Air-Travel Bullying

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

Like everyone, I’ve witnessed and experienced mistreatment while flying.

It’s as bad as it looks on TV.

I recently flew from my little town to NYC, where I lived 30 years ago. I don’t remember the rage that I felt at Kennedy this time.

From the time I got off the plane, I was met with impatience, nasty looks, and irritated remarks such as, “Look at the signs!”

I felt stupid and I’m a well-educated former college professor who has traveled all over the world.

I felt alone and lost. I’m 80 years old. My husband just passed away. I traveled to be with my family.

People were barking at me to get in line and use the machine for my tickets. I didn’t understand that and I used to be able to get a Skycap.

I was worn out before I got to the gate. I accidently stood in the first-class line and was angrily told that I wasn’t in first-class. I wanted to tell the gate agent that he wasn’t acting first – class. I was livid.

The flight attendants were nice but not gracious or helpful. I was scared to ask for anything.

I sat quietly and miserably. Then I had to do it all again to get home.


No more flying in the unfriendly skies

Dear No more,

We’re sorry your trip was miserable, especially after losing your husband.

When I (Rhonda) was a flight attendant in the ’80s, it was at least civil.

Dr. Cheri has also flown all over the world and is sad to say flying has changed.

Flying will be more enjoyable if we remember:

Blame and shame does not make a good game to play – no one wins

Be civil – considerate, courteous, and caring

Come to the airport prepared – with understanding and compassion

Remember your kindergarten teachings: say thank you, please, and excuse me

Follow the rules. You know you’ll have to take your shoes off, bring an appropriate carry-on, have liquids in three-ounce containers

Read a good book or listen to relaxing music (but be mindful of announcements)

Avoid group hostility

Help others. It’s your job too.

Airport personnel:

Please be civil. You never know others’ personal stories of tragedies, angst, and sadness

Smile until it hurts

Help others. That’s why you were hired.

Air rage is like road rage. Stop it!

Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

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