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Behavior That Would Be Called “Shameful” By Normal People, But Is Inexplicably Applauded In Mommybloggers

Behavior That Would Be Called “Shameful” By Normal People, But Is Inexplicably Applauded In Mommybloggers

  1. Calling an airline to inform them that you will be late for your flight.
  2. Becoming infuriated that the airline’s response to you calling them to inform them that you will be late is to say, “Drive faster.”
  3. Publicizing the entire exchange on Twitter.
  4. Publicizing the fact that you got lost on the way to the airport on Twitter.
  5. Publicizing the fact that you got lost on the way to the airport in Detroit on Twitter.
  6. Publicizing the fact that you willingly paid money to go to Detroit on Twitter.
  7. Suggesting that the airline is responsible for covering transfer fees or paying for a new cell phone charger to replace the one you packed (again, on Twitter, to your 7,906 followers).
  8. Rather than calling it a day, wrapping the whole thing up by playing the discrimination card.

Glossary terms: hold the plane

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Comments (79)

  1. Rosa
    Oct 25, 2010

    I watched this whole thing go down with my mouth hanging open. I’ve never missed a flight, because I get there two hours early, as recommended by the airline. The fact that she was outraged that Delta told her to drive faster made me laugh out loud.

    Let’s go over the basic airline rules that everyone knows:
    1. Get there on time. If you are in an unfamiliar city, leave ample time to get to the airport.
    2. Pack important things in your carry on. Like chargers. Or medicine. Or breakables, like computers.
    3. All airlines discriminate against people who are late. Basic. Fact.

    So, what is this? Delusion, or overinflated sense of self-importance? I suppose they’re one and the same.

  2. Oct 25, 2010

    ahaha laughing so hard right now.

  3. Oct 25, 2010

    I’d like to read the tweets of the people who would have missed all of their connecting flights if one plane was held for one person who did not get to the airport on time (and “on time” is not 12 minutes before pushback).

    Honestly, the airline tweets are the worst. I am blown away by how people think airlines are made up entirely of some sort of subspecies of human that are there solely for your abuse-giving pleasure, in public, for whatever crap you decide to throw at them. Ummm, no.

  4. Oct 25, 2010

    I can’t think of another area where the mommyblogger entitlement runs as hysterical as it does concerning air travel. DON’T THEY KNOW WHO WE ARE?! It might be time to filter out some of these bloggers on Twitter on the days before and after major conferences as they take to the perilous skies, where there are ticket agents and customer service reps just WAITING to treat them unfairly and inconvenience them.

  5. Oct 25, 2010

    I am not sure this is unique to Mommybloggers, but thanks to social media like Twitter and FB, getting a whole group of lemmings worked up into a self- righteous froth has never been easier. This might also be the greatest litmus test for having arrived as a blogger. If you try and create a Twitter-storm over “unfair” customer service, is the number of rabid followers who run to your defense indicative of you power in the blogosphere? I mean, did this get Maytag levels of drama, or did it just create a good lunch table spat? This one gets points for Special Snowflake-capades and Butthurt Bonanza. Well played.

    Got a list up this week!

  6. Oct 25, 2010

    Much more measured response than mine. I don’t think anything will reach Maytag level again — that was a unique case of major blogger plus the novelty of taking a company to task via social media.

    I should add, to be fair, that many people believe their experiences with air travel are unduly traumatic and deserve redress. It’s not particular to mommybloggers. Sadly, though, this behavior will be yet another thing that makes gives mommyblogging a bad name.

  7. Oct 25, 2010

    I honestly don’t know where this kind of thing comes from. I really don’t. I don’t get the concept of calling the airport when you’re running late — I don’t know that the intention was to get them to hold the plane, but I have to assume it was something like that because, what else? What else would it be? And . . . I don’t get it.

  8. Oct 25, 2010

    I don’t understand what is so awful about going to the airport. Whenever I fly, it’s pretty much the same experience. Get there, deal with security, wait around, cattle car into the plane. There’s not a lot of drama. There might be more boredom, and therefore more time to tweet. But it’s not usually extra dramatic. Yet there are so many tweets about problems with airlines, I don’t get it.

  9. Oct 25, 2010

    Maybe that’s what it is? They are getting into the space of “I’m important’ because they’re going to/coming back from a conference, and then they have to go on a plane where clearly nobody realizes how important they are, and this is what causes the drama? I saw a tweet the other day where somebody said they were on a plane with some noisy kids (this was a mommyblogger) and she “jokingly” asked if the airline wanted to upgrade her to first class. OMG.

  10. Oct 25, 2010

    This did not get Maytag level attention, no. But it did get sympathetic tweets, and sympathetic comments on her blog when she posted about it. I have to assume the fact that she’s in a wheelchair compounded this. But in my mind, it has nothing to do with that — this behavior is unacceptable from anybody, regardless of their personal circumstances.

    It’s tricky because in theory I don’t have a problem with Twitter being used for customer service. But, once you have a certain number of followers you have to be careful, because they WILL get frothy about stuff. I cannot believe I’m saying this, but Maytag was actually BETTER than many of the things that have followed it because at least in the case of Maytag there was a legitimate customer service issue. Many of these things lack even that.

