Tuesday, October 10, 2006

flying tips & tricks

I think I'm going to write a book on social etiquette on an airplane...geared mostly for the asian people. I was sitting next to a Korean man who thought farting and sleeping in MY space was ok. seriously...he farted the ENTIRE trip. and it was one of those silent but deadly ones.

There was an old chinese guy (with the full on 2 foot grey foo man chu beard on the chin) sitting in the aisle just next to me who kept hocking up the biggest loogies. I mean, the whole cabin turned around and looked at the old man with horrified expressions on their faces.

Lastly, there was a young asian american dude who was snoring so loud that even my iPod couldn't manage to block. It was maddening. I kept thinking about hitting him with something but i didn't want to get arrested!

Needless to say, I did my best to separate myself from those people. They were all nuts!

Anyhow, some tips/tricks for flying in today's wonderful, hospitable climate:
1.) If you've missed your connection or there are problems with your ticketing, don't immediately start to yell at the ticketing agent. (S)He's doing the best they can for you. They don't want you stuck anymore than you want to BE stuck. REMAIN CALM.

2.) If you've missed your connection and it was the LAST flight out for the evening, figure out what it is you want to do. Unfortunately, the ticketing agent will be unable to pull a flight out of their butts, so just deal with it. Again, don't get snippy with agent because they don't want to help people who treat them like CRAP. Calmly and politely tell the agent what you want to have in replacement for your troubles. And say it with a SMILE.

3.) Keep things light because chances are, you'll be stuck with a lot of people who are in your situation. The big difference is that the ticketing agent will want to help the person who (1) knows what they want and that they are reasonably able to provide, (2) they want to feel like they've been able to help at least one person with what they need, (3) they just want to help someone who is actually being nice to them. BUILD RAPPORT THROUGH JOKES AND LAUGHTER, because face it, people want to help people they actually like and you'll probably be the only one who does.

I'm not saying these things will 100% give you what you want/need but I have to say, while I didn't get upgraded on my flights, they did change my routing to more favorable times/dates. They also gave me some special seats in coach - they were business class seat, complete with foot rests. Everyone was pretty jealous. I think it was an American Airlines 767-300 plane. Row 17... i'll add a photo of the seat later. my blogger is having troubles uploading at work.

Anyhow, although I was the last person up to the stand, I was the first person to be helped because I knew what I wanted; I was polite, calm, and smiling; and I was trying to keep things in perspective with the group - "hey, at least you weren't trying to fly back home to australia like those two over there..." So, because i was the first person to be helped, i also got the last remaining hotel room at a Westin in Milbrae (yes, i had to pay a discounted $75 but it was worth feeling refreshed and ready to go the next morning - they don't pay for Air Traffic Control (ATC) problems...or weather...or any other acts of God...I'm sure they don't pay for "mechanical problems" either. I'm not sure what they're actually responsible for anymore!!).

Anyhow, i'll post more about the trip to NYC later...


  1. okay, first of all, i expect a call when you take miles out for that celebration dinner.. you're paying, right???
    second, how does a person that goes on some many vacations receive an award for 'service excellence'???? don't you actually have to work to get a service award???
    all kidding aside, congrats on the award. now i really don't want to hear about all the worries about getting fired.

  2. jen-

    so basically your advice is play up the fact you are a girl and flirt with the ticketing agent.

    i see it must work wonders because they stick you next to the BEST passengers...as you described!

  3. no, that was on the return...it was a woman. there was no hope...


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