Travel Manners and Respect

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by Canarsie, Oct 12, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Canarsie
    Original Member

    Canarsie Gold Member

    Messages:
    709
    Likes Received:
    2,049
    Status Points:
    1,170
    As an Internet web site for frequent fliers, milepoint.com is considered by many to be a friendly place to discuss travel, miles and points.

    However, in the real world of travel, I find that manners are generally lacking. I am by no means a person who strictly adheres to the good practices of etiquette, but I do wish that people would be more polite during travel, which can already be a stressful experience.

    For example, if I am seated in an aisle seat on an aircraft and the window seat is empty, the person who is assigned that window seat will come along and usually grunt “I’m in there”, expecting me to automatically get up upon command. Whenever I am the person who is assigned the window seat and a passenger is already seated in the aisle seat, I usually say “Could you please excuse me? That is my seat.” After compliance to my request, I always say “thank you” — something I rarely hear when I comply to a similar request.

    Another example is when a flight attendant approaches me requesting my order — for a drink, let’s say — I will reply, “May I have an orange juice, please?” The person sitting next to me will usually grunt a drink order without saying “please”. I will say “thank you” upon receiving my drink, whereas the person sitting next to me will not utter any form of appreciation for the service rendered.

    A third example can be at the front desk of a hotel, where the agent might feel free to call me by my first name without my consent instead of address me by a more proper salutation.

    None of these examples affect me all that much in the grand scheme of things, but I do believe that a little respect goes a long way and can help travel be just a little more civilized and a little less stressful.

    What are your thoughts?
     
    secretsea18, sfo1, charlilo and 12 others like this.
  2. bjdriscoll

    bjdriscoll Silver Member

    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    295
    Status Points:
    470
    I couldn't agree more. In fact, I'll even take it one step further; what you describe above seems to be lacking in all aspects of life, not just travel (especially in Central Florida, if I may be so bold).

    But, to your point, I agree. Like you mentioned, none of what you experience or witness really ruins your day but it would be nice to see some common courtesy. I see it as the "I'm entitled and I'm better than you" mentality.

    What can be done? Continue doing exactly what you're doing. Say "please" and "thank you." Hold the door for someone. Help someone place their carryon in the overhead bin. And, do it all without expecting a "thank you" in return. That's just the way I was raised, which, I think, may ultimately be the point.

    Maybe it will start to rub off on others. I'm heading out to PHX tomorrow and I'll make it a point to employ some of these tactics and see how it affects others and how it betters my experience.
     
    charlilo, kenbo, yaychemistry and 7 others like this.
  3. jrp2

    jrp2 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,373
    Likes Received:
    2,654
    Status Points:
    1,470
    I think in life if people try to be as courteous as possible to others, things usually go better for all involved. It's harder to be disrespectful to a person if you see them as human beings. I'm sure some people see airline personnel and hotel staff as just anonymous drones to service them.

    I can even see how people end up seeing service people this way, especially the road warrior types on the move every week of the year. The false platitudes, haphazard service, stress, delays, cramped spaces, and the occasional groping have to be a grind on a person after a while.

    Even though I 'm sure I not always the nicest guy to everyone all the time, I don't want to end up being a total douche to everyone all the time. I try to remember not to take all the crap in life too seriously, no one gets out alive anyway. :)
     
    charlilo, cennas, jbcarioca and 4 others like this.
  4. N965VJ
    Original Member

    N965VJ Silver Member

    Messages:
    390
    Likes Received:
    818
    Status Points:
    635
    I always say thanks to a FA, even for something as mundane as picking up a snack wrapper. When replying to what I would like to drink, I say "Just a can of soda water" in a way that suggests "Gee, don't make a big fuss with going to the trouble of taking a cup, filling it with ice, opening a can, and then pouring half of it all on account of 'lil 'ol me. I'm not high maintenance at all". ;) Most of the time the cans are cool anyway, even if not, I don't mind because all I'm trying to do is stay hydrated.

