I’ve recently started working in the airline industry and it has become clearer to me the current state of humanity, in particularly when it comes to air travel. Working in a people focused service position, I now have a widened perspective surrounding those who are privileged enough to take flight. Over the years we’ve seen the volatility the airline industry has experienced. From mergers, to major newsworthy incidents including plane attacks, union strikes, and yes even fights onboard the aircraft between guests and airlines employees. With all the hoopla surrounding air travel, I’ve noticed people are becoming less merciful towards others and more demanding of their “rights” as travelers. As I headed to the airport today, I decided to try the off site parking and take the shuttle in. It took a while for the driver to come pick me up at my car, but I waited patiently and didn’t give the driver grief when he finally arrived. The driver was visibly and verbally frustrated as others had not been so gracious towards him. When everyone departed the shuttle bus at the airport, I engaged the driver and gave him time to vent his work-day frustrations. Needless to say he was thankful at the end of the conversation as I had cared enough to share his frustrations even if it was just for the 5 min ride to my terminal.
While I indeed believe we should hold businesses accountable for their claims of excellent service, we should also realize that there are people ultimately running these businesses. People who have real emotions and make real mistakes. When the mistakes occur, we should think twice about our attitude towards the person who is on the receiving end of the deal who either created the error or is currently trying to fix it. Regardless of fault, we should remember that they are just trying to make it home and earn a living just like you are. This really in truly is the modus operendi that should extend beyond the travel industry into our general interactions with people; but the state of humanity is a whole ‘nother novel that one could spend volumes writing on.
As I’ve had the chance to interact with airline passengers it really saddens me that people are more concerned and upset about why their flight was cancelled, than they are getting to their destination safely. That people are more upset about no upgrade space than they are grateful they are privileged enough to even take a flight to Hawaii. That their seats don’t recline or that god forbid they have a middle seat and actually might have to lift their head up from their smartphone and engage their neighbor if they need to use the bathroom. These are merely a few things that concern me about people’s priorities and mentality when it comes to air travel.
I truly believe travel is a privilege not a basic life need or right. Thee are too many private jet mentalities boarding commerical aircrafts. If air travel is that essential and crucial to your life that you need everything at your fingertips, then it’s probably best you invest in purchasing your own plane. Because when you carry an Air Force One demeanor with you it will only make the airline industry become more vanilla. And travel is not vanilla. Travel is cosmopolitan. So let’s all just be a little more gracious when we travel.