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Line Cutting (Queue Jumping) Etiquette

Line Cutting (Queue Jumping) Etiquette

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Old Feb 12, 19, 7:29 pm
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Line Cutting (Queue Jumping) Etiquette

This is a very minor thing but it is a pet peev of mine so I thought I would ask people's opinion.

Recently i arrived to check-in at the Hilton Helsinki Airport. There was only one receptionist on duty and there was a line of about 6 people ahead of me. When I got towards the front of the line, a second receptionist came on duty and called over the person at the front of the line. The person behind me then decides to go and form a new line by himself behind this second receptionist. By the time the 2nd receptionist is finished with the first person, I am at the front of the main line. She hesitantly asks who is next and I make a point of going immediately over to her and going in front of the guy who formed his own second line. He did not say anything, he just stood behind me sheepishly and after I was checked in, she served him.

Now in my mind, I do not see why someone who arrived after me, feels he can be seen before those who were in line before him. My only hesitation was that I am in Finland and I do not know what kind of etiquette they have there. That said, had he said anything, I would have defended the fact that I was there before him.

Would you guys have done the same? FWIW, I am coming at this from a UK/US perspective - maybe in Finland the etiquette is different.

Last edited by Enigma368; Feb 12, 19 at 7:35 pm
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Old Feb 12, 19, 7:33 pm
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I may be giving the person more credit than they deserve but I expect that it was a defensive move to stop someone behind them, getting ahead by forming this new line.
I tend to judge lines by the number of people behind me rather than in front of me. If there aren't many people behind you, then your place in the queue isn't very valuable.

I don't like people doing this kind of thing - it often happens in stores where people jump ahead in this way. Normally I just imaginatively 'laser burn' a hole in the back of their head. It's the lesser of two evils.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 7:43 pm
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Originally Posted by RollAnotherFatOne View Post
I may be giving the person more credit than they deserve but I expect that it was a defensive move to stop someone behind them, getting ahead by forming this new line.
I tend to judge lines by the number of people behind me rather than in front of me. If there aren't many people behind you, then your place in the queue isn't very valuable.

I don't like people doing this kind of thing - it often happens in stores where people jump ahead in this way. Normally I just imaginatively 'laser burn' a hole in the back of their head. It's the lesser of two evils.
There were still 4 or 5 people behind this line cutter and they stayed in the main line when this guy moved over. I agree it is usually not worth making a point over but it is irritating. I suspect people do this not out of deliberate intent to be rude, but more out of lack of thought. They see an opportunity to form a new or shorter line and think they have been very clever, rather than rude.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 8:17 pm
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In this case, I donít see it as queue-jumping. Perhaps it was living in China for a while that leaves me jaded, or itís more the opportunistic sideó whatever it is, I regularly do the same as that fellow when at airport immigration.

Long story short, pay attention.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 8:34 pm
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This happens in a supermarket in the US frequently. A new line opens (line 2). If things were totally organized, #2 , #4 , #6 , #8 in line 1 would move over to line 2. However, it is not so orderly. Anyone can go to line 2. The faster ones get ahead, though if someone looks old and frail, often they will be afforded a position ahead of if they were not frail.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 9:12 pm
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This feels like bad form and probably not good line management by the staff.
What they should do is simply take the next person in the single line and not create a brand new line.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 10:18 pm
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Totally depends on the layout and setup of the lobby and reception area. Some hotels have indicidiin podiums for each staff member and without an existing long line of multiple guests appear individual queues might form, it is conceivable that someone might misinterpret such a setup (or other non-podium setups) in such a way that a new line should be formed and expected half the people behind to follow suit. As you were still at the front of your line it could be interpreted as not disadvantaging you since you're still first in your line.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 10:35 pm
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Originally Posted by OskiBear View Post
What they should do is simply take the next person in the single line and not create a brand new line.
Absolutely this is the answer. The second receptionist shouldn't "call" a new line. The second receptionist should escort the next person in the original line. Then, subsequent customers can pick between the two lines as if they were both there to begin with.

