Surprisingly enough, the more flying I do, the more I have a hard time putting up with other passengers. No, not in terms of the traveling public losing all manners the second they step on a plane, but rather in terms of misinformation by other frequent flyers.
This past week I had a flight where I was talking to one of the lovely flight attendants in the business class galley of a 777. I quite enjoyed her telling me about her life in Huntington Beach, where she’s the only one without a Hummer and fake boobs (true story). A guy comes up to the flight attendant and asks for a cheese and cracker plate. Now mind you, this is a breakfast flight, and they simply don’t have that catered. The flight attendant was fantastic, so she got him something to nibble on from coach. As she was doing that, he started talking to me.
First he bragged about how much he flies. Yeah, he’s a total badass. He has done a whopping 30,000 miles this year and has hardly been home. Fair enough, that I can handle. Then he asks where I’m from, and I say Tampa. He mentioned how he’s taking a business trip next week to Tampa and can’t figure out whether he should fly United (the airline he flies 99% of the time), or Virgin, because they have a nonstop from Los Angeles to Tampa. Well, not only do they not have a nonstop, but they don’t even fly to Tampa. Now obviously he was looking for some feedback from me, and I didn’t know how to respond. Do I say “yeah, Virgin’s pretty cool, give them a go,” or do I say “sir, you have no clue what you’re talking about, they don’t fly to Tampa?” Of course I contained myself and went with the former. Then again, that wasn’t a huge issue.
He continued. “You know, United really treats me well for the most part, but I was frustrated a few days ago at Dulles in the Red Carpet Club. I had a flight a few days later and there were 30 empty seats in business class, and I just wanted them to put me in seat 8B because I really like it, and they refused.” Well, sir, how convenient — you should clear my upgrade because I have a favorite seat! Yet again, I didn’t know how to respond to that. Do I explain to him how ridiculous his statement is, or just agree and say “yeah, that’s unfortunate?”
Anyway, he went on and on, next explaining how an agent refused to check him in for a flight in three days, even though he knew the agent really could. On a case-by-case basis I can handle it, but it’s frustrating to always be stuck talking to frequent flyers that have no clue what the hell they’re talking about.
So what do you guys do? Correct them, just always agree, or excuse yourself whenever they start talking to you?