  11. K
    Oct 25, 2010

    Yes, yes, yes, this yes.

    Didn’t you know that you can be discriminated against for being late? I mean, really. Especially if you’re famous and everyone should know you.

  12. Oct 25, 2010

    i saw this on twitter and was confused too… although the part where they saw her at check in and still gave the ticket away was a bit douchey on the airline’s fault… assuming that’s what really happened. i really like anissa, so i was taken aback by this.

  13. Oct 25, 2010

    that should read: “on the airlines part”

  14. hannah
    Oct 25, 2010

    Is it just that they don’t fly very often? And don’t get how it works? But they can’t all be yokels who are just experiencing the wonders of the great silver flying bird for the first time. (That said, last time I was at LAX the woman in front of me at security showed up 40 minutes before her flight w/no ID, no credit cards, nothing but a xeroxed, hand written copy of her birth certificate. Apparently her purse had been stolen, which I get, but dude, show up more than 40 minutes ahead of time if you’re in that situation, because that’s not going to get resolved instantly just because you have to catch your flight. She did not appear to be tweeting the event, so perhaps there are people like this everywhere doing this stuff every day and Twitter just brings it to the fore?)

  15. Oct 25, 2010

    But she checked in too late to get that seat anyway. She got to the gate 12 minutes before pushback. Getting on a plane isn’t like getting on a bus; you can’t necessarily do it right before they leave. The FAA requires certain checks and activities in between the time the passengers are seated and the time the plane pushes back from the gate. Depending on the size of the aircraft, the number of passengers, the origin/destination…these things can take some time. You can’t have people getting on the plane at the last minute, because you’re busy doing things that comply with FAA rules (and keep people safe).

    And if you hold an aircraft for one person who couldn’t get to the airport on time, not only does your flight delay get reported to the DOT, but your actions get reported back to your airline in a weekly meeting (ours was Tuesday mornings at 9am). If you make the wrong decision, you might get fired.

    Not to mention all of the people who DID get there on time, boarded when they were supposed to…and then miss their connecting flights on the other end because their plane was late, because some chick couldn’t find the airport.

    The only thing that the airline did wrong here was to pay for any part of her “inconvenience.” This just trains people who do more of this Twitter blackmail thing. How is that fair to all of the people who left early, used a map, or otherwise made sure they were there on time? Or didn’t…but didn’t whine about it on Twitter as though it were the airline’s fault that they couldn’t find the airport?

    The more I think about, the madder I get. I’m sick to death of people being rewarded just for being the mouthiest or most demanding. You wonder why airline employees are surly? It’s because they deal with this kind of crap all day long…and then they get home and read online that THEY were in the wrong.

  16. Oct 25, 2010

    As someone prone to airport rage, I’m actually a little sympathetic to this meltdown. I swear I never yell at the desk people, but sometimes it’s really hard not to do so. Air travel just sets up so many tripping points for those of us who are easily frustrated. There’s the requirement to get there umpteen hours early and sit (I’m sorry; two hours for a domestic flight is bullshit), they overcharge you for everything (just the thought of luggage charges make me INSANE), lines are long, employees robotically mouth the company line, everyone is cranky, space is tight, time is tight, kids are crying…it’s a nightmare.

    I’m not saying she was right. I’m not saying her expectations weren’t out of line. But as someone whose seat has been given away multiple time as I race across an airport after the first plane was late (they know I’m there! They can see that I’m there! Don’t make me spend the night in Logan Airport again!), I get this kind of annoyance way more than Maytaggate. That was egregious. This is, “Oh god, I just want to get HOME.”

  17. Therese
    Oct 25, 2010

    I read your site often but I don’t think I’ve ever commented before. However, as the wife of an airline pilot who witnesses firsthand the craziness of passengers, airlines and everything in between, I couldn’t resist in this case. As is often the case in blogs, twitter, etc… I wonder if there is more to this story that what has been explicitly shared. However, from what I’ve read, it does seem like there is a lack of understanding of the basics related to airline travel. It’s not completely uncommon from an airline perspective to hold a flight for a minute or so if they know someone is coming (i.e., transfers from another flight, long security lines…). However, a lot of this is left to the discression of the Gate Agents/Captain and if he/she says it’s time to close the flight and leave, that’s it. I also find they have more compassion for people who are late due to something beyond their control (i.e., backup at security, late arriving transfer flight…) than someone who just shows up late to the airport. It also pretty clearly states on tickets, check-in counters… that flights close 20 minutes (basic standard for domestic travel) prior to scheduled take-off and if you are not boarding the plane at the point, your seat could be given away. There’s a lot of paperwork and final prep to do prior to take-off and the crew generally needs that few minutes to ensure the plane is on time (or at least close). So, all that to say, it sounds like the blogger in question definitely had a bad experience. I’m sure it was beyond frustrating and possibly made more frustrating by some less than helpful customer service reps. But, it doesn’t sound like the airline technically did anything wrong or was discriminatory (again, based on what little has been shared publicly). I guess my point, complain (publicly or privately) all you want want about air travel. I know my family does and we’re on the inside. There are many areas for improvement industry wide and we could list those all day long. However, if you complain, do so while acknowledging your responsibility in the situation. That is what seems to be missing from this particular story and what gets me worked up. I would have this same reaction whether this was a well-known blogger or just some regular person on the street.

