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If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s rudeness and lack of manners and I encountered this on both legs of my UK/Australia trip last month.

I was very lucky to be upgraded to business class (thank you, dear Emirates) for part of my journey, and the other part was spent in cattle class.

Now, traveling between Dubai and London I had the misfortune of sitting next to the rudest, most ungrateful, demanding family (the dad was the worst) who clearly expected to be waited on hand and foot with constant attention and drinks. You guessed it, he was in economy.

It started before we even took off. He started creating a fuss because his family of four had not been seated together. Since when was that guaranteed? And I’m not sure how two people on one side of the aisle and two people directly across on the other side doesn’t constitute as together. He then asked—rather demanded—if I would move from my window seat to a seat between two other singletons in the row in front. Um, no thanks! I may be a lone traveler but I’m not a second class passenger. I’m sure I paid the same as he did.

Plenty of grumbling later, we took to the air. When the familiar smell of the food being heated began, he started shuffling and fidgeting around in his seat, muttering to wife, son and daughter-in-law. Due to not speaking the language I could only guess what his problem was now. The meals had started being handed out at one end of the plane and Mr Rude wasn’t happy with how quickly they were getting to him, so he stopped a member of cabin crew and started given her the third degree. When she politely explained that they started at one end of the plane and moved down to the other and that they were going as fast as they could, he started moaning about the service not being good enough. If you’re that important Mister, pay to fly business or first!

I must add here that the cabin crew’s patience and politeness was faultless. I know they must’ve wanted to smack him one as much as I did.

So continued seven hours of grumbles and whinges. One of the best was that his grandson’s pre-ordered child’s meal was not vegetarian. What are they supposed to be, psychic? Despite them almost immediately replacing the meal, the complaints continued.

During the flight I also witnessed this hideous man demand an exchange of the free soft toy given to his toddler grandchild, demand double drinks and double croissants at breakfast, complain for a second time that cabin crew were deliberately taking a long time to get round to him with his meal and never once say thank you for anything he was given.

The service on this flight was exceptionally good but you can’t account for who you’re sat next to. Give the cabin crew a medal. I couldn’t do their ever-smiling job when faced with such idiots.

What do you think?

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Jen Bishop

Jen Bishop

Jen was the publisher at Loyalty Media and editor of Dynamic Business, Australia's largest circulating small business magazine, from 2008 until 2012. She is now a full-time blogger at The Interiors Addict.

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