    That's way too informal. Even if you're a regular at a small town Super 8, it just seems out of place to address guests that way. Oddly, when the cashiers at Sam's Club started thanking me by my first name as they handed me my membership card and receipt, I didn't think anything of it. Perhaps because of the bare-bones atmosphere, or the store itself having someone's first name, I'm not really sure.
     
  5. jmrich1432
    Original Member

    jmrich1432 Silver Member

    Messages:
    570
    Likes Received:
    846
    Status Points:
    770
    While I completely agree with the manners issues regarding "please" and "thank you" and general kindness to others, I don't see what the big deal is about using your first name when checking into a hotel. It really doesn't bother me when they greet me or thank me using my first name while checking in. As long as the front desk is cheerful, friendly and just generally welcoming I'm happy. Maybe it's an age thing.
     
    OceanBreezes, sfo1, kenbo and 7 others like this.
  6. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I consider it inappropriate for a front desk clerk, FA, GA, waiter, etc. to use my first name when we are strangers. This is much more likely to happen to customers who look young or female. It's extremely offensive when they simultaneously address older men more formally since presumably there are no price discounts for age and sex.

    For this reason, I try to avoid using my first name on reservations, etc. or otherwise introducing myself with my first name, even though I was taught that it's somewhat rude to introduce oneself with title and last name only. Similarly, I have taken my first name off of credit cards, using only title and initials. Unfortunately, this still doesn't prevent some clerks from somehow finding my first name and using it, for example by looking for my full first name on frequent traveller records.
     
    kenbo, jbcarioca, rwoman and 2 others like this.
  7. global_happy_traveller
    Original Member

    global_happy_traveller Silver Member

    Messages:
    1,046
    Likes Received:
    1,404
    Status Points:
    945
    I always try to be nice. May I, Please, Thank You, Greatly Appreciated...... But it also makes me feel like I am in the airline renaissance era.
     
    cennas, jmrich1432, jbcarioca and 3 others like this.
  8. N965VJ
    Original Member

    N965VJ Silver Member

    Messages:
    390
    Likes Received:
    818
    Status Points:
    635
    Hey, I'm not that old! :eek::D
     
  9. Mapsmith
    Original Member

    Mapsmith Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,930
    Likes Received:
    7,696
    Status Points:
    6,570
    For strangers such as Customer Service at Hotels, Airlines, and even on the phone, I prefer to be called Mr. Smith rather than my first name. And if someone tries to use the "Familiar" version of my first name, I will call them out or on the phone, I will hang up. The person using that familiar does not know me well enough to use that familiar. Heck, even my family and employees don't use the familiar (although they do refer to me by my first name)
     
  10. Scottrick
    Original Member

    Scottrick Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,586
    Likes Received:
    4,078
    Status Points:
    2,570
    I agree with the OPs comments. Fortunately, I haven't really had the negative experiences s/he mentions, but then maybe I don't pay attention.

    Most of it I can brush off, but what really gets on my nerves are the employees (usually FAs) who feel they can boss you around. Just the other day I was out of my seat to use the lav, even though the seatbelt sign was on, because, honestly, I had to go, and we were 1 hour in to a fairly calm flight. One particular FA had made a point about closing the curtain, so even though I was in the bulkhead, I went all the way back to use the rear lav. She's standing there, blocking the door, yelling at me I'm a danger to myself and others, and that I should hurry up and "GO GO GO GO GO." I stand still as I calmly point out she is blocking the door to the lav.

    I can understand enforcing the rules and such. I technically should not have been up. But in that context, she was way out of line. Most FAs manage to politely tell the customer to return to his/her seat, and that seems to work just fine.
     
