Putting Up A Language Barrier

| Houston, TX, USA | Bizarre, Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

(I’m working at an information booth at an international airport. I notice a woman in line scolding her children in Spanish. I myself am Latina. When she comes up to the counter:)

Me: “¿En qué puedo servirle?” *How can I help you?*

Customer: “This is America. Speak English.”

Travel Plans Are Bus(t)

| UK | Bad Behavior, Tourists/Travel

(I’ve booked a seat on a coach to take me into town from the airport. It turns out to be a 12-seater minibus and it’s fully booked. I notice a woman pushing angrily to the front of the queue despite not having a ticket.)

Angry Woman: “The desk is closed! Why is the ticket desk closed?”

Bus Driver: “It’s a public holiday, ma’am, so you need to buy your ticket from the drivers. Unfortunately, most people have booked ahead and this bus was full a week ago. You’ll need to wait for the next one.”

Angry Woman: “What?! That’s absolutely ridiculous! How is it my fault if all these people are pushy and greedy? Let me on immediately!”

Bus Driver: “I’m sorry, ma’am. As I explained these people have already paid and you will need to wait for the next bus.”

Angry Woman: “I won’t have this! What if the next bus does this, too? How do you expect me to get to London? Walk?”

Bus Driver: “Sorry, ma’am. If the next bus is full I suggest you try [Major Coach Operator] two bays down. They run 53-seater coaches so they should be able to fit you in.”

Angry Woman: “This is the worst customer service I have ever seen! I am going to put in a big complaint and you will lose everything!”

Other Passenger: “Look, how is it the driver’s fault if you didn’t have the sense to buy a ticket like everyone else?”

Angry Woman: “I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO!” *storms off*

Lounging In The Line

| VA, USA | At The Checkout, Tourists/Travel

(I’m the customer in this story. The weather has been bad this day, resulting in a lot of cancelled and delayed flights, on top of being a holiday that is busy for flying anyway, so the check-in lines are overwhelmed with both people trying to check in and those trying to get re-booked. I notice that no one is moving in the check-in line while the desk agent is dealing with a customer. I walk up to the desk from about 20 spots back.)

Me: “Excuse me. I don’t mean to interrupt, but it seems that you’re helping this customer personally while no one is using the check-in screens. Can those of us in line to check in use the check-in screens while you handle this?”

Agent: “Sure! I’m trying to re-book her, so please step up and check in if that’s what you’re in line for.”

(I turn around to the line and speak loudly.)

Me: “If you’re just here to check in, please step up and use the check-in screens.”

(I go back to my original position in line, and it turns out most the people in line were there to be re-booked, so I reach the counter quickly as those waiting for assistance wave those of us just checking in forward. When I reach the screen and put my bag up to be tagged…)

Agent: “Ah, you again. Wait right here for a second.”

(I wait, thinking I upset them with my intrusion and am going to be kicked off my flight.)

Agent: *comes back, takes my ID, tags my bag, and then hands my ID and claim slip back to me along with another slip of paper* “Thank you for that. I’d love to hire you to stand here all evening and keep things moving, but this is the best I can do.”

(She comped me a lounge pass! Turned out that it was a LIFESAVER since MY flight ended up delayed by five hours!)