  18. Oct 25, 2010

    I should add, too, that there’s a difference between complaining on Twitter and expecting your minions to harass a company on your behalf. I don’t read Anissa, so I don’t know if that’s what she intended. Your point, Anna, about how once a blogger reaches a certain level they need to be careful about riling the masses is still a valid one.

  19. Oct 25, 2010

    I guess that might be it. My personal default setting is to always be earlier than needed for almost any given situation. If I am late for something, it totally freaks me out. So if I didn’t have an ID, I would probably cancel my flight or something, because I would just freak out and assume that there would be no way to get on the plane. Or, alternatively, I would get there like five hours ahead of time. There is no way I would give myself 40 minutes in that scenario. I don’t get it. I just don’t get it. The burden is ON YOU when you are flying. That is how society works.

  20. Oct 25, 2010

    I feel like it should be OK to use Twitter for customer service, but when you’ve got 8,000 followers you have to be responsible. When you have more than 500 followers, you have to be responsible. And you always, always, have to take responsibility for what you’ve done to contribute to the situation. In this case, Delta’s name was being bandied about as though they had done something wrong. All they did was operate according to the regular rules that are designed to keep an entire flight schedule on time! Unbelievable.

  21. Oct 25, 2010

    The only thing even close to “wrong,” I think is that they worded it that way. Don’t give the customer an in like that. Saying “we didn’t think you’d make it” gives them too much leeway. What they should have said was, “you checked in past the allowed time” or whatever. I’m kind of surprised there wasn’t more communication between check-in and the gate anyway, in that case. Again, we don’t know what words were actually used, so who knows what actually was said. We do know actual times, and I know I’ve never boarded a plane two minutes before scheduled takeoff under regular circumstances. Much less have I seen a passenger requiring special assistance being allowed to board a plane under those circumstances.

  22. Oct 25, 2010

    Yeah, AND, AND, I have to be the one to say this AGAIN, but this is not just anyone getting on the plane twelve minutes before pushback. This is somebody they specifically ask to have board the plane FIRST because it takes longer to get them situated. This is somebody who should be getting to the airport with extra time, if anything, because they know it’s going to take longer. Somebody who is flying with kids would also have this rule apply to them, though not for the same reasons obviously.

    Re mouthiest and most demanding, and appropos of my PF post today, said blogger’s Klout score is 53. 53! Oprah Winfrey is only 65.

  23. Oct 25, 2010

    ah…. i read it as 12 minutes before they were supposed to be there, as opposed to 12 minutes before take-off time.

    i always get there SUPER early. planes give me anxiety. being late gives me more anxiety. i can understand how in the thick of it you might feel like everything is against you, but hopefully in hindsight, she realizes the airlines weren’t being mean horrible conspirators.

    anna, thanks for putting my link up.

  24. Oct 25, 2010

    I don’t mind getting frustrated. I’ve been frustrated by air travel. But get frustrated, even vent your frustrations without bashing companies for things that you’ve done to yourself. That’s what I’m sick of seeing. It’s irresponsible and it makes us look like powerhappy douchebags.

  25. Oct 25, 2010

    Thanks for your comments. I do agree that the airline industry is in need of some improvements. I’m not sure that every time a mommyblogger goes to a conference is the time to address these concerns, though. And also, as you say, so few of them acknowledge their own responsibility in the situation, it’s tough to really acknowledge the merits of the arguments.

    For example, when Heather Spohr left her laptop on her flight, she DID acknowledge that it was her fault, and WAS trying to just use Twitter as a customer service outlet. But because her following is so large, she couldn’t control the way the whole thing went down. Her followers got so worked up about the idea of pictures of Maddie getting lost that they began demonizing the airline, which had done nothing wrong. And because Heather didn’t have a computer on that trip (she had left it on the plane), she couldn’t do damage control, and now all anybody remembers is that Heather Spohr lead an outrage against an airline because she left her laptop on a plane, which isn’t really what happened.

    The problem with having a lot of followers is that even if you have good intentions you cannot control what happens once you put something out on Twitter like that. I don’t think that this was an instance where they had good intentions anyway, but as you say, responsibility WOULD have been something, at least.

  26. You know what gets me the most about this? She tweets it to thousands of people….she’s sharing that it’s OK to have this self righteous “everyone else is to blame but me” attitude. People will emulate that behavior because of her if they think it will get them what they want. That disgusts me. Now others are going to act like powerhappy douchebags as you so rightly put it. Fan-freaking-tastic. In no way was Delta responsible for her carelessness and inability to plan. She got lost (not Delta’s fault). She wasn’t there to board in time (not Delta’s fault). She had to pay to transfer tickets (Delta’s policy, it sucks I agree, but she is NOT an exception!). The whole thigks reeks of “Don’t you know who I am?!” and that’s NOT ok! You know who she is…a regular person like you and I who puts her socks on one at a time. BFD. Unless you’re the POTUS, you get the same treatment the rest of us do. Fail to plan and you’ve planned to fail, simple as that.

