Advocates Of The Bathroom Bill Will Not Be Pleased

| Canada | Working | December 19, 2016

(I am a 12-year-old girl, and I fly to Newfoundland by myself, so I travel as an unaccompanied minor. I have to transfer planes, and while I wait for my next flight I am herded together with some other UMs. They are all boys. I have short hair, a very unique name, and wear gender-neutral clothes. We need to go to the bathroom, so an airport employee accompanies us. The boys go into the men’s room; I head for the women’s room.)

Airport Employee: “Where are you going? You have to stay with the others!”

Me: “…to the bathroom.”

Airport Employee: “It’s right there. Didn’t you see where the others went?”

Me: *starting to get embarrassed, because this sort of thing happened to me all the time* “I’m just… going to the bathroom.”

Airport Employee: *looks at me more carefully* “Oh. Oh! Sorry; go ahead!”

Has Some Baggage About Who Gets Their Baggage

| Amsterdam, Netherlands | Romantic | November 28, 2016

(My husband and I just landed in Amsterdam and are waiting for our luggage. The luggage belt did not start moving yet, so we just sit there and talk. Note that we travel quite a lot together and my husband actually works for an airline.)

Me: *looking at the belt as it slowly starts to move* “I wonder who is the lucky b*****d who always gets his luggage first. It’s the people in Business Class, right?”

Husband: “No, it’s pure luck. It depends what luggage comes out of the plane first.”

(As we sit there and wait, the first suitcases appear and, lo and behold, the very first two suitcases are ours.)

Husband: “Well, that certainly determines who the ‘lucky b*****d’ is.”

New Flights Of Unreason

| Washington, DC, USA | Working | November 24, 2016

(I’m trying to get on a flight for work to State College, PA. I have to be there by 7 pm for sound-check; the flight is scheduled to take off at 12:30 and land at 2 pm. At 12 pm, they announce a five-minute delay. Knowing that it’s NEVER a five-minute delay, I approach the desk.)

Me: “I just wanted to talk to someone about getting on another flight; I MUST be in State College this evening for work.”

Airline Employee: “Oh, it’ll be fine. We’ll just be a few minutes delayed.”

(Every few minutes, they announce another short delay. By 1 pm, I go back to the desk.)

Me: “Hi, I really need to talk to someone about getting on another flight.”

(At that moment, a VERY cranky passenger storms up and interrupts me to shout about the delay. Airline employee turns away from me to deal with it. He continues to rant, and another employee comes over. Now there’s a bunch of us in line, and everyone’s serving that one guy. I give up and return to my seat. At 1:30 pm, I return to the desk and again, just as I am about to be served, cranky man jumps up and starts yelling. At 2 pm, I try AGAIN, and by now there are FIVE airline employees serving him and everyone else is being ignored. Finally, at 2:30, I stand my ground.)

Me: “OK, the last time I checked, I was told it would be ‘just a few minutes until the plane took off. That was more than two hours ago. I fly tens of thousands of miles with you folks every year and I know you have other flights into this town – I NEED to get on the next flight. Can you help me?”

Airline Attendant: “Sorry, miss, but the last flight to State College left an hour ago. Why didn’t you say something sooner?”

Me: “…”

(I managed to get into town and to the venue with less than 20 minutes to spare.)

She Is Not Safe In Sound

| West Yorkshire, England, UK | Working | November 24, 2016

(My parents are waiting to go through airport security in the UK. My mother is profoundly deaf and uses a cochlear implant. Without it, she can only hear loud, indistinct noises – sirens, drills etc. Even with it, she has trouble hearing in the airport. Because part of the implant is internal and would set off the alarms, she has to use a different security gate without her aids before getting patted down. My dad explains this to the security officer.)

Officer: “You won’t be able to use this gate with your wife; you have to join the normal queue.”

Dad: “Could she wait until I’ve been checked through, so that I can help on the other side when she comes through?”

Officer: “No. Don’t worry; it’s fine. I know what I’m doing. You join the queue and I’ll just process her. It won’t take very long.”

Dad: “She won’t be able to hear anything you say when she’s removed her implant and hearing aid, so would you be able to sign or write any instructions you have for her? Or wait until I’ve come through?”

Officer: “Yes, yes. Don’t worry, it’ll be fine.”

(My dad reluctantly joins the queue, while the officer takes my mother over to the other gate. She removes her aids and puts them in a box, then goes through the scanner. A DIFFERENT officer comes and does a vague shooing wave at her. Confused, she goes back through the scanner and returns to him. He starts picking up her arms like a doll to do the pat down (instead of demonstrating what he wants her to do). The original officer is just stood staring at them.)

Officer #2: “Do you have any other metal objects on you? Any loose change? Are you wearing a belt buckle?”

Dad: *from the line* “Excuse me! My wife is deaf; she can’t hear what you’re saying!”

(Officer #2 continues in an absurdly slow, loud voice. He stops his pat down and is pointing at her handbag. My mother looks at my dad, completely bewildered and panicked.)

Dad: *frustrated* “Can you at least give her the aids back, please?”

(Officer #2 ignores him, but my dad manages to get to the front of the queue, where he’s able to go and assist my mother with the irritated Officer #2 and pointless Officer #1. My mother was upset and embarrassed for quite a while afterwards. On the way home from holiday, the Italian security staff were very helpful and accommodating. I guess they have more understanding with language barriers?)

Need Help Doing Their Help Job

| Shanghai, China | Working | November 5, 2016

(I am taking a flight that transits in Shanghai. However, I’m informed that my second flight from Shanghai was changed to fly out earlier, which makes it impossible for me to catch it in time. I arrive in Shanghai and go to the information desk to ask where the transit counter is.)

Me: “Excuse me, I just missed my flight. Could you tell me where the transit counter is so I can get a new ticket?”

Employee: *doesn’t look at me, grunts, sneers, and rudely waves me off*

Me: *louder* “Excuse me, could you please help me?”

Employee: “NO!” *sneers at me again and flaps her hand at me*

Me: *annoyed and tired at this point, I very loudly reply* “Wow, THANK YOU so much! You’ve been so helpful! Really, fantastic customer service!”

(I heard laughter behind me from a Chinese family who witnessed the exchange. The dad offered to help and was able to ask another employee in Mandarin where I should go. I really wonder what the lady at the information desk thought her job was.)

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