Any women travelers feel invisible?

Old Jul 26, 13, 11:39 am
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Any women travelers feel invisible?

Hello. By way of introduction, I am a 40-something female executive traveling an every-other-week SFO-EWR schedule.

My question today is whether you frequent female travelers feel at a disadvantage while traveling due to being female.

My specific questionable experiences have been with airline gate agents and flight attendants. Gate agents seem to go out of their way to work with male business travelers on seat assignments and upgrades. Despite being a very easy customer - I am always polite and friendly, never yelling or being demanding - I don't seem to get the accomodations men get.

And on the flight, I feel invisible and less valued to flight attendants. For instance, on a non-full flight where I don't get upgraded (frequent) I at least hope that the middle seat next to me in E+ remains unoccupied. I'll even switch my seat if possible last minute so that I'm next to an empty middle. But even if it works that way on paper, once on board it's different. When someone is bugging the flight attendant about wanting to trade seats right after boarding, I have literally heard more than once, "Why don't you take the middle seat next to this lady? She won't mind." (I do mind.)

Would they do that to a man? I don't think so.

Just generally interested in your experiences.

And hello!
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Old Jul 26, 13, 2:26 pm
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How's it any different in the air than on the ground?
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Old Jul 26, 13, 7:47 pm
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Nope. I never feel like I'm treated differently
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Old Jul 28, 13, 5:32 am
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Hardly ever

For the most part ...no...I don't feel like I am treated more poorly. Very rarely, when i am bumped up to First Class on a flight, the men seemed to get more service and attention....but that's quite rarely.
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Old Jul 28, 13, 12:20 pm
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Like my mom always said - speak up! If you feel you are not getting proper service let them know, a guy probably would
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Old Jul 28, 13, 7:35 pm
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I'm female and plenty old.

I don't feel any more invisible when traveling that when at home, at my doctor's etc.

I just make the best of it.
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Old Jul 28, 13, 8:36 pm
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I've been traveling for decades. I'm very self confident and self assertive (hopefully while also being very polite!) so am comfortable with the treatment I receive. My small pet peeve are the hotels who automatically hand the paperwork to my husband when the bookings are always in my name.
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Old Jul 29, 13, 7:54 am
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Originally Posted by jerseygirl View Post
Like my mom always said - speak up! If you feel you are not getting proper service let them know, a guy probably would
From one Jersey girl to another, . The squeaky wheel gets the oil. Being polite is a given, but it doesn't mean being a doormat. Assertiveness, and simply giving off a vibe of having expectations of good service, go a long way. Don't just sit there and wait for them to notice you.
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Old Jul 31, 13, 3:28 pm
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Just got back from a twelve day business trip to Sri Lanka wher I stay in a hotel that is predominantly used by holiday makers. Was really not happy that I was drequently give the worst table in the restaurant - behind a pillar, in the dark and one night with dirty dishes even though ther was a nice table on the front row of the terrace looking over the sea. It was clear that they were saving the better tables for holiday makers who were probably only there for 3 or 5 nights and will probably never be back, whereas I was there for 11 nights, visit at least twice a year. Spoke to manager one night and he agrred it was not their policy and it was unacceptable but I got no feedback or apology. Eventually went to beachside seafood restaurant which on the face of it would be more unsuitable (being very "romantic dinner for two" but actually it was great and the staff looked after me realky well,

Hotel is best in the immediate area, is very convenient, is lovely colonial one with character and so I will be back.
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Old Jul 31, 13, 6:48 pm
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Originally Posted by HelloKittysMum View Post
Just got back from a twelve day business trip to Sri Lanka wher I stay in a hotel that is predominantly used by holiday makers. Was really not happy that I was drequently give the worst table in the restaurant - behind a pillar, in the dark and one night with dirty dishes even though ther was a nice table on the front row of the terrace looking over the sea. It was clear that they were saving the better tables for holiday makers who were probably only there for 3 or 5 nights and will probably never be back, whereas I was there for 11 nights, visit at least twice a year. Spoke to manager one night and he agrred it was not their policy and it was unacceptable but I got no feedback or apology.
Question, when they brought you to the unacceptable table, did you say NO and point out another empty table you would prefer? If so, what did they do that made you accept this undesirable table?

Last edited by Katja; Aug 8, 13 at 11:05 am Reason: fixed quote
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Old Jul 31, 13, 11:55 pm
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[QUOTE=jerseygirl;21193201]
Originally Posted by HelloKittysMum View Post

Question, when they brought you to the unacceptable table, did you say NO and point out another empty table you would prefer? If so, what did they do that made you accept this undesirable table?
First night no I was so shocked (plus waitress didn't speak very good English) and I thought that the good tables were reserved as they had been previously.

Second time I said no and pointed to a better table - as I was being shown to it a British woman pushed passed me and threw herself onto a seat to grab the table for herself and her husband and kids. Waiteess didn't say anything do I went to another good table. After that I found the good seafood beachside restaurant so just ate there

It's hard enough eating alone (a lot of the time I call room service) but more so when everyone else is in holiday mood. I don't expect fawning but I don't think it's unreasonable to have some acknowledgement that I am a regular / staying more than a couple of days.
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Old Aug 1, 13, 8:15 pm
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Mixed Results

On flights I tend to command just enough attention regardless of which cabin Iím seated. No complaints to report, no concerns.

Walking into a restaurant or hotel, Iím seen but not approached (mostly when traveling abroad). Their perception being, a single presentable woman must be waiting for someone. So not invisible, just ignored. I usually have to initiate the conversation myself. But then theyíre so busy falling over themselves for their neglect that service is largely improved.
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Old Aug 2, 13, 1:17 am
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If I am going to be at a hotel for more than a day and if I am going to eat in the hotel restaurant, I'll sometimes stop by in advance and let them know where I'd like to sit. I did this recently at the Conrad Koh Samui, where there was a particular kind of seating outside overlooking the water that I preferred. This then got held for me for breakfast each day.
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Old Aug 2, 13, 8:10 am
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I think, rather than a male/female thing it is just being willing to stand up for yourself. I'm a rather straight-forward person and walk very confidently and in control of my surroundings. I think this attitude of confidence commands respect and I get treated well. If I don't, I don't tolerate it and speak up immediately
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Old Aug 4, 13, 1:16 am
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Originally Posted by Redhead View Post
I think, rather than a male/female thing it is just being willing to stand up for yourself. I'm a rather straight-forward person and walk very confidently and in control of my surroundings. I think this attitude of confidence commands respect and I get treated well. If I don't, I don't tolerate it and speak up immediately
Bingo! This isn't the age of women should be seen and not heard. . .if I don't like something I speak up and ask for what I do want (and I am not in my twenties ).

You are paying for a service. The difference between men/women isn't that one is a man or one is a woman; it's that women don't seem to feel as comfortable asking for what they desire. You can't expect people to give you something when they have no clue what you want.

Be polite but ASK for what you want - you'll be amazed at the difference (and I hope you'll report back).
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