to a time out, just as they would for crying babies and passengers of a certain size–and that’s all before we got to describing the “Delta loyalists”. I don’t miss the back and forth of these spirited topics for travelers, I’ve moved on, gotten older and while it may be debatable about me being wiser, I’ve learned that the best way to avoid the topic of air rage is simply to fly and keep my big mouth shut.

No comments from me about reclining seats. No argument at all about Delta’s change in their round-the-world awards and I can’t hear you when I see your lips moving regarding boorish behavior by other passengers. And guess what? Looking back at that article about air rage in The New York Times just to fact check the correct article title, I didn’t even notice that the comments were gone. Dang, I’m having a great day.

Moving on … I seem to get an endless stream of inquiries about what I’m working on these days. And despite the slip in time from days to weeks to months and years, it seems the projects don’t really change much. We’re gearing up for a redesign of the InsideFlyer website, likely the longest overdue project I have. We’ve finally found a new theme for the project, which should help make it more readable, searchable and we hope, loveable.

Another project is preparing for the coming Freddie Awards. We’ll continue to make mobile voting a priority and easy to do, we’ll add some onboarder messaging to help voters who are not familiar with the Freddie Awards appreciate its purpose (voice of the frequent flyer) and add in some cool new features like “Vote Later” that will send you a reminder if by chance you happen to read the call for voting at an inconvenient time. Lots of cool details and I’m always the happiest working on the Freddies since the awards represent the voice of millions of frequent flyers around the globe–and they were, and are, an original.

Beyond that … there are other projects, just you wait and see.