Absent this attention to logistical detail on the part of the receptionists, I'd say it's anything goes.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 11:13 pm
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IMO this is totally and completely on the hotel staff -- it is their responsibility to make it clear, with signage/barriers as needed, whether there is one single line (which is how it should be done whenever there's potential disparity in how long each customer takes to be serviced) or separate queues for each position (which is ideal only for quick-processing transactions). In this case, having failed to do that a gentle "excuse me sir, we're keeping a single line if you'd like to get back in your position; we will be with you shortly" would have been appropriate.

The customers in line are responsible for keeping it orderly, paying attention, filling in the resources (yes, if there's an unused checkin kiosk at the airport and you're at the front you must immediately go to it)

I *hate* when it's not clear where a line starts or ends, big gaps or groups of people *near* the line that aren't in it, individual lines that open and close randomly, etc.
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Old Feb 13, 19, 12:00 am
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Conceptually, the second queue did not exist until the receptionist opened the second spot. As such, the guy didn't jump a queue; there was no queue. Queues, by definition, are single entities.

Now you might have an argument that where a second Q (Q≤) opens, pre-existing status in queue one (Q) should apply (i.e. if you are 2nd in Q, you should be further ahead in Q≤ than someone who was 5th in Q). That's an entirely separate argument akin to letting a car into a flow of traffic.
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Old Feb 13, 19, 2:23 am
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Originally Posted by akl_traveller View Post
Conceptually, the second queue did not exist until the receptionist opened the second spot. As such, the guy didn't jump a queue; there was no queue.
Rather, there was no queue until he started standing there. With few exceptions, additional lines are not marked out. If someone starts standing nearer the attendant and breaks the line, that's clear queue jumping. It's different if it says something to the effect of "queue here".
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Old Feb 13, 19, 3:43 am
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Coming from the country where queue jumping is considered the worst possible crime anyone could ever permit....what you describe isn't queue jumping, it's just a situation that caused confusion and a lack of clarity on what to do
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Old Feb 13, 19, 6:21 am
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Originally Posted by ajeleonard View Post
Coming from the country where queue jumping is considered the worst possible crime anyone could ever permit....what you describe isn't queue jumping, it's just a situation that caused confusion and a lack of clarity on what to do
Not to belabor the point, but photo of the reception is below. In my case, there was a single receptionist at the center and we were all queued behind her, and behind us was the main entrance. A second staff member came on duty to the right (where you can see staff members in the photo) and called the next person in our line over. The person behind me then went over there and stood behind the person who had been called over (same place as the 2 customers in the photo). Everyone else in front of me and the 4-5 other people behind me in the queue stayed put.

I guess this could have just been confusion but I have seen behaviour like this called out before in the UK. Anyway, again a very minor thing, just curious whether anyone would do what I did. Equally, do people think he could have had a valid argument against me for going ahead of him?

And to be fair to the staff involved, they did basically call me over instead of the guy standing at their desk, although they looked confused.

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Old Feb 13, 19, 6:39 am
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This is way, way, way overthought.

If the property has a single queue system so that customers are "fed" from the front of a single line, that is the setup. But, if there is no such rope line or other barrier set up, one stands in line for the FD person one believes is likely to become available first. Presuming the latter scheme, when the second FD person opened her station, all OP needed to do was move into that line if that is what he wished. Always worth remembering that the move could turn into a 15-minute wait while that FD person deals with a difficult customer.
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Old Feb 13, 19, 7:55 am
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Originally Posted by Enigma368 View Post
This is a very minor thing but it is a pet peev of mine so I thought I would ask people's opinion.
The fact that you chose to even post this says a lot about how you interact with other people. And the manner in which others (myself included) choose to respond says a lot about THEM.

I hope this incident doesn't permanently sour you on the whole human race. IOW, deal with it in an adult manner.
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