    OceanBreezes, zpaul, cennas and 3 others like this.
  11. rwoman
    Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

    Messages:
    5,617
    Likes Received:
    13,489
    Status Points:
    11,070
    I have a colleague who uses the phrase, "honey will get you farther than vinegar..." :)
     
    zpaul, Scottrick, jmrich1432 and 2 others like this.
  12. jbcarioca
    Original Member

    jbcarioca Gold Member

    Messages:
    17,507
    Likes Received:
    57,455
    Status Points:
    20,020
    As you know I am a man, thus subject to soem biases. I do not think that happens more to women or young people because it happens to me constantly, mostly in the US. I never say anything about it because it seems to me I'll only be seen as stuffy, but it is offensive to me.
    OTOH, in many countries, such as Brazil, the use of the surname is not done, people are addressed as Sr/Sra JB. That does not bother me, but it is also formal. When I managed employees in the US I insisted on responding personally, in email and on the telephone (no twitter or Facebook then) by Mr/Ms xxx. Some thought it to be excessive but customers liked it.

    I agree totally with you, Canarsie, in the US. Less so elsewhere. Were I to address my mother-in-law with any other form than Dona xxx I would be severely chastised, and that is the norm here in Brazil. It is uncommon for people to use any form other than Sr/Dona xxx (first name). Formality rules, and I like it. It is odd that use of first given name rules in some countries with an honorific, while surname and honorific does in others. However, no place is so prone to excessive informality as the US. I do find it jarring. Frankly it is even jarring at DO's where the given name and online name are used. Even with such people as MSPeconomist, whom I know well enough to share a hug at the OW MegaDO Launch Party, I find it more comfortable to address her as MSPeconomist than I do by her given name, which I know. Go figure:confused: Maybe I am getting old...
     
    MSPeconomist, Horse, rwoman and 3 others like this.
  13. N965VJ
    Original Member

    N965VJ Silver Member

    Messages:
    390
    Likes Received:
    818
    Status Points:
    635
    In your case, they should just remind you to be careful because the seatbelt sign is on. When you gotta go, you gotta go. Some FAs are wound too tight.
     
    MSPeconomist and rwoman like this.
  14. Gaucho
    Original Member

    Gaucho Gold Member

    Messages:
    6,640
    Likes Received:
    13,407
    Status Points:
    11,795
    Sorry.... but I disagree. Manners and Respect are not only for travel. Im trying hard to properly raise my two kids to have proper manners & respect not only during travel, but during everyday life.

    :p
     
    kenbo, MSPeconomist, jrp2 and 5 others like this.
  15. zpaul

    zpaul Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,071
    Likes Received:
    2,816
    Status Points:
    1,445
    This is by no means a new phenomenon. Back in the days of TWA it was written into our contracts that clients would pay for us to fly in F so I was up front a lot. On a flight from STL to DFW, "Glo" was the FA and presented me with a bottle of wine just before landing. Why? She told me, 'You were the only person to pay attention during the safety announcement, and the only person to say "please" and "thank you" when I brought you anything. I appreciate it.' I began to take more notice from then on, and 99% of the time I was the only person who asked and responded politely. It's the 40,000-foot version of the McDonald's drive-thru these days: "Gimme a Big Mac."

    My last name is ridiculous, especially with punctuation removed on the manifests and BPs so I always tell the FA's to "just call me Paul," but I appreciate that they try the Mr. Zpaul thing first.

    IME, when a FA is rude or less-than-formal I do notice it, because it is not the norm; unfortunately, I no longer notice other pax when they're rude because it's just expected behavior. :(
     
  16. cennas
    Original Member

    cennas Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,765
    Likes Received:
    5,047
    Status Points:
    3,970
    +1. I actually don't mind when someone is addressing me by my first name. I've been in quite a number of hotels, mostly in Asia, where the staff would address me by my first name. Although it would always be preceded by a "Mr". i actually prefer it this way. Calling me by my surname just would make me feel old and I would feel that they are addressing my father instead of me ;)
     
  17. Tenmoc
    Original Member

    Tenmoc Gold Member

    Messages:
    31,882
    Likes Received:
    212,880
    Status Points:
    20,020
    This is the bottom line on things.

    Generation Me Me Me and too many parents wanting to be their child's friend instead of being a parent.

    There is a complete loss of manners in almost every area of life these days.

    Thank you Gaucho for doing what you can to stop that.
     
