Skip to comments.Fly Me a River [Mark Steyn]
Posted on 06/08/2005 6:17:39 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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I live in Singapore and can let you know that no one beats the "Singapore Girl"....in fact they are still as young and beautiful and glamerous as ever.
In point of fact, they've created a new ad campaign that focuses entirely on the SIngapore Girl.........it evokes the fifties or something.
I think they just like women in uniform. ;~ )
FYI, your Aviation list may find this of interest.
There was a thread on here about foreign airlines being better than US ones a few days ago. Are you a FReeper, Mr. Steyn?
In America, there are too many airlines and too many planes, hence, the dreadful service.
Mr. Mark, as usual, makes some super points in this piece.
I have to go now...they're calling my flight. Ugh.
>>When the Arabs understand customer service better than you do, you know youve got a problem.
That's gonna leave a mark. (npi)
Absolutely, positively spot-on. Steyn's only error is one of omission in failing to mention KLM as another oasis of good service. And those Delft miniature liquor bottles they give you are way cool!
Does Mark Steyn know about Hooters Airlines I wonder, but other than that he's dead on.
Steyn should go find an arab to pilot a chartered plane if their customer service is so great.
Steyn is usually spot on, and yes, the customer svc with US airlines is lacking, but I'm not ready to concede customer service to the arabs yet. I would like to see independent analysis to support his claim, otherwise, Steyn is rehashing the same air travel frustration we have all experienced for 20 years.
Whatever did happen to "Coffee, tea or me?"
Makes one wonder if Mark has to pay for his own tickets. The grubby bus ride is far cheaper than the price to fly in the good old days of regulated fares.
Years ago, a book came out called The Ugly American. Americans were astonished to learn that to people of other countries, Americans were often considered ugly.
Many did not understand. Many did not believe it. Me, for example.
Then I saw it first hand, travelling in other countries.
Once in the Ritz Bar in Paris, for example, I watched as an American woman complained loudly that they had stopped using Limoge china in the bar; she wanted another one for her collection. The waiter's explanation that they had to discontinue Limoge because too many people stole them had no effect on her. She kept complaining and insisted that it was good publicity for them to allow people to steal their china etc. etc. She was loud and demanding, and I wanted to disguise my Americanhood or else hide under the table.
A relative, who was a flight attendant, told me that she preferred flights to South America because she didn't like to deal with all the "pushy, demanding, ugly Americans." This changed my life a little; I thought about all the times I've been pushy, demanding, and ugly, and, I hope, I changed my ways.
Travelling in Mexico, I was impressed with the courtesy of the average Mexican and how implicit threat of litigation and the demand of RIGHTS did not dominate everything. It was like being in the United States years ago before all this ugliness began to dominate everything you do and everywhere you go and almost everyone you meet.
When a woman ran into me and knocked me down on the Colorado ski slopes, she was amazed that I didn't take her name, addresss, and I guess fingerprints, so that I could sue her. I merely said, "I'm fine," and resumed skiing. You don't run into that kind of litigation consciousness in Europe, and I'd much rather ski there for that very reason.
Several years ago, in rush hour traffic, I dented the fender of the woman in front of me. It cost $200 to fix the fender. However, the woman, grabbing her son's head and shaking it from side to side, said, to her son's obvious astonishment, "My son's got a neck injury." Later, she turned out to have the "neck injury." (The son played highschool football.) She demanded $10,000. My insurance company gave her $5,000 and increased my insurance premiums drastically.
A few months ago, on the other hand, in a shopping center parking lot, I backed into a woman's car and put a few scratches on it. Naturally I apologized and offered to call my insurance company and the police etc. etc. etc. She said, "Don't worry about it. The car's already scratched; another one won't make any difference." She wouldn't even take my name. She spread much love and goodness with that one kind act. I don't even know who she is, but I shall not forget.
American culture has become very ugly in some very important ways.
Litigation has made everyone defensive. Everyone lives in fear of being sued for one thing or another. Why Americans want to live in such fear is beyond me. I certainly don't want to. But lawyers armed with lawsuits dominate American culture.
Equal rights for women, and for everyone for that matter, is certainly worthy and to be desired, but the demands have become ugly and threatening--and so have many American women.
Freedom of speech is also a right worthy of respect and protection, but this has deteriorated into ubiquitous obscenity and, perversely, the abolition of freedom of speech under certain circumstances, e.g. "hate speech."
Human rights are certainly to be protected, but in America EVERYONE KNOW HIS OR HER RIGHTS AND THEY'RE GONNA DEMAND THEM. GOT IT?!!!
Americans have brought some very ugly things into their culture. Surly, rude, insolent--and overstressed--stewardes...uh...flight attendants are merely a small part of the tip of the iceberg.
Most Americans must like it this way or else they would change it.
But I don't like it at all, and I do my best to avoid situations and people that bring out this ugly aspect of American culture--or lack of it.
I love the United States, but this is one thing that I would definitely like to change about it.
Steyn is usually more sensible than this. Obviously his expense account has insulated him from reality (that's the place where us peons who pay our own bills live).
I didn't catch this until after I posted that last comment, but this confirms it.
I've bought all sorts of things -- a TV, each item of my bedroom set, hell, the bill for getting the cat fixed -- that cost more than any airline flight I've taken.
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