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My friendly letter to Southwest Airlines

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  • My friendly letter to Southwest Airlines

    My name is Sxx Rxxx, and my Southwest number is xxxxxxxxx. As you can see if you check my flight history, I have flown Southwest exclusively when I have had the opportunity for years. I have always received exemplary service until tonight. In fact, I am so incensed that I am actually writing this on the flight.

    I am on Flight 2898 on March 2, 2008. I have flown to Orlando from Chicago about 3 times a month since November. I have often sat in the exit row. Tonight, I am sitting in 11D. As is customary, I expected the flight attendant to address the special conditions and responsibilities of sitting in the exit row. What I did not expect was her first question.

    She asked me first if I spoke English. She did not ask the gentleman who was sitting in 11A or the gentleman sitting in 12F the same question. I am puzzled as to why that might be. I happen to be of Asian descent, and the other two gentlemen appeared to be Caucasian. None of us had spoken a word, and I could clearly hear flight attendant addressing them.

    Is it Southwest
    <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://www.fearlessdog.com/posts/2005/01/10/monster-cables-sues-everyone/" target="_blank">BOYCOTT MONSTER CABLE</a></div>

  • #2
    I love you, 0-9, but your complain is... well... just a part of all the general silliness -to name it in a nice, polite way- regarding the US citizens regarding racism and ethnic segregation.

    It was just a poorly-trained flight attendant. Maybe a little bit stupid, too. That is all.

    And you know, I am a ****************ing latino-looking spanish speaker. I may not be "american" (another part of that silliness given I am Mexican and that means I am also American, NORTH AMERICAN, that is) but do not pay that much attention to those details. I am fine with who I am and I am OK with someone making sure I am qualified to be sitting at an Exit row.

    Just let me know what did you win with this, so maybe I can make serious money and win free travels for the rest of my life every time a girl like that asks me if I do speak English or if I feel offended for my skin color and hot-tamale look.
    www.guslozada.com

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm a little thrown off balance by this too. People are afraid to say anything anymore for fear they're going to offend them.
      What if you didn't speak a word of English and she was scared ****************less to ask you?
      I've sat through a few sensitivity training session and they're basically bull****************. In sum, if you're a white guy, walk on eggshells around women and minorities. Is that really the kind of world we want to live in?

      Sorry, but I guess I'm not understanding this very well.
      <div class="signaturecontainer"><b>Super 8 </b><br />
      <br />
      <font color="Blue">In memory of our fellow drummer and forum friend, Cheeseadiddle-Nov 2008</font><br />
      <br />
      <i>&quot;The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.&quot;<br />
      -- George Bernard Shaw</i></div>

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, Gus, this is definitely a point where we disagree.

        Just because it's no big deal, that doesn't mean it should go unmentioned. Just because you can shrug off ignorance, it doesn't make it right. Just because ethnic profiling and stereotyping is fairly accepted globally, it doesn't make it right.

        But reread my letter if you think I'm out of line. I am asking for an official response. Last year, I spent tens of thousands of dollars on air travel. I spent the equivalent on hotels and rental cars. I simply expect professionalism, just as I provide it to my customers.

        If you aren't curious about the reason why this poor girl asked me this question (and didn't ask it of the other two people seated in the exit row), I understand. I, however, am very curious about corporate policy on this matter. I've seen enough Indians and Hispanics hassled or simply treated differently at the airport to just let it go.

        I'm not looking for a free ticket...I have plenty, along with about a gazillion free drink coupons. I just want a response. I just thought some peeps here would be interested in the outcome.

        And Gus, you know I respect your opinions always.
        <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://www.fearlessdog.com/posts/2005/01/10/monster-cables-sues-everyone/" target="_blank">BOYCOTT MONSTER CABLE</a></div>

        Comment


        • #5
          On Delta, all people sitting in the exit row (aka "poor Man's Business Class") are not only asked if they speak English, but are required to answer "yes" or otherwise acknowledge in English. I don't think the problem is that you were singled out and asked if you spoke English, I think the problem is that the other people WEREN'T asked.

          After the attendant says "Thank you," I usually say "De nada."
          _____________________________________________
          There are now 14 music videos posted on my YouTube channel, including four songs by Mark Longworth. Watch the music video playlist, subscribe, and spread the links! Check back often, because there's more to come...

          Comment


          • #6

            What if you didn't speak a word of English and she was scared ****************less to ask you? Sorry, but I guess I'm not understanding this very well.


            But that is not what happened. What happened was that she assumed that i may not speak English while she assumed that the other two gentlemen did. I want to know the thought process that brought these conclusions about.

            And if that's all you got out of sensitivity training - that white people are being persecuted into walking on eggshells - then either the training program is deeply flawed or you were reading between the lines and applying your own template. If you are defining "walking on eggshells" as having to think before speaking in the workplace, then you're probably right. It's not always about being politically correct, you know. Sometimes, it's about common courtesy and realizing that there are environments where just letting it all out is not the best course of action even if you don't intend malice.

            But you and Gus seem to think this is no big deal, so I'm guessing that everyone else will come to the same conclusion here.

