Too polite for GlobalFirst...

Old Aug 6, 12, 9:16 pm
  #1  
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Too polite for GlobalFirst...

Recent and one of a kind experience on GlobalFirst.

Two hours into a very long international flight, the lead FA approached me and asked "I do not know if you fly international first class a lot" and then proceeded to explain to me helpful details such as water being available throughout the flight, etc.

This was done in a manner which clearly implied that I apparently was "mis-placed" in GlobalFirst. The question was not hostile, rather a bit "concerned" with me being apparently lost - but clearly mis-placed. And, no, I do not want compensation (had to mention this)... All I did was to politely respond with a "thank you".

Background:
- Lifetime flights: 1400+
- Lifetime flights in premium cabins, incl. international first: 500+

So why "too polite"? Because I was raised to say thank you and please every time it is warranted. Which is something I especially do when sitting in an aluminum tube 35,000 feet up in the air. Some may consider this excessively polite, to me it is an often long lost standard of civility.

Apparently being polite is so usual that no self-respecting true first class passenger would stoop down to such behavior in GlobalFirst (some FT members are clearly different, and some even hand out Tootsie Pops...).

Could it have been another reason? I was dressed like on 100s of other - non-commented on - premium flights, I was capable of operating my seat on my own, found my way to the bathroom on my own, etc. So not really.

It just makes me wonder what kind of crew UA puts onto GlobalFirst flights (a look at the manifest would have given the crew a hint that I was not a first time flyer). And it makes me wonder what passes for standard behavior these days in first class if being polite elicits such a response.

No wonder GlobalFirst is the domain of upgraders, non-revs and in my case FF miles burners (saver award, of course). Let's see what happens if I behave all moody on the return trip...
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Old Aug 6, 12, 9:24 pm
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I am guessing you wished to be ignored and forgotten for the flight?

Sounds like the FA was just making sure al things were good with you. Maybe not so subtly, but done nevertheless.

Maybe you are overreacting a bit?
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Old Aug 6, 12, 9:26 pm
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I'd probably reply with: "Why thank you, I usually fly Swiss when I fly First Class. Do you have that lemon-mint sorbet between courses too?"
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Old Aug 6, 12, 9:29 pm
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You're looking way too far into this. Go on living your life, this one's not worth it.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 9:31 pm
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Sounds like this FA is just the kind the airline should employee: one who cares about passengers.

A simply response could have been, "That's very kind of you to be thoughtful. I actually do a great deal of flying, often up front. Its said these days that not enough people are polite. I am really glad that UA is smart enough to employ someone like you who obviously cares about passengers. I bet you sometimes get rude passengers nonetheless."

Or perhaps she or he was just trying to making small talk with you while quietly wishing the s/he wasn't in a professional situation so that s/he could more directly flirt.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 9:32 pm
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Sounds like a pro-active, nice FA. You were right to say thank you.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 9:32 pm
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You're complaining because the FA was being nice to you? Words escape me...
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Old Aug 6, 12, 9:32 pm
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Originally Posted by BlueZebra View Post
I am guessing you wished to be ignored and forgotten for the flight?

Sounds like the FA was just making sure al things were good with you. Maybe not so subtly, but done nevertheless.

Maybe you are overreacting a bit?
You may want to try SQ, LX, OZ first class cabins. In general, they offer real first class experiences. Including cabin staff that would never condescend to a passenger, however unwittingly. If crew would feel that a pax would need assitance, it would be delivered with with grace and style. And in my experience, thew crew reads up on the manifest. As a result, I have been greeted like a long lost relative with FAs referencing the last flight they took with me (including remembering how I take my coffee). UA is a long ways away from this...

And no, this was not helpful. It was clearly delivered in a way that implied that I was unaware what was going on in a "first class". No other passenger was offered this "assistance". But I am not surprised. Subtly seemingly has gone out of the window both for crews and Pax.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 9:33 pm
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Maybe she saw you fumble for the remote or some such thing and thought she'd be proactive. I would not spend 10 seconds thinking about this.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 9:33 pm
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That seems like a really odd way to start dialog with a passenger.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 9:34 pm
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How about just a bottle of water with a cap on top (Like on my SQ flight a few weeks ago) so I don't have to wake up soaked with a half empty ( or half full )
glass that has sloshed around next to me for 11 hours?
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Old Aug 6, 12, 9:36 pm
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Originally Posted by travelcomments View Post
You may want to try SQ, LX, OZ first class cabins. In general, they offer real first class experiences. Including cabin staff that would never condescend to a passenger, however unwittingly. If crew would feel that a pax would need assitance, it would be delivered with with grace and style. And in my experience, thew crew reads up on the manifest. As a result, I have been greeted like a long lost relative with FAs referencing the last flight they took with me (including remembering how I take my coffee). UA is a long ways away from this...

And no, this was not helpful. It was clearly delivered in a way that implied that I was unaware what was going on in a "first class". No other passenger was offered this "assistance". But I am not surprised. Subtly seemingly has gone out of the window both for crews and Pax.


Good grief. I am often surprised by the lengths to which people will go to be offended.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 9:39 pm
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My guess is that you had a F/A who wanted to make sure that each and every person on board the aircraft received that kind of attention.

When I see that statement that you quoted about being your first time or not, it read to me as a blanket statement so she could properly explain it to everyone. My guess is that she went to everyone at some point throughout the beginning stages of your flight and explained in detail the service that was available.

And for some ultra top tier folks, their travel keeps them domestic, so even if they glanced at the manifest doesn't necessarily reflect that they fly nothing but Global First cabins either.
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Old Aug 6, 12, 9:42 pm
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Oh, FlyerTalk...

Perhaps the FA was just being friendly? Sigh...
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Old Aug 6, 12, 9:43 pm
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The FA is likely a FTer and has learned through her presence here that people will complain about any lack of courtesy. As a result she goes out of her way to not assume anything and cover all possible grievances.

Now she's really in a pickle.
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