How to Use Kindness to Get Exceptional Customer Service at the Airport

The airport is stressful. We don’t need to remind you about that. However, traveling during the holidays can bring up even more anxiety. After all, more people want to get to their destinations and there could be cancellations, delays and troubles with getting exceptional airport customer service. Therefore, it’s important to keep your smile on and your positive thinking going strong!

Rudeness is a contagious behaviour that can spread if nothing is done to break its vicious cycle. We have all seen people have major meltdowns at the airport. And no, I’m not talking about kids here. Even though that might be hard to believe!

Since you may encounter holiday blues from some passengers, we thought we would provide you with a few holiday mindfulness tips. By this we mean using kindness to get exceptional airport customer service during the holidays.

Recently, I had an experience with exceptional airport customer service.

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After making it to the front of the bag drop line, I discovered that my boarding pass hadn’t printed. Of course, the woman behind the counter (whose name I learned was Samantha) asked for my boarding pass. I explained to her politely yet matter-of-factly that it hadn’t printed out.

Although, admittedly I had been in a bit of a rush and probably didn’t wait long enough for it to print. Truthfully, I just grabbed the luggage tag as soon as it came out of the printer and raced to the back of the bag drop line. All the while being on the phone ordering a bottle of prosecco to be presented at the venue where the party I’m missing tonight is taking place! It was hectic, to say the least.

Samantha told me that it should have printed out after the luggage tag. Oops! I confessed to her that I must have run away too soon. After an apologetic smile, I gracefully stepped out of the line and pulled up the boarding pass on my phone.

And then I realized that it was a little under an hour until my flight! Looking for some empathy and reassurance, I asked Samantha if I would still be able to make it.

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She told me that I would be okay—and then she added, “Wait one second and I’ll escort you to the front of the security line”.

Of course, I was so grateful. She was incredibly kind to me and showed truly exceptional airport customer service to a traveler in distress—me! She worked her magic to help me out and I wasn’t the only one who noticed. Even the guy checking my boarding pass at security said she was working her magic!

I felt like a rock star as I was escorted past all the people and straight to the front of the security line. This wasn’t the first time I experienced exceptional airport customer service and I know it won’t be the last. After all, it takes two to tango. And if you treat people with a positive outlook, then it’s more likely that they will treat you the same!

Tips for receiving exceptional airport customer service:

1. Show up with a smile.

Greet appropriately with a good morning, afternoon or evening. Kindness goes a LONG way. And with a smile, it goes even farther.

2. Call people by their name.

Notice their name tags and refer to them by their first name. If they don’t have a name tag, ask for their name early on in the conversation. As Dale Carnegie famously said, ‘The sweetest sound in any language is the sound of your own name.”

3. Don’t assume you’ll get special treatment.

You shouldn’t expect to receive special treatment. However, it certainly doesn’t hurt to put the vibes out there nicely. You get what you put out into the world.

4. We are what we give out.

Forget the lights on the tree and the New Years Eve fireworks. You need to learn how to work your own magic! Extend kindness to friends and strangers alike. It will take you a long way, we promise.

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