A Little Bit of Honey Can Go A Long Way

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Ever been stuck at an airport waiting for your flight to take off?  Or worse, on the tarmac? Has your luggage ever been lost along the way? Or your hotel room given away due to a late arrival?

If you’ve experienced any of these or other annoying travel ‘opportunities’, you’ve probably figured out that being angry or upset doesn’t help the situation.  So what does?

It’s been my experience that a little bit of nice can make a huge difference and impact your end result.  Like the time my luggage was lost on its way to Orlando, along with everyone else’s due to bad weather and a connecting flight.  Standing in a long line of passengers waiting to fill out forms to have their luggage delivered whenever it arrived, there was a lot of grumbling and complaining, and the poor folks standing behind the Delta counter were no more at fault for the lost luggage than I was. So when my turn finally came around, I smiled at the man behind the counter.  I was polite, understanding and considerate.  And I received a Delta gift pack at the end of the transaction where no one else had.  I now had a toothbrush, t-shirt, razor and deodorant! 

Does this only work with the airlines?  No.  A friend of mine was took a trip to San Diego where he had rented a car through Hertz.  There was a convention going on at the time causing a shortage of mid-range cars.  He decided to play it nice and was able to get a convertible at the same price while everyone else was getting downgraded.

So my advice?  Be the calm in the angry storm.  Find the good in the situation – it’s definitely there. Show some empathy, after all, the person you’re dealing with likely isn’t the one who overbooked the flight or cancelled your hotel reservation. And finally, be sincere.  People in the service industry can spot a fake a mile away.

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