How to Get More Respect on an Airline.

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by sobore, Sep 22, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    http://blogs.smartmoney.com/paydirt...-on-an-airline/?mod=rss_&link=SM_home_blogsum

    Delays, cramped quarters, overpriced snacks: With privileges like these, no wonder many air travelers dress for comfort. But comfy clothes and moccasins might actually be making your travel experience worse, according to a new survey from airline travel aggregator AirfareWatchdog.com.
    In response to the question, “When flying, do you feel you or others get treated better by airline personnel if you dress to impress,” some 63% said yes. Veteran travelers say that’s probably not a misperception. Site founder George Hobica says dressing up increases the chances of everything from an extra drink to an upgrade: “Whether fair or not, airline employees treat you better if you take some care about how you dress when flying.”

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    http://blogs.smartmoney.com/paydirt...-on-an-airline/?mod=rss_&link=SM_home_blogsum
     
  2. jmrich1432
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    jmrich1432 Silver Member

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    Completely agree! I definitely see a difference when I fly in business attire and even checking into hotels. I fly almost every week for work and sometimes I change out of a suit before leaving for the airport (especially if I have a long drive). Sometimes the contrast is more noticable, but I can say I've never been treated poorly when I have business attire on. I must say other pax treat you better when you're dressed more nicely too. I've gotten several "excuse me, but this is the FIRST class line" *looks me up and down, scoff* when I am not dressed for work, but never when I am. I probably notice more of a difference because I am young and I have an even younger face. :D
     
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  3. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    I completely agree. I find that I do try to dress decently, even if in jeans...then change into more comfortable clothing once in the air and change back before landing or after clearing passport control.

    :)
     
  4. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    As a student, I learned to dress respectably for customs and passport control.
     
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  5. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Indeed, yet I've seen plenty of people picked for SSS wearing suits just the same.

    I think how you dress obviously affects the perception that other people have of you... If you're wearing shorts and a jersey and flying to/from MIA they probably figure you're on leisure and on a beach holiday of sorts. Still, I don't think that affects too much what "they" can do for you, even if it affects how they perceive you.

    In this day and age "status" comes in all forms... you have young(er) kids in sweatpants that have more miles and hotel stays under their belts than seasoned business travelers in suits, and they know what they're entitled to, and they don't care what the guy behind the counter thinks.

    If anything though, I tend to look at the "relaxed" passenger as probably the more seasoned one.
     
  6. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    And sometimes, I'm the one in J who looks like a bum...well, hair and makeup may be respectable, but in that lay flat seat, I'm usually dressed to sleep...even if done after boarding. Even if dressed nicely, I try to ensure comfort...:D
     
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  7. DestinationDavid
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    I got out of the business of using looks to determine anything about people a long time ago, and that decision has served me very well.

    You cannot identify bad people, rich people, polite people, etc with your eyes, might as well stop trying.

    :)
     
  8. javacodeguy

    javacodeguy Gold Member

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    Unfortunately the majority of people are not this way. And I'd like to say that even more so, anyone in the service industry still judges based on appearance. If you see hundreds of people a day you will start to create prejudices based on your first impression. It's just human nature, and is very hard to train yourself not to do this. Sure every once in a while you'll be wrong, but 9 times out of 10 you'll be right.
     
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  9. DestinationDavid
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    I don't mean to get into a philosophy debate or offend, but I couldn't disagree more with what you've said.

    The human experience should be about overcoming our base instincts, not succumbing to them. 7 years of face to face customer contact taught me that, NOT to be lazy and allow my pre-judgments to overrule my good sense.

    Accepting that 9 out of 10 times you'll be right just perpetuates the cycle. I believe we're more unique than that "statistic" indicates.

    Just my 2 cents. :)
     
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  10. javacodeguy

    javacodeguy Gold Member

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    You must be a much better person than me and many others.

    Don't get me wrong I agree your view point is ideal and would definitely make for a better world.

    But, after working in customer service all through college I know I would assume how an interaction would go within the first minute of meeting a customer. And I know whenever I talk to a waiter or waitress they will judge their tips right off the bat. A person's race, how they are dressed, whether they are on a date or out with friends will lead them to judge what kind of tip they will be getting.

    I try my best to never "judge a book by it's cover," but I would be lying to myself if I didn't accept that sometimes I still do, even if subconsciously.
     
  11. DestinationDavid
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    Of course I still do all that, and I certainly don't think I'm better than you or anyone else.

    I can say that being aware that I'm inclined to make assumptions makes it pretty easy to tell myself "clean slate" right after that urge, though. I really don't think it's as difficult or complex as people make it out to be.

