Confessions of a Travel Snob

Let’s face it when we board a plane every one of us prefers to turn left to First or Business Class rather than right to Economy. But sometimes the most well-traveled passengers are also the most picky. After all we spend so much time in the air it’s easy to feel that we have earned the right to be treated specially. Of course we are with Elite Perks, but we also thought it would be fun to reach out to some very seasoned travelers and get their confessions on being a tad snotty while traveling. In truth we can all be travel snobs at one time or another.

Donna from Dallas tells us she once caught herself complaining loudly about the sparkling wine that was being served during boarding of a transcontinental flight. “I corrected the Flight Attendant and said, you are sorely mistaken this is common sparking wine not champagne, please get your facts right.” At that moment an elderly lady was passing through the First Class Cabin on her way to Economy and caught Donna’s eye. “I was instantly ashamed for my arrogance and said to the lady, I am sorry I am not usually like this.” Without skipping a beat she replied back, “Don’t worry honey I’ll send you some caviar from the back of the plane to ease your pain.” Ouch!

The Facebook ExchangeSometimes though traveler’s complaints aren’t frivolous. And sometimes complaining or just mentioning that you have an issue is all it takes to be amazed. While on a flight from LAX to Istanbul Peter Cohen used Turkish Airlines’ In-flight Wifi to post to their Facebook Page that the temperature was too hot. To Peter’s utter amazement TK’s crackerjack social media team replied within minutes saying that they had contacted the Pilot and a Flight Attendant will sort out the temperature concern. This is brilliant customer service and it has earned the airline a customer for life.

Those of us who travel quite a bit don’t always reserve our snobby behavior for airlines. Many well-heeled, well-practiced travelers can also be quite snooty on the ground as well. Zhang, a young Investment Banker from Shanghai tells us that while he has Elite Status with several hotel loyalty programs he always calls the hotel’s Manager after he makes a booking to let him know he is picky and would like the best room possible. “I usually am upgraded a category or two because of my status but with calling and speaking to the GM and explaining that I am hard to please, I often get an even nicer room.” Zhang is no stranger to also calling the Front Desk after arriving in his room to ask to move to another room or even a suite. This he says often works, but it can also backfire.

“On a trip to Paris I actually complained and was moved to 3 different rooms and still thought I could do better.” Zhang dropped his bags in his third room and went down to see the Manager in person to push for even more. “When I told the Manager I still wasn’t satisfied he said to me, that there was one more suite, which was much larger and much nicer and he suggested that’s where I would be the most happy. I readily agreed. He then informed me that the suite was at the hotel next door and he had already sent for the Bellman to retrieve my things and escort me off the property.” Zhang says this experience taught him to not complain just for the sake of getting a better deal.

So what about you? Tell us your stories of bad behavior or snobbish entitlement on the road. We’re always curious to hear from our readers.