  27. Michele
    Oct 25, 2010

    I could see calling to see if the flight was on time, and even though I personally wouldn’t and, have never asked myself ,you could. Asking to hold the plane isn’t the problem, assuming that they should is another thing. If I were in the parking lot or IN the building I might call and ask them if they could hold the door, but they’re probably going to say no anyhow.

    Shit happens, leave early.

  28. Oct 25, 2010

    Oof. All I know is that if I were on that plane, and it were held for someone who simply called to say they were lost, and had to wait and miss my connection, or worse, suffer through an extra thirty minutes or so with my toddler, I would be livid.

    To me, and I’m genuinely saying this as discussion, and not trying to be a dick to anyone, but there is a limit to acceptable accommodations for someone who is handicapped. It seems to me that all reasonable efforts must be made to ensure that the experience is equal to that of a non-handicapped person. But a non-handicapped person would not, for a hot minute, be accommodated for their own tardiness due to their *own* lack of planning, and neither should anyone else, no matter what their circumstance.

    Then again, I wasn’t there, maybe there was more to it than this, so I don’t want to deliberately cast aspersions.

  29. Oct 25, 2010

    So I kind of followed this at the beginning. I didn’t know the circumstance, I just saw her complain about Delta and I was on her side because I just had a HORRIBLE experience with Delta earlier this month with them cancelling more than one of my flights for no reason. So when she said that they said “we saw you coming, but we didn’t think you would make it”, I definitely jumped on the “I hate Delta” bandwagon. Because I do hate them. And I’m still bitter about my last flying experience with them.

    That said, once I found out more info, it just seemed to get shadier and shadier. I just recently missed my first flight ever. I was running late, there was unexpected traffic, etc. I made it to the gate as the plane was pulling away. I was pissed, AT MYSELF, for not getting there earlier, etc.

    But I know that you can’t check baggage on a flight if it is less than 30 min prior to take off. So if her bags got checked on that flight, she was there at least 30 min prior. And I mean, she could have asked to get moved to the front of the security line. If all that she says is true, then she should have been able to make the flight, in my opinion. But I don’t know that she wanted to.

    There is just much more to the story that we’re not hearing, for sure. And the way this all went down on Twitter (with asking for free shit and pulling the discrimination card) did not win them any love from people. It just cast a bad light on her (and her husband).

  30. Oct 25, 2010

    I think its important to keep in mind that the subject (I almost typed “target” but I’m not trying to be inflammatory here) of this post suffered from a stroke. Mulitple strokes. That constitutes a brain injury. Maybe you or I would restrain from expressing our frustrations in the way that Anissa did, but lets assume that this is an individual who is still working on expressing herself appropriately, who is still grasping to find synonyms. Conceptualizing the appropriateness of certain conversations might be difficult, and I’m going to go with the better angel of my nature to assume this might be the case.

    I was not among those who were outraged by Maytaggate, and I’m not particularly outraged by this. I think people get too bent out of shape either way over this shit. Its just Twitter, for crying out loud, people. If someone’s follower is such a sheep that they need to discard the better side of wisdom to attack a manufacturer or an airline or whatever, its the follower that’s got a problem, not the tweeter or the blogger. I don’t think a blogger has any more responsibility to their readers or the internet in general than Lindsay Lohan has to any moron who chooses to emulate her behavior just because she’s in movies.

    I read those tweets and my reaction was simply “That really sucks to be trying desperately to make a flight and not be able to, must be even more sucky to be in a wheelchair and have your luggage lost with your medications and other things you really need. Wow. I would be upset if it were me.” I’m not sure I understand the necessity of picking apart Anissa’s actions or chastising her in so public a manner for what was most certainly a traumatic situation for her and for her family. Flying with connections isn’t fun to begin with. Add in additional difficulties and its a situation fraught with potential for overreaction. I had horrible connection issues due to a mechanical failure earlier this year, ended up flying standby and arriving home much later than expected necessitating making arrangements for someone to pick up my children AND remove my dead dog from her crate so my kids wouldn’t see her, because in between the first flight and the second, my pet sitter called me to let me know she’d arrived to find one of my beloved dogs passed away. I cried all the way from Pheonix to Seattle, much I’m sure to the disgust of my seatmates. I would hate for someone to judge my interactions with the airport staff or anyone else that day. I’m sure I did my best to stay calm, but it was a terrible day for me and I probably didn’t look or sound the way I’d like to.

    I love your blog, I love how you doggedly stick to your opinion even if its unpopular. I’m just curious why you were compelled to take on this particular bone of contention…I started to read this post and thought “Oh for Christ’s sake, Anna, just HOW many people do you want to piss off this week?” Then I laughed, because I’m pretty sure by now you just don’t care. 🙂

    I’m sorry this was so long. I read the post this morning and decided to comment later when I had time, and clearly had WAYYYY too much time to mull it over.

  31. Nic
    Oct 25, 2010

    Yesterday I was flying to Tulsa with a colleague, through Chicago’s O’Hare airport for an afternoon of schmoozing and a day of meetings and hotel visits today. The flight leaving my home airport was about 10 minutes late (engine issues) then when we arrived, we had to switch terminals but the only way to switch terminals was via shuttle bus. The line for the bus was HUGE. We had to wait for three separate buses. When I ran ahead of her to get to the gate, I saw the gate agent closing the door behind him.

