Airlines and Hotels to Customers: Stay Home and Relax With the Family Instead of Traveling So Much
LONDON, April 1 — On the opening day of its annual meeting, the American Society and Service of Travel Industry Companies (ASSTIC) said that a new study showed that too much travel is detrimental to the work-life balance and that its members should, among other things, encourage frequent travelers to travel less so they can enjoy time with their family and friends.
ASSTIC is the largest association of travel industry executives in the world.
The study, conducted by the independent research firm Takë Shortcutti, surveyed 5,000 executives from ASSTIC’s membership and asked them to document what they hear from their customers in hotels and airplanes about a lack of work-life balance.
According to Erwin Smithers, the group’s vice president for the hotel industry, frequent guests tend to complain loudly at check-in that they are being forced to attend a meeting, particularly at a luxury property, and eat copious amounts of good food accompanied by excellent wine at the expense of spending time helping their children with homework.
Another finding of the report, which also examined the pet peeves of front-line hotel employees, was that guests are simply driving employees crazy with bizarre requests for helicopter pads and babysitting services for safari animals. When asked what a major pet peeve in their work was, seventy-nine percent of those surveyed listed “customers.”
Indeed, the industry is seeing yet another increase in attrition for front desk clerks. “Several clerks at one hotel in particular started smashing computers at their stations after hearing one to many guests say ‘But I am a diamond guest’ when they didn’t get an upgrade.”
“We believe that the airline industry’s best customers travel too much,” said Rüdiger Gruber, who heads up the group’s airline industry wing. “Unlike leisure travelers, these passengers ignore family outings and go on an obscene number of so-called “work” trips throughout the year.”
The industry group identified several key objectives, including lowering energy costs, something that will be easily achievable if members follow the study’s advice. “It’s clear that our best customers will enjoy an improved lifestyle if they stay home more and spend more time with their children, whom I am sure they will come to love and not find annoying,” said Cynthia Jones, ASSTIC’s executive director. “We believe that we’re onto something here and that other industries will follow our lead, resulting in a complete restoration of work-life balance as it existed in 1950s sitcoms.”
“We fully support the findings from the Takë Shortcutti survey,” said George Willis, CEO of World Global Airlines and an ASSTIC member. “We plan to begin to implement some of the firm’s recommendations as soon as it is practical to do so.”
(Photo: Accura Media Group)