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Differences in Passenger Clientele by airport

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I was flying a long haul flight two times in the last two weeks ORD-FRA and FRA-JFK and I observed something that I wonder if you guys have noticed for other airports.

 

The American passengers out of Chicago were mostly from the Midwest with a handful of people from the west coast, and east coast with connections. But on the whole everyone was very pleasant and were courteous of each other. From where I was everyone tried to not recline to the maximum so everyone had some degree of comfort. Helped others stow items in the overhead. And obeyed the flight attendant without question.

 

Meanwhile on the flight to the United States to New York was completely different. It seamed like everyone but a handful reclined the seats as far back as possible, moved items in the overhead so their items would be closer, and all around complained about everything. The passengers regularly argued with the crew over small things. One person thought they should be able to land with their seat fully reclined, another needed to finish a phone call while taxing, among many other things.

 

From my experience in Portland, OR origination/termination flights people tend to be excessively helpful, nice, and friendly.

 

So here is my question that I'm opening up for lively debate.

 

Do different airports have different clientele and how do they act generally? Is this brought on by a cultural surrounding of the city, region, or national level or is it the luck of the draw?

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I've had similar experiences. When I flew into NC and out of SC this summer (for camp), people seemed to be much friendlier. This was even the case with the TSA officers. A bunch of them even remarked on how much they loved my t-shirt. You NEVER experience stuff like that at JFK.

Edited by cpotisch

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Welcome to the world of "New Yawkers". I was born and raised around there. "Southern Gentleman" is a non-term.

 

On the rails, I can recall an incident a few years ago at Lorton when a Caddy pulled up five minutes after closing. Honking the distinctive Caddy horn, watching "heated" discussion, and someone making a certified jerk of themselves.

 

Meanwhile, back at Miami International last January, some NY'ers were less than nice about the crowds waiting for an oversold flight to ORD. They were boarded, and probably just as well.

 

Now what were passengers going to EWR doing on a flight to ORD? "Such a deal" they told me at MIA they got from one third party site or the other.

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Or out on a points run, the Traveler style :D - though in that case they would have done better boarding a flight to SFO :P

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Agreed, It pretty much reflects the culture where the airport is based. But it isn't just about things like this. I've always held the belief that people think much differently, often based on the culture of their geographic location,

 

One of the things I noticed when heading out to college in the Chicago area (from NY/NJ) is that people in the midwest handle "trust" a lot more differently than in the Northeast. In the NY/NJ area, you start off not having the trust of others and having to earn it... but once earned, it's difficult to lose, unless you really do something moronically stupid. In the mid-west, you don't have to earn the trust, initially. You are trusted from the beginning. But God help you if you ever lose that trust....

 

Things like that....

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One of the things I noticed when heading out to college in the Chicago area (from NY/NJ) is that people in the midwest handle "trust" a lot more differently than in the Northeast. In the NY/NJ area, you start off not having the trust of others and having to earn it... but once earned, it's difficult to lose, unless you really do something moronically stupid. In the mid-west, you don't have to earn the trust, initially. You are trusted from the beginning. But God help you if you ever lose that trust....

 

Things like that....

 

I experienced a similar especially trusting dynamic in NC. The employee from the camp who picked me and one other camper up from the airport (Asheville) was offered a plastic bag of free cherries from a random stranger in the terminal, which he accepted and ate happily. I can't imagine anyone in NY or NJ would accept cherries from a random stranger in an airport in a million years.

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Not sure about the basic premise. No area is monolithic and travelers are individuals with their own sense of what is or isn't appropriate. On top of that, at airports you're inevitably going to be dealing with visitors from somewhere else.

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Many have observed the "miracle" that occurs on flights from Florida to New York, in which half the passengers need wheelchairs to get to the gate for departure -- but on arrival, they're in good enough shape to barge off the plane under their own power.

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Maybe the flight departure times have more to do with passengers moods than the airport's location?

 

An early morning or late evening departure might make tired folk more inclined to recline, and if 90% are reclining, why decline to recline too?

 

Ed

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I deal with the traveling public almost every week, and people are worse behaved now, then 20 years ago. I think this is partly because flying is simply not fun anymore, between cramped planes, TSA, etc. I also don't see it ever getting any better. It's controversial, but if we charged for overhead bin space, and did not serve alcohol on the plane or at the airport, it would go a ways to helping... Most of the issues I've had in the cabin, have been related to those two things.