    So, off I went to customer service. They put us on standby for the next flight. But the flight was oversold so we didn’t have a chance of getting on. In fact, everything was oversold for USAir, Delta, United, American, etc. going to Tulsa, Dallas, St. Louis, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, and Fayetteville — until Tuesday. The first flight they could get us on was at 9:30 PM with guaranteed seats and that was a flight home. There were other people in the exact same boat and they went APE-SHIT ballistic on the CS rep. There was nothing she could do. Really. She looked at rerouting us through Denver, Charlotte, Dulles, etc. to get within four hours of Tulsa. She was patient and willing to try every combo I could come up with in my head. She and her supervisor tried. They pulled strings and put us on priority standby on a 1 PM flight home. And here I am.

    Because of an issue this year (where, uh, I did go ballistic on a USAirways rep when they took away the elite status privilege of being able to choose seats in the front of the plane without paying a surcharge and she tried to play it off that it had been happening for months and I just didn’t notice, except I had been on three flights that week) I have premier status separately on both USAir and United. I fly a lot. I will round out this year with just over 50,000 airline miles flown. And while yesterday was annoying, well, it happens. It is costing my company some extra money because we’re going to repeat the trip on the 9th. It is a huge inconvenience for the people we were meeting. And yet, it just is. They tried, I tried. End of story.

    No one has ever claimed that air travel is smooth and without fault. That’s why they have rules and suggestions for getting to the airport on time. It’s kind of easy to get screwed by an airline. However, Anissa did not. She was late. End of story. I don’t care if she called. I would have lost my mind entirely if they delayed a plane because someone called to tell them they’d be late and then that flight threw, well, EVERYONE ELSE off schedule and made them miss their connections. No, it’s just not how the world works.

    It’s not the airline’s fault that you packed your meds (everyone and their mother will tell you not to) or your phone charger (learned that one the hard way a couple of years ago, never again), or that you were late getting to the airport. Blaming innocent airport workers who are actually trying to help when it’s actually an issue of personal responsibility is, in a word, lame.

    Lastly, so few people are nice to the folks at customer service at an airport that it really, really works out in your favor to be nice. There were folks in the exact same situation I was in yesterday, except they were screaming at the service associate and I was not. She, and her supervisor, were far more willing to engage with me to try different scenarios and then to do manager overrides to get us priority standby on a flight home 8 hours earlier than we originally thought. We also got a refund for the connection to Tulsa. The screamers? They were told it was a close connection to begin with and that it was a 10 hour drive.

  32. Oct 25, 2010

    Apropos of nothing, I was annoyed when the Maytag thing happened, but now that time has passed and I’ve done some bitching of my own on Twitter, I have mad sympathy for Heather regarding that whole experience. If I can’t even keep it together while my kid is having a stomach virus (seriously, I was a loose-fingered LUNATIC), I’m not sure HOW I would be if I were in her situation, which is that of a mom of a newish baby, totally screwy customer service and broken promises.

  33. Nic
    Oct 25, 2010

    I think, in many cases, I would agree with BarnMaven. It is easy to overreact in the midst of that situation. And yet… this went beyond the initial overreaction. The spouse got involved. Other people got involved. It continued, and in some ways, still does. If it were a lonely incident of overreaction, sure. But this… seems much different.

  34. Oct 25, 2010

    Once, I was flying out of a podunk little airport, in the middle of nowhere Texas. I was there for a funeral, where my mother had fallen over a headstone and hurt her neck, & back and possibly gotten a concussion. The day of the flight, I was running supremely late, because my mom had had a mini-stroke on the way out of town. I was literally doing 110 down these back roads in Texas trying to make my flight because it was the only one back to CA until two days later and I was out of PTO. I had tears streaming down my face because of all the horrible shit that had happened that weekend, and my stress over making that flight, and yet it never, NEVER occurred to me to call the airline to ask them to hold the plane. Because guess what–none of that crap was their problem AND it was my fault I was late to boot.

    I get venting about this stuff, I get complaining about the processes. Air travel is a truly horrible experience most of the time. But you as a traveler have some responsibilities on your end, and showing up on time is the most basic of them–even if you’re handicapped, that one still applies. So do I feel for her? Absolutely. Do I think it’s a crappy situation? For sure. But was it Delta’s fault (based on the information I have)? Not a chance in hell.

    My list is up.

  35. Therese
    Oct 25, 2010


    You make some great points. In my blog reading experience, I usually view these blog/twitter “controversies”, “rants”…whatever you want to call them with mostly a level of amusement and occassionally a starting point to do my own research (i.e., if I were to need to purchase a washer/dryer I might remember the “maytaggate” incident and look deeper into product reviews/customer service sites for any trends). On the other side, if a blogger were to praise a particular brand or product about which I had a particular interest, I would read the info with interest but still engage in my own research/information gathering before making a final decision. All this to say I forget that for other readers, this is not the case. For whatever reason, they feel personally connected to the blogger or the particular issue and will “take up the cause” with/for them. (this is not always a negative but in the examples we are using here, I think it probably is) Although I’ve been reading blogs for a few years now, I just recently have started commenting and even that level of engagement still feels a bit awkward to me.