            I mean this without a hint of irony or sarcasm: I'm sorry I brought this up.

            I'm considering again buying a TAC Scorpion. Any opinions?
            <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://www.fearlessdog.com/posts/2005/01/10/monster-cables-sues-everyone/" target="_blank">BOYCOTT MONSTER CABLE</a></div>

            Comment


            • #7
              Well I think it's a big deal, but probably not for the same reasons you do. The whole point of an exit row is that it becomes the nerve center for saving people in case of danger. It is important to make sure that every person in the exit row can a) speak English, and b) be able to disengage and lift the door, which can weigh 35-50 lbs. or more. It's the job of the flight attendant to verify both aspects. The first is usually settled by asking people if they speak English. The second is harder to verify -- you may look healthy and young, but have a back or arm injury, for example.

              I'm glad you were asked if you spoke English. I just find it distressing she didn't do her job of verifying that everyone sitting in the exit row was qualified to sit in the exit row. That is a big deal. Singling you out was an example of racial profiling. Not asking the others is an example of putting the lives of the people on that plane in jeopardy. With all due respect to the fact that racial profiling sucks, the latter is a far more important issue.

              Incidentally, if a fire ever breaks out on a plane, here's a tip: Keep you head about 2' off the floor. Smoke rises, but the toxic chemicals fall to the floor. You want to find the "sweet spot" between the two. For more life-saving tips, go to www.craigandertonflieswaytoomanymiles.com
              _____________________________________________
              There are now 14 music videos posted on my YouTube channel, including four songs by Mark Longworth. Watch the music video playlist, subscribe, and spread the links! Check back often, because there's more to come...

              Comment


              • #8
                Cool,... add a

                " Boycot Southwest Airlines "

                to your sig.
                <div class="signaturecontainer">Don't Eat The Yellow Snow.<div align="center">Don't Eat The Yellow Snow.</div></div>

                Comment


                • #9
                  After the attendant says "Thank you," I usually say "De nada."


                  oke:
                  <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://cdbaby.com/cd/hartzell" target="_blank"><b>Music for your busy day.</b></a><br />
                  <br />
                  <a href="http://www.billhartzell.com" target="_blank">All the info you need.</a><br />
                  <br />
                  <a href="http://www.myspace.com/bhartzell" target="_blank">Be my friend?</a></div>

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                  • #10
                    I've sat through a few sensitivity training session and they're basically bull****************.


                    Really? I found them informative.

                    In sum, if you're a white guy, walk on eggshells around women and minorities.


                    That's funny; I'm a white guy and I don't do this.

                    Sorry, but I guess I'm not understanding this very well.


                    Apparently.
                    <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="2"><i><font color="Green"><a href="http://www.zakclaxton.com/" target="_blank">Music, thoughts, stuff, and... I guess that's all</a></font></i></font></div>

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      After the attendant says "Thank you," I usually say "De nada."


                      This is so funny and reminds me when I travel with Chris Adams through Latin America.

                      Chris is tall, blonde -and big-. But he is Uruguayan! Speaks perfect Spanish.

                      I am a latino, very easy to tell.


                      ... In every hotel we get into, they speak spanish to me and English to him.

                      Then, he speaks Spanish to them and I do speak English -or portuguese, whatever comes first- asking Chris what they said.

                      It is funny to see their reaction
                      www.guslozada.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Really? I found them informative.


                        What did it teach you that you didn't already know, Jeff?
                        <div class="signaturecontainer"><b>Super 8 </b><br />
                        <br />
                        <font color="Blue">In memory of our fellow drummer and forum friend, Cheeseadiddle-Nov 2008</font><br />
                        <br />
                        <i>&quot;The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.&quot;<br />
                        -- George Bernard Shaw</i></div>

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I understand that the attendant is ignorant. Clearly, the Caucasians are just as likely to not speak English as the Asian.

                          I don't understand how it's offensive though. You're offended that she noticed you're Asian? A woman who is ignorant as to the language probabilities of the people on board noticed you were Asian.

                          Ignorant, yes. Malicious? No.
                          Thomas Jefferson said... "The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His father, in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter." hmmm...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I don't understand how it's offensive though.


                            It's offensive to make assumptions based on physical appearance.
                            <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://cdbaby.com/cd/hartzell" target="_blank"><b>Music for your busy day.</b></a><br />
                            <br />
                            <a href="http://www.billhartzell.com" target="_blank">All the info you need.</a><br />
                            <br />
                            <a href="http://www.myspace.com/bhartzell" target="_blank">Be my friend?</a></div>

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It's offensive to make assumptions based on physical appearance.


                              Of course, but this seems to be more a case of "thick sculled" flight attendant than "overtly offense" or "hateful" attendant. Does anything here point to this women having a negative opinion of Asians? Absolutely not. Does it seem to indicate that she's a little dull? You bet.

                              Why be offended over someone's stupidity, if that stupidity is of the non-malicious variety. Roll your eyes and move on. Sorry...
                              Thomas Jefferson said... "The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His father, in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter." hmmm...

                              Comment



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