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I deal with the traveling public almost every week, and people are worse behaved now, then 20 years ago. I think this is partly because flying is simply not fun anymore, between cramped planes, TSA, etc. I also don't see it ever getting any better. It's controversial, but if we charged for overhead bin space, and did not serve alcohol on the plane or at the airport, it would go a ways to helping... Most of the issues I've had in the cabin, have been related to those two things.

 

I haven't personally witnessed an alcohol related issue that was serious, but I would say that the smoothest boarding I've experienced was on Spirit. The charge for a carry-on bag and a strict adherence that only paid carry-on meant there were maybe 10 pieces on the entire flight and nobody fighting over space. Also few were standing in the aisles loading the bins, nor hunting around the cabin for available bin space.

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I deal with the traveling public almost every week, and people are worse behaved now, then 20 years ago. I think this is partly because flying is simply not fun anymore, between cramped planes, TSA, etc. I also don't see it ever getting any better. It's controversial, but if we charged for overhead bin space, and did not serve alcohol on the plane or at the airport, it would go a ways to helping... Most of the issues I've had in the cabin, have been related to those two things.

I haven't personally witnessed an alcohol related issue that was serious, but I would say that the smoothest boarding I've experienced was on Spirit. The charge for a carry-on bag and a strict adherence that only paid carry-on meant there were maybe 10 pieces on the entire flight and nobody fighting over space. Also few were standing in the aisles loading the bins, nor hunting around the cabin for available bin space.

 

Boarding may be somewhat efficient, but I will go to extraordinary ends to avoid Spirit. The waiting area has always been completely overcrowded. The staff are rude and unhelpful. The seats are cramped. One time during the onboard safety demonstration, one of the Flight Attendants intentionally dumped a pile of oxygen masks on one of the passengers. She could have put that pile on the ground, but no, being Spirit she specifically chose to dump them in a passenger's lap for safekeeping during the demonstration.

 

I hate Spirit so much. :angry:

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It's funny I love Spirit. I always find a fun loving crew, clean aircraft, and easy boarding process. And no one reclines into you which is lovely.

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If you go to Europe dont ride Ryan Air!

 

They're the ones who proposed Pay Toliets and taking seats out so the passengers could be "Strap Hangers", just like on Subways and Commuter Rail!😥

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I deal with the traveling public almost every week, and people are worse behaved now, then 20 years ago. I think this is partly because flying is simply not fun anymore, between cramped planes, TSA, etc. I also don't see it ever getting any better. It's controversial, but if we charged for overhead bin space, and did not serve alcohol on the plane or at the airport, it would go a ways to helping... Most of the issues I've had in the cabin, have been related to those two things.

I'm having a difficult time following the logic of your post. Things are worse today than before, but we if we just turn the screws a little tighter in the same direction, then things will get better again? If we want flying to return to the much more relaxed and enjoyable flying experience from 20 years ago then maybe we should revert to the much more relaxed rules and regulations from 20 years ago. I realize that a more relaxed attitude toward modern travel may be hard sell to worrywart homebodies, but for those of us who travel regularly it would be a welcome change indeed.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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Ryan Air has an odd way of seeking publicity by publishing what amount to total BS. :wacko:

 

As for mundane issues of unsavory passenger behavior.... all of that will go away if we simply stopped flying altogether too. :help:

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It's funny I love Spirit. I always find a fun loving crew, clean aircraft, and easy boarding process. And no one reclines into you which is lovely.

Hmm. In that case I guess the real question is whether you've always gotten incredibly lucky on Spirit or if I've been incredibly unlucky when I've flown Spirit...

 

You know, either way, I still hate Spirit. ;)

Edited by cpotisch

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I deal with the traveling public almost every week, and people are worse behaved now, then 20 years ago. I think this is partly because flying is simply not fun anymore, between cramped planes, TSA, etc. I also don't see it ever getting any better. It's controversial, but if we charged for overhead bin space, and did not serve alcohol on the plane or at the airport, it would go a ways to helping... Most of the issues I've had in the cabin, have been related to those two things.

I'm having a difficult time following the logic of your post. Things are worse today than before, but we if we just turn the screws a little tighter in the same direction, then things will get better again? If we want flying to return to the much more relaxed and enjoyable flying experience from 20 years ago then maybe we should revert to the much more relaxed rules and regulations from 20 years ago. I realize that a more relaxed attitude toward modern travel may be hard sell to worrywart homebodies, but for those of us who travel regularly it would be a welcome change indeed.

 

 

It's been a known fact that alcohol is one of the main factors in air rage cases. I've seen it many times. The relaxed rules and regulations of 20 years ago are gone forever. This isn't about tightening the screws, it's about dealing with the conditions of air travel today, which are never going to go back to the "good ole days," sadly....