    I think your main point is spot on. If you have a large following (blog/twitter, whatever…) you really do have to think about what you say and how you say it. You will have some readers (whether you actually encourage (or frankly discourage) them or not) who take the situation to the next level and that is many times unfair to the person/company/product… about which you write. It may be a bit of a burden and sometimes unfair to the writers but unfortunately, that is how it goes these days. I do think in this particular situation (airline problem), the blogger really was upset and probably didn’t mind if people were upset on her behalf…

  36. Oct 25, 2010

    I agree wholly, the issue here is not if social media should be used to encourage accountability for companies, but where do you draw the line with such usage. In the Maytag thing, I kind of get it and yeah, you treat your customers badly and that stuff gets around. But here, I think we need to ask: who is really the problem? Clearly this is the blogger being unable to get her act together (though the details may be open to interpretation, maybe she had a genuine crisis that made her late or whatever) and tried to make it Delta’s fault. Delta loses your car seats an tries to pack you into a cab with un-harnessed kids? Yeah, Twitter the shit out of that. Delta says sorry we can’t endanger an entire plane because you are special? Not so much. I think this exposes important commentary on responsible social media use, powerful bloggers/people and their ethical responsibilities and how, as an entire culture, we just need to get over it and ditch the delusions of grandeur.

    Great list, I am loving this whole thread of discussions!

  37. Oct 25, 2010

    I don’t know anything about the nature of her recovery, but if it involves having difficulty filtering what one should and should not say, okay. I can see that. But ideally your spouse or whoever you’re traveling with helps you with that. If those of you who I’m internet-friends with ever this, I would DM the shit out of you to tell you to knock it off, because you were making yourself look bad. That’s what friends do; they tell you when you have spinach on your teeth, or your boob is hanging out, or you’re making an ass out of yourself. They don’t egg you on or shout discrimination or otherwise encourage you to make a spectacle. That’s how you can tell your real friends from the fake ones.

    And the thing that REALLY gets me is this: It’s not “just Twitter.” It’s not. There are actual human beings on the other sides of every one of these dustups. I can tell you at my airline, if someone caused drama on Twitter like this, the person who handled Twitter would have called the VP-Customer Service, and the VP-Customer Service would have called the VP-HR and a bunch of other people, and within a couple of of hours, every front-line employee even remotely connected to this event would be hauled into a VPs office. And that $10/hour employee would stand there shaking while he got ripped a bunch of new assholes. And probably someone would get fired. Maybe a few people. Airlines are always looking to cut staff, and $10/hour people are often scene as expendable.

    That’s all if the people working this flight actually worked for Delta. In cases where they’ve outsourced to a ground handling company, this stuff leads to that company being fired and another one coming in instead. Then a whole bunch of people lose their jobs, instead of just the ones who had the misfortune to be involved in this situation.

    It’s never “just Twitter.” There are real live people on the other end, every single time. And when the situation goes public, executives get involved, and then someone has to be made an example of. Every time.

    So if you’re going to bitch on Twitter, make sure you are so sure you are right that you are totally comfortable getting people fired. There is no “venting.” Email is for venting. When you trash somebody to the world, there will be consequences, and they won’t be to Delta—they’ll be to a $10/person.

  38. Oct 25, 2010

    there was a conference for twidiots in Detroit and I didn’t even know enough about it to ignore it on purpose!

    Also, #6? fuck off, socal!

  39. Oct 25, 2010

    I didn’t know there was outside involvement from spouse and others…but again, that’s the other people choosing to be involved, not necessarily the fault of Anissa.

    I think some people are naturally prone to try to fix and help, even when what they’re doing in response isn’t in the least bit helpful, not in the sense of being truly constructive. I have a son who has sensory issues. His school called me today, he’s been in the nurse’s office for an hour screaming about his shoes. My response? Walk away and let him work it out. Its a learned reaction, because as a mother my natural reaction to a child screaming about something is to figure out why they are screaming and try to fix it. There are times when parenting needs to be child-led and times when the parent needs to be in control of the situation because what the child wants isn’t going to work. Letting them learn coping skills is part of the job, and if I keep bringing him other pairs of socks to try, I’m enabling his behavior.

    I think lots of people carry that impulse well into adult relationships, and so when the blogger in question started to freak about missing the flight, everyone wanted to jump in and make it OK. They become enablers rather than taking the calm approach of “Hey, OK, this sucks. I’m here for you, vent some more with me. What can I do that’s realistic and useful to help you get home?”

    This thing looks like the domino effect was just misfiring on all pistons.

  40. Oct 25, 2010

    You’re welcome! And everybody, please visit April’s link today. The delicious baby picture in the sidebar is hers. Yum — in addition to attacking victims of strokes, I love to eat babies because I am evil.

  41. Oct 25, 2010

    But Kerry, don’t the people on the other end of Twitter have a responsibility to be reasonable, logical adults and control their reactions? We’re reading words on a screen. Yes, there’s a person behind them, but that person shouldn’t influence my decisions to the extent that I do illogical or stupid things because I sense they want me to.

