Wednesday Weirdness: Grumpy people

There are some grumpy people travelling sometimes. I pray that they are not me!

It was 540am, in the Virgin Australia lounge at Melbourne airport. A passenger on learning from the check in agent, that his 615am flight to Sydney would be delayed by 15 minutes ripped into the woman serving. He said “why on earth is the second flight of the day delayed

She explained calmly that because of a massive storm in the Sydney area, Air traffic control had reduced landings into Sydney airport.

He continued to rudely berate her, telling her it was not good enough and she should be ashamed of herself and that he would be flying with Qantas (the competitor) from now on. Of course, as is often the case in these situations, the more he berated, the sillier he sounded. Someone had not clearly not got their “beauty sleep”.

I understand the importance of on-time flight departures but if you really want to be somewhere early in the morning, go the night before. Too much can go wrong in aeroplane land. If things do, go wrong – don’t blame the customer agent. When I was caught in a major snowstorm in the Northeast of the USA, I witnessed a whole line of people screaming at the poor agent. When it was my turn, I commented to the agent that she must have regretted coming to work that day and complimented her on the fact she was so powerful that she controlled the weather. “These people think I control the weather”, she said. “I know” I responded, “I have been watching and I am appalled. I am sorry

We ended up having a chat as her fingers flew over the keyboard. Guess who got the last seats out – with an upgrade. I got to the US West Coast that night! Many didn’t!

If grumpy, when travelling, avoid taking it out on the customer staff (or your spouse!)



  1. There are grumpy blog readers, too. I wish I could have that 30 seconds of my life back.

  2. While it isn’t common for flights that early to be delayed, most people on flights at that time on the goden triangle (SYD-MEL-CBR) are commuting to work or for business. They are often also high frequent flyer tier members, flying 4-8 sectors a week.

    Still, that doesn’t excuse the behaviour. It’s the DYKWIA attitude like you describe that fails to understand you catch more flies with honey.

  3. I agree: “that doesn’t excuse the behaviour. It’s the DYKWIA attitude like you describe that fails to understand you catch more flies with honey” .
    Sadly, I see it a lot when travelling.

  4. Best response I can make is thanks for your honesty! Some people love what I write and some don’t.

  5. Its worth giving customer service the benefit of the doubt and remembering another human being is on the other end of the line or phone. However, sometimes it goes both ways and you get staff that could also reach out and be a little more friendly and helpful.

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