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SECRET TRAVELER

How not to behave in an airport

At times, there can be a bit of a bad atmosphere between travelers and personnel. They’re usually in the right, but even if you think they’re mistaken, always remember that they always have the last word. Resolving these situations is rarely improved by getting angry, irritated, annoyed or unpleasant. It very rarely happens to me, but sometimes I am “that” person.

I was due to fly from Paris to Pisa via Rome. On this particular morning, I was in the best of moods and everything went well at check-in. But at security they wanted to weigh my bags. Spoiled as I am with fast track and SAS, I was a bit disgruntled, even though I knew they were in the right.

The rules say 12kg total baggage and mine was 20kg. As I had a very short connection time between flights in Rome, I didn't want to check in any of my bags. I asked them to make an exception as they would have to courier the bag to me in Tuscany if it didn’t make the connecting flight. Even so, they sent me back to the check-in desk.

There, they said no to giving me a cabin approved-tag. If they had been a bit more pleasant I would probably have agreed to check it in. But I got annoyed instead and went to the ticket office to fix an upgrade.

The women who worked there probably thought I didn't match her picture of what a business class passenger should look like and she was not particularly interested in helping me. She picked up the phone and called her boss, but there appeared to be no answer, so she put the receiver down after ten seconds and said:
“Not possible.”

All I could do was check the bag in, in other words. By now, my happy morning mood was long gone.

The woman who checked the bag was the same one as earlier and she stuck the baggage receipt onto my passport. Something that really irritates me. When you take about 100 flights a year, you end up with a big lump of glue on the back of your passport. That was the final straw for me. I uttered, with a huge dollop of irritation in my voice, the irritated and cringeworthy words:
“Don’t do that. Put it on the boarding pass. I take a hundred flights a year.” I then turned on my heel. How embarrassing was that?
“Thank you Madame/Sir!” She shouted after me.
Still irritated, I shouted the same back and walked off playing in my head classic ‘esprit de l'escalier’ thoughts as to what I actually should have said.

Once through security, I got a cup of coffee. By the time we boarded, I had calmed down and realized how unreasonable I’d been to be unpleasant to someone who's only trying to do their job. Fortunately, the same check-in person was managing boarding. I flashed my boarding pass, swallowed my pride and went over to her and said:
“Madame, I’m so sorry that I was rude before.”

She lit up and seemed to be touched, maybe because she could see how embarrassed I was. She put her hands together and gave me a very warm:
“Merci.”
I apologized again, and we had a fine moment.

What lessons can be learned from my mistakes? Well:
We are, just like everyone who works in an airport or for an airline, only human. Make sure you apologize if you do lose your temper.

You bet

My bag was the first to roll out onto the conveyor belt in Pisa.

Motorcycle taxi

I was looking for a taxi in the Paris morning rush hour traffic, which resulted in my taking a motorcycle taxi for the first time. I’m going to do that again. An incredibly good way to start the day. But more on that in another post.

Hotel prices in Paris during fashion week

Outrageous. If you haven't booked well in advance.

November 15, 2018

Secret Traveler

Age: 31
EuroBonus level: Diamond
No. of times around the world by air: 20
Total time in the air per year: 1,6 weeks (3%)
No. of countries visited: 34
Most frequent destinations: ARN, LHR/LCY, OSL, DPS
Favorite destination: The Ligurian coast
Never leaves home without: Noise Canceling Headphones (Bose QC35) and Passport

I’m an entrepreneur in Europe with the entire world as my workplace. It’s lucky I love traveling as I spend much of my working day on the move as well as my leisure time - there’s so much to see and new people to meet.

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