    If I read an op-ed in the paper where some guy in my town is screaming about his neighbor’s dogs coming onto people’s property, and I decide I’m so compelled by that guy’s letter that I need to go shoot his neighbor’s dog for him, who’s in the wrong? Me or the guy who wrote the letter?

  42. Oct 25, 2010

    No way, dude! I thought the calling of the airline was the most hilarious part. “Ah, pardon me, Jeeves, but would you please tell the pilot to wait because we are running a little bit late.” COME ON! That’s WHACK.

  43. Oct 25, 2010

    Kerry, this is an awesome point not just about this issue, but about Twitter in general. No one wants heads to roll because of a personal one-off gripe online, and when it’s a large-scale issue, it suddenly seems totally possible, right?


  44. Oct 25, 2010

    You know, you’re right — there are some things that don’t make sense about the story. At some point I remember reading something that said, “We would have checked if we could” which I took to mean we would have checked bags if we could, but then the bags HAD been checked, because they didn’t have the bags with them.

    The thing is, she might have checked in 30 minutes to take off and just not gotten through security in time, that’s totally possible. I have had that problem before, but as you said, why wouldn’t she have asked to get moved to the front? I don’t know. Something doesn’t add up.

    Either way, we know they were late to the airport because they called to inform them that they were late. So, that’s the problem right there. Eliminate that problem and the rest of this goes away.

  45. Oct 25, 2010

    I felt compelled to write because I saw somebody acting like an entitled douchebag. I don’t like entitled douchebags. That’s my thing. Making fun of and calling out entitled douchebags.

    Now, if you want to believe that the reason she was acting like an entitled douchebag is because she had multiple strokes, that’s fine. That’s your right. I’m sure you aren’t alone. I personally do not believe that’s true. And I’m CERTAIN it’s not the case for her husband, who is the one who used the “discrimination” word, and who has not suffered any strokes at all.

    It is my understanding that, generally speaking, people who are differently abled want to be treated like everybody else. I make fun of people acting like entitled douchebags. She was acting like an entitled douchebag. That’s why I wrote the post.

  46. Oct 25, 2010

    Really, even when she was talking about getting free stuff from Delta? Still think that was the after effects of the stroke at work? Come on. I know you want to see the good in people and all that touchy feely shit but COME ON.

  47. Oct 25, 2010

    You’re both wrong. You for shooting the dog, and the guy who wrote the letter for not talking to the owner of the dog and finding a solution instead of trying to incite a riot (and by now, if you have thousands of followers, you cannot possibly fail to know that tweeting stuff like this will do just that). I’d argue too that for this analogy to work, we’d have to find out that the guy who wrote the letter was actually sort of taunting the dogs too, because geez…you can’t call the airport and have them hold the airplane. You just can’t. It’s not reasonable.

    The reality is that if you are a part-time, low-paid person, you are perceived as expendable by a large company. Someone with a large audience can cost a company a lot of money…more than your perceived worth, for sure.

    Plus, do we really want to handle problems this way? I mean, the grocery clerk who rang me out was kind of snippy with me today. Does that mean I should call her out in front of 7,000 people and get the executives of the grocery store’s corporate office involved? Wouldn’t it be more appropriate say, “Wow, it sounds like you’re having a bad day,” or maybe speak to the store manager on my way out, or otherwise do something a little more proportional to the crime? Even when we’re sure we’re right, do we want to bludgeon people like this? Is this how we want to treat each other now? Will this sort of discourse really improve service?

    Service workers are human beings.

  48. Oct 25, 2010

    When you are a very popular blogger, some of the people who follow you will be crazy. You have to realize this and take this into account when you behave or else you don’t deserve to have a platform. Yes. Bottom line.

  49. Oct 25, 2010

    Yes! And people are such fucking idiots about this, I cannot believe it. Plus I see an opportunity to bring in a Real Housewives reference — in the RHODC reunion that awful Salahi woman who crashed the White House party last year said “Nobody lost their job” on TV! She actually said that! She actually acted like what she did had NO CONSEQUENCES for other people. OMG OMG. It made me immediately think of mommybloggers and Twitter, and I am not kidding.

  50. Michelle
    Oct 25, 2010

    I think you give “Normal People” way too much credit if you believe that entitlement is only for Mommybloggers.

  51. Oct 25, 2010

    Oh no! I knew it was just a matter of time before one of the Detroit people showed up and gave me the finger. You know I only say things like that because I come from a cultural wasteland and lack a soul. Also, I attack people in wheelchairs and eat babies.

  52. Oct 25, 2010

    ME TOO. I thought the exact same thing. I wanted to reach through the TV and smack her.

    This is a huge hot button for me. People who serve you are not less than you. They are not expendable. They are not less-than. They should not be collateral damage, and so often they are, and it sucks.

  53. Oct 25, 2010

    At that point I just think she was being egged on by people who were being irresponsible. And I don’t think its fair to hold Anissa responsible for Peter’s tweet. Like I said, the domino effect was nasty, but that’s not all to be blamed on Anissa.

    C’mon, I’m not THAT touchy-feely. Am I?

