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Travellers’ Pet Peeves

18 April 2005

Travellers’ Pet Peeves

Travellers are usually a happy lot, but there are still a few things that get their blood boiling, according to New Zealand’s largest travel retailer.

In a nationwide survey of Flight Centre consultants on what travellers found most frustrating on holiday, bad mannered air stewards have number one spot on the list of New Zealanders’ travel gripes.

More than 30 percent of agents surveyed said some aspect of inflight service was a major cause of frustration for their customers.

Newmarket Flight Centre assistant manager Charly Endean said she was surprised at the number of people who had experienced bad manners and poor service from airlines stewards, but said it was understandable how this could be especially irritating on long haul flights.

Also highly distressing was unhygienic toilets, particularly those with no toilet paper or the ‘squat’ variety found throughout Asia, especially when a prior occupant had a bad case of the “hit and misses”.

Becky Bradley, from Palmerston North’s ‘The Square’ Flight Centre, said when she asked clients about their trip to Asia, toilets were usually one of the first things they mentioned.

“Some Kiwis definitely have a fixation with the smallest room,” she said.

A few travellers were also annoyed at having been “conned” by market stall operators, either paying much more than the going rate or being disappointed when their new DVDs or CDs didn’t play at home.

The habits of other travellers were also a source of irritation, with one traveller especially annoyed at people leaving towels over deck chairs in the morning to reserve them for the day, while another was disappointed at the way travellers from other Western countries had treated hotel and restaurant staff in Asia.

While complaints were acted on when appropriate, there are some things consultants simply had no control over.

Eastgate Flight Centre’s Sarah Crum said consultants were often told off for forgetting to book sunshine for their clients’ trip.

“While we try to do everything we can to make our clients’ trips a success, we still haven’t learnt how to turn on the sunshine,” she said.


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