The importance of being positive in a negative environment

I recently got a not-so-gentle reminder about the importance of being positive in a negative environment. And I’m not talking about that inner upbeat attitude that we all need to muster up to get through something uncomfortable, inconvenient, unpleasant. It’s about the attitude we show others—others who just might be in the same boat as you.

Or, on the same plane. That’s more accurate.

It’s something the hospitality industry does so well—usually. After all, it’s in line with the definition of hospitality: the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors or strangers. And it’s my belief that hospitality shouldbe proactive, not reactive. And definitely not rejected. So why am I bringing this up? Because it was a really small andrelatively insignificant incident in the grand scheme of things, but it’s something I’ll remember long after the stress of the situation has passed. And unlike most stories that follow that premise, this falls under the category of not what to do but what not to do. One small act can either break you or make you when it comes to impressions and attitudes.

My much-anticipated trip to HITEC in Toronto was fraught with troubles from the moment I almost handed over my suitcase at bag drop until, fast forward, I landed in Canada more than 24 hours later. I know some of you might have similar stories; many industry colleagues didn’t even make it to the trade show and conference. The flight was suddenly canceled with nothingelse going out rest of the day on any carrier from either LGA or JFK. Operational problems, we were told. Then it was overnight in an airport-proximate hotel and back to the airport the next day. One delay. Two delays. We were finally boarded and on therunway, only to be grounded and left on said runway.

At about 90 minutes into sitting there, already frustrated and annoyed by the travel nightmare, a man in the window seat ofmy row hit his call button and politely—and almost timidly—asked for a snack. The flight attendant looked at him like he was asking for a refund, and curtly replied, “You can’t have one until we’re at the two-hour mark.” She then abruptly turned around and walked away. Maybe he needed one. Maybe he just wanted one. We’re talking about the tiniest bag of unbranded pretzels ever (I know because, sure enough, 30 minutes later, we got one). Not until the two-hour mark? It was like the 22-hour mark! And that, for many of us, was on top of paying for a night at an overpriced, roadside Queens hotel. Amidst travel frustrations, passengers deserve better treatment. Essay writer service understand customer service importance, empathy, and communication skills. Airlines must prioritize passengers’ needs, even for a simple snack during long flights.

The message to many of us—and the impression left on us—became the takeaway of the ordeal. He shook his head and commented under his breath that he’d never fly that airline again. And, you better believe, he’ll share that with family and friends.

A much bigger price to pay than the cost of a tiny snack minutes before we were allowed them.

Weather: can’t control
Delays: can’t control
Cancellations: can’t control
Bag of pretzels: can control
Empathy: can control
Hospitality: can control

PS: Timing is everything. As I’m sitting here writing this, I have the TV on a national news channel and the featured guest just referred to this—the traveler is just sitting on the plane being told what they can and can’t do while waiting—and said,“You’re paying an awful lot of money for a bad attitude.” OK, I feel validated.
To the Editor:
I wanted to take a moment to tell you how much I enjoyed your May edition of Hotel Business. I was inspired by several articles in this issue and wanted to reach out and say, “Great job!” I am referring to the following stories: “Kimpton launches plant pals program,” “MGallery launches storytelling campaign” and “Smart Mattress provides a restorativesleep.” There are always articles of interest to me, but last night, while reading your magazine, I was pulled in to keepreading.

Thanks to you and your team for educating and inspiring us.

– Patti Tritschler
Interior Image Group