June 27, 2014

This Isn’t Really About Travel


As someone who travels a lot, I spend lots of time observing how people react in airports. I experience my share of flight delays and other travel issues an

d almost all the time, it’s no one’s fault. Many people who don’t travel much are pretty uptight and nervous and the slightest problem can upset them. You can see it on their faces and occasionally some make a scene. Waiting in security lines or around gates you hear snark comments and lots of people questioning why things are being done “to them”. “I’m never flying <insert any airline you wish> again.” is a phrase I hear pretty regularly. When I look around at the workers, they’re almost all reasonable people. Some are very kind and caring, some fairly neutral and once in a while you met someone who doesn’t understand customer service. These people are rare. I usually feel like I’m treated well and I think most everyone is trying their best. I don’t find travel stressful but accept that stuff happens and they really are trying to make things safe. I appreciate that.

While I do travel a lot and have a decent understanding of how things work, I know there are many more aspects and nuances to the travel industry that I don’t have a clue about.

And while this is partly about appreciating that you might not know everything, it’s also about how we fail to recognize how hard people are trying to do a sometimes difficult job with lots of variables outside their control.  Maybe the system needs reworking but the people in the system are working really hard. Sure, you’ll find exceptions but most people aren’t spending enough time acknowledging the good and the great workers that serve them everyday.

But this post really isn’t about travel is it?

*If  this post by Zac Chase seems similar, it’s because it’s a post that’s stuck with me for 4 years and was reminded of it today in the airport so I thought I’d riff off of Zac’s idea. Thanks Zac.

Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee via Compfight cc