    Mapsmith, sfo1, cennas and 4 others like this.
  18. jmrich1432
    Original Member

    jmrich1432 Silver Member

    Messages:
    570
    Likes Received:
    846
    Status Points:
    770
    I don't think anyone was saying that manners and respect are ONLY for travel. Just that there's a noticable lack of them when traveling.

    I think a lot of it has to do with most people being stressed by travel which can exacerbate the rudeness. I do notice that there aren't may "pleases" and "thank yous" around in my day-to-day, but people are less noticably stressed and certainly there are fewer people per square foot!

    Definitely keep raising your kids that way. My mom NEVER let us get away without "please," "thank you," "ma'am/sir." I find it's just a habit now, whether ordering at McDonald's or checking into a hotel, it just comes out naturally. I've gotten comments on it, one lady couldn't get over how "sweet" it was that I asked her before reclining my seat. You're definitely doing your children a favor raising them this way. I'm sure they will thank you for it in the future! :)
     
  19. kellio
    Original Member

    kellio Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,718
    Likes Received:
    6,997
    Status Points:
    4,470
    My daughter was chastised by her teacher for replying Yes ma'am in class. Her teacher said it made here feel old.
     
  20. rwoman
    Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

    Messages:
    5,617
    Likes Received:
    13,489
    Status Points:
    11,070
    I think it depends on where you grow up. We were always pretty well mannered (surprisingly) but ma'am/sir was not common...Having grown up in California, I really noticed it when I moved to the east coast.

    When I taught it was always weird for me to be called "Miss..." ... I have no good reason that it bugged me, but I understood it was just that way. Now I work with people from all over Europe...it's first names because it is the simplest way for many of our team members to communicate.

    Ultimately, it comes down to being courteous and respectful of others...regardless of how you address them. :D
     
    MSPeconomist, cennas, iolaire and 3 others like this.
  21. zpaul

    zpaul Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,071
    Likes Received:
    2,816
    Status Points:
    1,445
    I very much prefer that people use my first name in almost all situations. I may be well into my adult years, but whenever I hear "Mr. Zpaul" I get a twinge and wonder what I've done wrong (except in the obvious service-provision situations).
     
  22. rwoman
    Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

    Messages:
    5,617
    Likes Received:
    13,489
    Status Points:
    11,070
    I have friends who demand their children call adults Miss or Mr "first name" which I find a little odd. ;)
     
    MSPeconomist, cennas and zpaul like this.
  23. Gaucho
    Original Member

    Gaucho Gold Member

    Messages:
    6,640
    Likes Received:
    13,407
    Status Points:
    11,795
    Are you serious...? If this happens to me, I would be requesting a meeting with the teacher. In the days we live, I find that kids need more, not less limits, rules and regulations.
     
    MSPeconomist, kellio, cennas and 2 others like this.
  24. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    6,846
    Likes Received:
    12,715
    Status Points:
    11,770
    Bad manners have been around a lot longer than Generation "fill in the blank". I'm fairly young and consider myself polite and well mannered, as are my younger brother and sister. Oddly, I'd consider my father a fairly inconsiderate and rude person, despite how well-mannered he seems to think he is.

    I can't recall the number of times I've seen absolutely atrocious manners from Baby Boomers, or even from those in the Greatest Generation. Probably about the same as I've seen from Gen X and Gen Y. I personally believe that the world we live in has promoted the erosion of manners across ALL generations. It's a bit of a myth to suggest that youth struggles more with this, IMHO. For every teenager with their earbuds blasting and rolling their eyes at people, there's a 60 year old screaming and berating a waitress somewhere.

    I don't mean to be combative or offensive at all, I just get my feathers ruffled when we start attributing behavior to people based on their "type". I've said it before and I'll say it again - You can't tell bad people on sight, we should stop trying. :)
     
  25. Gaucho
    Original Member

    Gaucho Gold Member

    Messages:
    6,640
    Likes Received:
    13,407
    Status Points:
    11,795
    Agreed.... hence my :p at the bottom... :D
     
    jmrich1432 and Tenmoc like this.

Share This Page