Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rant, rave

It's snowing in Halifax!! Mind you, this is wet snow and it will be gone by tomorrow, but I'm happy I brought my boots this week. Warm feet = happy feet.

OK, this is my sixth week traveling for work (wow, time flies) and I have to dedicate this post to the good and the bad of being being on the road (and in the air) so much. Let's start by the things that bug me.

So far, flying has been reasonably tolerable. I've only had delays on two flights, one because of a mechanical failure on the plane and one because the bridge at the airport was stuck. I count myself lucky. However, it would be nice if the staff at this particular airline-I-won't-name-but-you-can-guess-which-one-I'm-referring-to was friendly to passengers. I've flown another airline-I-also-won't-name-but-you-know-which-one at a few occasions and check-in staff and flight attendants were always lovely. No so with the airline-I-have-to-book-my-flights-with-because-it's-office-policy. I had a flight attendant once point at my laptop in the overhead compartment, ask to find out whose computer it was, then look annoyed as I said it was mine and told me to move it to another compartment because she could not close the door. Never mind "please", "thank you" or "would you mind if I moved it"... At Halloween, one airline decorated its check-in counters, the other, didn't. At a random time in the middle of the afternoon, my airline insists on having only two employees check in everyone (doesn't matter if you checked in ahead of time online), no matter how long the lineup.

Fortunately, MOST staff is friendly, but being friendly is not really how you'll get a promotion at this particular airline.

Second rant: taxis. I take a taxi to and from the airport in Montreal, about two every week. Most of the time the service is fast, but I would like to request that taxi drivers not shower themselves in strong cologne before their shift. There's nothing painful like being stuck in a car with an overwhelming smell of eau-de-too-much.

Now on to the raves. First, being recognized at the car rental counter, getting a smile and a cheerful hello after an hour spent on the plane. Then, checking in to the hotel and being upgraded to the executive floor. I think they noticed I was visiting them every week. The executive rooms are not that different from the regular rooms, but they are on a quiet floor, have better bed sheets, nicer products in the bathroom, and every morning, the local newspaper is delivered to your door. These little touches make my stay a tad more enjoyable.

Finally, being called "dear" with a Nova Scotian accent by hotel staff. Atlantic Canadians are really friendly and I think it's cute. "What can I get you dear?" How can you not smile to that?

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