    There are so many things that are base urges for people, but we conquer those. I don't see why checking our prejudice/assumptions can't the same.
     
  12. basiface

    basiface Silver Member

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    Right or wrong that's the way it is. They're not judging anyone as a bad person or anything just someone who doesn't get the extra effort treatment that suits tend to get. Not mad about that because most of their $$ comes from the suits that travel 3 or 4 times a week and not Joe Shmo who's going to Vegas every other year. All of my travel is personal so I have no reason to wear a suit for my flights, but I have faced the consequences of wearing sweats and a t-shirt to the airport. The security line is always fun, the looks I get going into the priority line with my sweats with my dirty yellow duffel bag crack me up! One time I asked the lady checking boarding passes for the line why she checked mine and didn't check the suit behind me and she said "because you don't look like you belong in this line and he does", lol. Couldn't get mad at her honesty, plus she was right. Then the suit was kind enough to school me about this very topic. To be honest with you guys the AA employees usually treat me pretty good, it's my fellow passengers that tend to treat me differently. Especially at boarding when they call the Plat's and I walk past everyone to board the plane. They're all so helpful in letting me know it's not my turn to board, lol.

    Speaking of boarding the plane...what's the hurry? Why does everyone crowd around the entrance as soon as they open the door to the jet bridge? The plane won't leave til everyone boards anyway so what's the hurry? Sometimes I get on last because I know that as soon as I'm on the door is going to close and we're going to push back. 20 minutes less time sitting in 15F for me.
     
  13. DestinationDavid
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    I suppose I'm the only one on my opinion boat and I'm okay with that. :)

    My opinion is that giving the "extra effort treatment" to men in suits on instinct is wrong. You're right, no one is saying I'm a bad person when I show up in my jeans and get the cold shoulder/"do you belong here", but they are telling me that I'm not perceived as a valued customer. There is something wrong with that, even if it is just a minor issue in the grand scheme of traveling. Passengers of importance ($$$) to an airline come in all shapes and sizes.

    I really dislike the phrase you opened with: "Right or wrong, that's the way it is." How often in history has logic like that been used to accept bad behavior, whether big or small? People in general are too quick to accept the status quo. :(

    I certainly don't think of this as a moral issue when it comes to airline treatment though. It's bad business, but not immoral.

    As for the rush to get on the plane? That's easy. Overhead bin space. No one wants to pay the $50 luggage fee, so they all want to get on the plane and stuff it into the bin before they're forced to gate check it. ;)
     
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  14. basiface

    basiface Silver Member

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    Oh I absolutely agree with your opinion. In this case once again you're right, I'm accepting the status quo. I pick my battles and frankly this one isn't worth the time. 1. It's really not that bad as far as the airline goes, the few times I need to talk to an AA employee other than saying hello or thank you they've treated me well even before they see what my status is. I used to work for an airline and when you're dealing with that many people (and problems) a day you'll treat a customer that is courteous and polite better than an a-hole with some status. 2. If it does get out of hand people will start looking at other options and hit them in the pockets because that's the only thing that gets their attention.

    If people would follow the very simple overhead bin rule of putting bags in wheels first there would be a lot more space. For some reason that seems to be difficult. That's the great thing about traveling for leisure...I'm never in a hurry so when I decide to board last or am running late as soon as I step on the plane I ask the flight attendant how the overheads are looking so I can check my duffel and avoid the hassle of looking for space. As far as the $50 fee goes...fly SouthWest
     
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  15. DestinationDavid
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    Oh I completely agree, this isn't an important issue to me at all. I'm a tshirt and jeans EXP on AA, and I've very rarely have any issues. But having been around FFer forums for a bit, I have seen quite a few posts from people who it does seem to matter to, and when the question is asked I'll give an honest answer about how I feel: people shouldn't judge.

    As EXP I've only flown in Y a handful of times. Even in F I put my messenger bag (with my tshirt and jeans, I'm not a rolling suitcase/briefcase kinda guy :D ) under the seat in front of me. I get odd looks from my seat mates sometimes since there's usually plenty of room above. Really my bag is taking up very little space down there but would stop someone from putting a larger bag in.
     
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  16. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    Academia is all I have experience with, but you definitely can't tell who's the big cheese from looks. The guy who looks homeless may have over a million in annual grants, and the guy who dresses up every day with a tie and shiny shoes may be making a show because he can't get any funding. I just try to act grown up on a plane. Many people don't.
     
  17. DestinationDavid
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    As another example.... I just got off an AA flight 30 min ago where a Concierge Key rep was meeting a passenger. All the suits walked passed, and it ended up being a guy in a tshirt and jeans. Lol.
     
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