quinta-feira, 27 de outubro de 2016

How not to annoy a flight attendant

Photo: Getty Images
THOSE of us who fly regularly have grown thoroughly accustomed to the usual interactions with flight attendants. Yet because most cabin crew are so courteous and professional, few of us probably have a good sense of how they would like us to behave so that they can go about their jobs as efficiently and pleasantly as possible. Do they, for example, get annoyed when they have to respond to the hellos of each arriving passenger, or do they feel snubbed if someone doesn't greet them? Does it bother them when absolutely no one is watching as they perform the safety announcements? How about those who stretch in the aisles?

Business Insider interviewed more than 60 flight attendants to compile a list of the behaviours that annoy. There are 21 common complaints, it seems. They can be broken into three categories.

The first might be described as the kind of behaviour that would be an affront to anyone with a modicum of decency. This includes passengers hogging the overhead bins. This is equivalent to putting a bag on the train or bus seat next to you to prevent anyone from taking it. We are all guilty of it sometimes, but we should know better. (Preferable to put your small bag under the seat in front of you and lose a little legroom than make the flight attendants play baggage Tetris and delay takeoff.) Into this category also fall things like handing flight attendants trash while they are handing out food and getting up to use the lavatory when the seatbelt sign is on. And there are also common courtesies. Attendants get particularly uppity with passengers who keep their headphones on while speaking with them, as would any reasonable person outside a plane. People snapping their fingers or touching them to get their attention are, unsurprisingly, no-nos.

The second group of problematic behaviours are those that frequent flyers might not even think about. In answer to the question at the top of this post, it turns out that flight attendants do indeed get peeved when passengers don’t acknowledge them on the way in. And while asking “what do you have?” seems a reasonable response to an offer of a drink, one employee complains: “We have 100 drinks if you count alcohol, and you want me to list it? While 200 other people wait for their drinks?” (They would prefer that you check your seatback menu—something few of us do.) Other pet hates include not specifying how you take your coffee and asking for a pen to fill out annoying immigration forms.

The last group is a list of problems that might not, in fact, be so problematic. One flight attendant tells Business Insider that when she sees passengers ignoring the safety demonstration she thinks: “Be a little more respectful of crew while we are just trying to do our job.” But really, unless the cabin crew are actually dancing in the aisles, is it reasonable to expect flyers on a business trip—who may have already heard three safety announcements in the past 24 hours and have work to do—to drop everything and pay attention to a fourth? Equally, asking attendants to stow luggage (“Don't bring your heavy carry-on on board the aircraft and then ask me to put it in the overhead bin for you because it is too heavy for your to do it”) is plain rude if you are young and fit. But most people asking for help are probably not in such great shape and need assistance.

Then there is “Galley yoga”. Obviously flyers shouldn’t actually stretch out in the flight attendants’ work area. But the broader frustration crew feel about people stretching in one of the few spaces on a plane that isn't cramped is misplaced. Especially on long flights, where there is a small risk of deep vein thrombosis and a much greater risk of stiffness and discomfort if you don’t move around. Airlines often suggest stretches that can be done while seated, but flyers feel better when they move around a bit. Lizzie Post, the great-great-granddaughter and scion of legendary etiquette guru Emily Post, advises that it’s better to stretch by the bathroom than in the aisle.

Finally there is an old chestnut. “Please, please, please—stop walking into the restroom barefoot, or even with socks on,” pleads one flight attendant. Much ink has been spilled on the question of whether it is acceptable to remove one’s shoes on a flight. But feet swell during flying, and passengers should feel free to nab this one bit of comfort on an otherwise cramped and constrained journey. Indeed, a Lonely Planet survey found that 68% of travellers are fine with shoe removal onboard. In fact, the travel-guide company compiled a semi-serious “Passengers’ Airplane Behavior Bill of Rights,” and Article I states: “Passengers shall be allowed to remove shoes from their feet, but only if the aforementioned feet don’t stink or present health risks to other passengers. The right of the passenger to go to the lavatory without shoes shall not be infringed, as it is really your own business should you want to stand in the urine of others.” As a liberal newspaper, we say Amen to that. 
Title and Text: Gulliver - Business travel, The Economist, October 27, 2016

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Não use CAIXA ALTA, (Não grite!), isto é, não escreva tudo em maiúsculas, escreva normalmente. Obrigado pela sua participação!
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