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It's funny I love Spirit. I always find a fun loving crew, clean aircraft, and easy boarding process. And no one reclines into you which is lovely.

Hmm. In that case I guess the real question is whether you've always gotten incredibly lucky on Spirit or if I've been incredibly unlucky when I've flown Spirit...

 

You know, either way, I still hate Spirit. ;)

The big key to Spirit is having the right mindset. Always remember you get what you pay for. And with that in mind it isn't bad

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I deal with the traveling public almost every week, and people are worse behaved now, then 20 years ago. I think this is partly because flying is simply not fun anymore, between cramped planes, TSA, etc. I also don't see it ever getting any better. It's controversial, but if we charged for overhead bin space, and did not serve alcohol on the plane or at the airport, it would go a ways to helping... Most of the issues I've had in the cabin, have been related to those two things.

I'm having a difficult time following the logic of your post. Things are worse today than before, but we if we just turn the screws a little tighter in the same direction, then things will get better again? If we want flying to return to the much more relaxed and enjoyable flying experience from 20 years ago then maybe we should revert to the much more relaxed rules and regulations from 20 years ago. I realize that a more relaxed attitude toward modern travel may be hard sell to worrywart homebodies, but for those of us who travel regularly it would be a welcome change indeed.

It's been a known fact that alcohol is one of the main factors in air rage cases. I've seen it many times. The relaxed rules and regulations of 20 years ago are gone forever. This isn't about tightening the screws, it's about dealing with the conditions of air travel today, which are never going to go back to the "good ole days," sadly....

Drinking may seem like an easy and obvious foe to vanquish but imbibing to the point of inebriation predates air rage by centuries. I don't doubt that it's an issue for you but access to alcohol has yet to cause me any problems. If anything the continuing degradation of the typical flying experience makes the option to drink your way to a slightly more comfortable seat even more valuable. That's not to say that I've never witnessed any air rage, just that all parties involved appeared to be perfectly sober (although physically exhausted and/or mentally exasperated as well) at the time. So far as I can tell the fundamental experience of modern flying itself is the primary culprit.

 

Staff that vacillate between proud indifference and casual escalation. An ever growing number of punitive fees and gotcha penalties that are difficult for many to accurately track and anticipate. Long lines and sometimes degrading treatment, especially from the perspective of the infrequent and uninitiated traveler. Shrinking seats and increasing rows that are packed to the point of shoving full sized adults into petite child-sized quarters for up to eighteen hours at a time. The lack of preapproved pressure release valves and deescalation training for adverse situations. Maybe if we did something to address those issues before chasing a teetotaler boogieman from the twenties it would help both the staff and their customers.

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If anything the continuing degradation of the typical flying experience makes the option to drink your way to a slightly more comfortable seat even more valuable. ... Shrinking seats and increasing rows that are packed to the point of shoving full sized adults into petite child-sized quarters for up to eighteen hours at a time.

 

You do raise a fair point. How many of the lurid "air rage" stories in the press include the sentence, "The flight was only half full, but..."

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I know a few flight attendants and they usually have that one or destination that they hate working. So far I've heard Montreal and Aspen are the worst because of snobby passengers. West Palm Beach and Orlando are others I've hears that aren't fun. Small town USA are pleasant and they usually like the big business destinations such as the shuttle flights between NYC and Chicago, as the Monday through Friday business travelers are well behaved, just want something simple for service and want piece and quiet for the meetings ahead.

 

I think air travel is worse because everyone can easily do it now. With the introduction to ultra-low cost carriers and basic economy fares, now more than ever can the masses fly. It's cheaper than Greyhound (and Amtrak) now so we get every scope of society in the skies now. Don't get me wrong though. I think more people getting out and seeing the country and the world is a good thing.

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Speaking of New York/ Chicago business flights....anyone recall this? I wonder how the "stews" liked working them? :)

https://viewfromthewing.boardingarea.com/2015/05/27/united-airlines-men-only-executive-service/

 

 

Edit: I noticed in the comments following the article, there was an interesting response from a former stewardess...

Edited by railiner

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Speaking of New York/ Chicago business flights....anyone recall this? I wonder how the "stews" liked working them? :)

https://viewfromthewing.boardingarea.com/2015/05/27/united-airlines-men-only-executive-service/

 

 

Edit: I noticed in the comments following the article, there was an interesting response from a former stewardess...

Wow. That was definitely a different era. :huh:

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