Travel blogger Christopher Elliott is wrapping up his tenure over at Frommers site. In his final post he takes a parting shot specifically at us Flyertalkers:
But how does that explain the childish behavior of the entitled elites -- you know, the ones who lurk on sites like Flyertalk or one of the mileage blogs littered with scammy affiliate links? Opposite problem there: Like the children of dictators, these super-platinum elites are given everything that the travel companies took away from us, the longsuffering passengers in the back of the aircraft.
While we have no room to move in the back, they complain when their lie-flat sleeper seat doesn't recline all the way. They're told, "You're more special than everyone else, you should expect the world." The result is a cabin full of spoiled babies who fire off complaint letters to their airline when the Chardonnay isn't chilled to the right temperature.
They believe they are God's gift to travel, but they are not. They are jerks.
You don't have to be. If you're lucky enough to sit in a first-class seat, be grateful. Thank your employer, who allowed you to collect enough miles for the upgrade. Thank the flight attendant who has to put up with the other whiners in the forward cabin. Thank a member of the armed services who fought so you could live in a free country where you can afford to buy that upgrade.
His mistake is he puts all Flyertalkers into that category, which is of course not correct. Some? Most certainly, but that also applies to some of any group of travelers. All? Certainly not.
He's written for years how he's pissed off frequent flyers, indeed it's probably the only reason people actually read him, to see if he's pissing them off or not
Over the years, my incendiary writings have offended everyone from airline pilots to card-carrying frequent fliers to travel agents. I make no apologies for ticking them off.
But nothing -- nothing! -- comes close to the bite of angry pet owners.
He gets pissed at the crew when they kick him out of the crew rest row. He gets pissed at people that ask him to get out of the way on the planes because he's blocking the aisle dilly dallying with his kids. He's pissed at everybody.
Though sadly in this case, he's probably not that far off, Flyertalk is a totally different place than it use to be.
Never heard of this person before. But, it's all relative, no? To someone who has to walk a few km to get clean water, the problems of economy-class travellers must sound rather frivolous.
There are some "worst airline ever - they didn't have the right type of port after the meal!" threads, but there also seem to be a lot of posters who think you should be grateful whenever the flight crew doesn't beat you.
The ones that get to me are the ones who not only get worked up into an hysterical frenzy over events that are likely to kill one person every several hundred million years, but demand that I whip myself into the same hysterical frenzy, and say I'm an idiot if I don't.
I think his farewell rant says a lot more about his character than anyone else's. If I've learned anything from flying frequently and reading FT, it's don't sweat the small stuff. If you're going to get infuriated because the person in front of you reclines or the FA asks you to sit in your assigned seat, perhaps air travel is not for you. I find that if you're considerate and civil while flying, people will usually be considerate and civil in return.
I've read Chris Elliott's columns on and off over the years, and have always been puzzled as to why someone who seems to detest travel as much as he does decided to make writing about it a career. I hope he moves on and finds something to do that doesn't enrage him so much.
While we have no room to move in the back, they complain when their lie-flat sleeper seat doesn't recline all the way. They're told, "You're more special than everyone else, you should expect the world."
Ummm, no. People pay a premium for a certain product and simply expect to get what they paid for. I suppose Mr. Elliot would say someone who buys a new Mercedes and expects it to run better than an old Hyundai thinks they're "more special than everyone else".
Never heard of the guy before but he sounds a little bitter and jealous to me.