Up in the Air Etiquette

John McMahon, Executive Vice President/Group Publisher

I never really use this column to complain or gripe on issues. I always try to portray a positive attitude and some directional advice from my observations and experiences across a wide lens of our industry. My mother always said, “If you have nothing good to say, then don’t say anything at all.” Well, I am going to break this rule, although my complaint will be balanced with a compliment. 

We have recently seen an uptick in the public eye of airline service complaints, several of them founded and real. You know which ones they are. However, other airline incidents we’ve seen broadcast across the media, usually as headliners, appear to be rather fabricated and staged by those seeking to jump on the bandwagon. Perhaps the people making all the noise are hoping for some press and financial restitution that will be given to minimize the press coverage and bad public relations.

I say, shame on those who are seeking to take advantage of these times. It’s hard to believe every major airline has decided, at the same time, to go rogue over every little misunderstanding and turn on its own customers. However, it seems that the consumer press is looking for, and openly willing, to follow up on all finger pointing. One thing we can agree on is that it makes for great reality TV. 

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I’ve flown a lot over the past two months — as I’m sure a lot of you have — and I have neither heard a single complaint on my flights nor seen anything untoward. Have you?

We all travel often and experience the shenanigans that go on with what I call unprofessional travelers who don’t understand airplane etiquette and how to treat airline employees, as well as their fellow travelers. Even I would like to throw a punch at some of these passengers, which is why I’m always amazed at the quiet and polite tolerance of the airline staff.

My preferred airline is Delta; I am always pleased with how happy they are serving me as a customer and making me feel appreciated. I know we like to give the airlines a lot of heat, but you have to remember that they are defying gravity and are getting you from point A to point B in a safe and pleasant manner. That’s a pretty big deal.

My hat is off to the entire airline industry, which is making the flight experience better and better every day.

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