The perks of not being a dick at the airport

Don’t be a dick.

I know there are times when the dick behaviour life seems like the only possible way to achieve the outcome you want but, after enduring two cancelled Qantas flights and one failed Jetstar flight transfer I can assure you that the non-dick life is the way to go. 

Given my airport chaos it would be easy for me to get angry about the airport staff and the cancelled flights but, instead I’m angry at passenger behaviour because in the past 48 hours I have witnessed and heard stories of humanity at its worst.

Yes, cancelled flights are shit and of course, no one ever willingly wants to spend more time sitting in an airless airport waiting to be crammed into a flying metal air box; but, getting your dick behaviour on and yelling at airport staff is not going to get you on a plane any quicker.

And, I know this because the two angry males yelling at Qantas staff last night when we were notified that our flight had been cancelled still ended up waiting in the customer service line... just like me.

And, when no other flight was available to Hobart that night the two angry males, who needed passenger intervention due to their bullying behaviour towards staff, still had to choose between a 6.30am, 8.30am or 10.30am flight the next morning... just like me.   

And, when we had to stay in Melbourne overnight the two angry males, who required security to be called on them, had to be put up in a hotel overnight... just like me. 

And, then one of the angry males chased down the hotel transfer bus and yelled at the driver for refusing to let him on the full bus... unlike me, because I was already sitting in that bus because when another male passenger noticed I was waiting in the wrong pick up spot he came over and offered me the last spot on the bus because he wasn’t in a hurry.  

And, even though the two angry males had bullied staff and yelled about how important it was for them to get to Hobart they were both on my hotel bus transfer back to the airport in the morning. Even though they had the early 6.30am Jetstar flight option they had both chosen the 8.30am flight one... just like me.

The transfer bus arrived at the airport just after 7am and, the dick behaviour I now knew too well started again. One of the angry males began yelling at the Jetstar staff at the airport because yet again he felt like he was the most aggrieved person in the world... and, yes he was probably including all the refugees in Myanmar.

I’d had enough of him and was about to say something when surprisingly the other angry male intervened. They started yelling at each other and exerting their alpha dog dominance. 

The Jetstar staff barely batted an eyelid to their behaviour. They were clearly overworked and tired but, had clearly become accustomed to dick behaviour from passengers.  

As it turned out my Qantas to Jetstar transfer wasn’t fully finalised so, I was moved between Jetstar staff in order to work something out. Each staff member apologised to me profusely and thanked me for being so calm and understanding. Yes, I was tired and annoyed at the situation but, I knew they were doing everything they could.

As I waited for a solution/flight home we got to talking about their experiences of being verbally and physically abused by passengers. Only last week, one of them had been slapped by a passenger because the passenger was angry she missed her flight. They told me how they had been called every name under the sun by disgruntled passengers and had been pushed, kicked and spat on. They said the dick passenger behaviour is only getting worse and more frequent.  

How anyone can think verbal and physical violence is acceptable is beyond me. 

As the angry man continued to angrily yell at the Jetstar staff I was sent back upstairs to the Qantas service desk to be booked onto a flight. 

When I arrived at the Qantas desk they apologised profusely for the error. They booked me on the 12.45pm flight and asked if I was alright to sit in the emergency row. I joked that I would sit anywhere on the plane if it meant being on a flight back to Hobart.  

The Qantas staff apologised again for the error and, I told them that the woman who served me was probably distracted last night by also having to diffuse the situation with the two angry males who were probably probably still yelling at each other downstairs at Jetstar. 

Aware that I now had a nearly six hour wait at the airport the staff gave me access to the Qantas lounge and, once again thanked me for being so understanding. I told them that for their sake I was happy that the error happened to me and not the angry males downstairs! 

“We love passengers like you,” the Qantas man yelled at me as I left the service desk. 

I get it, airports can be annoying and uncomfortable and cancelled flights are frustrating and inconvenient: BUT, being a dick doesn’t make a bad situation better. In fact, it actually makes it worse for everyone involved including the dick.

All the staff members I spoke to told me they never reward dick behaviour if anything, they do the bare minimum required to help them. 

I worked on the service desk at Kmart for ten years. I’ve been yelled at and spat on and once a three-year-old called me the “c” word. I learnt then to reward good customs behaviour and do what I could to reprimand bad. I’m a big believer that everyone should be forced to do a year of customer service in their formative years so, they learn the benefits of living a non-dick behaviour life. 

I still have three hours of eating free food and drinking free drinks in the Qantas Lounge ahead of me. Sure, I’m not at home yet but, the non-dick life is working as best it can for me given the situation. 

Ten minutes after arriving in the Lounge I received a call from a private number. I answer and it was a Qantas staff member informing me he had bumped me up from my emergency exit seat.

He wanted to give me a better one.  

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