    Sing it with me, “Kum bah ya…” You know the words… 😉

  54. Oct 25, 2010


  55. Oct 25, 2010

    You can fly out without ID. Once before a business trip my co-worker took my wallet out of my purse once (he needed my Lexis card for something), forgot to put it back in and then we both set out for LAX to fly to DC for work. They let me on. It helped that I had my federal ID, but it’s not like it lists my address or looks even remotely as official as a diver’s license.

    You just have to agree to go through extra patdowns and security measures and such. I had my parents fedex me my Canadian passport (the american one was in LA) to DC and flew back with that.

  56. Cheryl
    Oct 25, 2010

    Perhaps, but mommybloggers put it out there for the world to see when you Tweet it to 7000 people. Act like an entitled douchebag at the counter in the airport and you might have a hundred people see it. Act like an entitled douchebag on Twitter and it becomes a much bigger thing.

    We’ve all had our horror stores of traveling. A year ago I spent 10 hours in the tiniest terminal at Logan Airport. Yes, 10 hours because of delays, lightening strikes to my incoming plane, more delays and then of all freaking things, just as I’m about to board my plane after 9 hours of being there, the President comes into town and the entire airport shuts down for yet another hour. Never once did it cross my mind to Tweet how much I felt AirTran sucked that day.

    Bottom line, Anissa caused this herself. And then blamed everyone but herself. I’m with Anna on this one 150%….I cannot stand entitled douchebags and she acted like one.

  57. Rosa
    Oct 25, 2010

    I think it’s also important to note, there is fairness in being in a crap situation, and suddenly having a burst of frustration and angry and word diarrhea.

    This wasn’t just a moment of venting.

    It spanned an entire day.

    Which is important, because any non-entitled, rational, normal person would have quickly seen rationality and accepted blame. Maybe thought about it while sitting in the airport terminal, or on the flight back. But, oh no.

    It was almost a pre-meditated attack, from start to finish.

    And that is the scary part.

    It made a whole bunch of moments of her I see online come together like pieces of a puzzle in my head.


  58. I haven’t been following this too closely, but I did want to say that perhaps her medicine could not be carryon because it’s liquid?

    After Blogher United at LaGuardia took my organic no-sugar-added sealed jar of apple butter from my carryon luggage, and made me remove priceless family jewelry while screaming at me to get my ass back to bag 1 and remove the laptop.

    My fault-due to being disabled–yes–disabled–I had not flown in 6 years and had not familiarized myself with the new regulations.

    I like Anissa.

    That is all!

  59. Oct 25, 2010

    I am totally obsessive about getting to the airport at least 90 minutes before my flight. The majority of the time, I end up window shopping or sitting at the gate, but I’d rather do that than miss my plane. I’m totally paranoid. I’ve also never missed a plane. I don’t understand blaming the airline for being late and getting there 2 minutes before the flight leaves…

  60. Oct 25, 2010

    I’ve returned to blogging, at least temporarily, and your lists keep me on track.

    My #EatNestle list is up at http://mommyinchief.blogspot.com

  61. Oct 25, 2010

    I have to say my comment was influenced by my husband who was sitting behind me in the office when I read your list out loud. His ex wife was/is wheelchair bound. He said that he did call once out of all the years of traveling, to see if they could still make it when they were in the parking lot if the door could be held. The answer was if you get here, you get here.
    Personally I would never call.
    I agree that she is acting like an entitled MB. People are uncomfortable saying this because of her stroke. It reminds me of the time when my son was about three in a restaurant, a very causal place where I met up with friends. He was playing with the older daughters of my friends and he was laughing out loud because he was having fun. There was this older couple across from us, and the man yelled out to me, “you need to shut your child up we’re trying to eat.” I was aghast that he said that, and for a moment I went back to my upbringing about respecting your elders and all. But he was just WRONG. I leaned in and said,” just because you’re old doesn’t give you license to be an asshole without consequences.” Same goes for her situation.

  62. seeseesome
    Oct 25, 2010

    anna~your email made my day!! you think this mommyblogger thinks she deserves special treatment JUST wait until you check out mckmama! mckmama has tweeted while she was in the hospital {she’s a regular along with her 5 children} and asked someone to bring her chocolate milk when her reader asked if she needed anything~the lady thought that was strange, but she offered to bring mckmama anything she needed~she traveled by subway {round trip was i think about an hour and a half} yet when she arrived, jenn had left a message for her to just leave it with the nurse, she wasn’t up to receiving visitors at the moment{the story is at MWOP}
    she tweets she needs such and such and her sheeple fall over themselves sending it to her {iphones, special blankets, designer hospital gowns} and lightroom software!
    you will GREATLY enjoy her “story”~she’s not only been caught plagiarize her photo lessons, she stolen professional photographers photos and passed them off as her own~my suggestion to you would be to read the post at MWOP, then jenn’s blog, and the comments at MWOP are full of former sheeple that jenn has scammed~ from brides who sent deposit for her to photo her wedding to people who sent money for stellan’s{her “miracle” child} bracelets yet NEVER received the bracelets even though they followed up with emails
    jenn is worse than any politician i know by talking out of both sides of her mouth~her stock answer is “you must have misunderstood”
    she even stated one time that even sexual abuse of children was not reason for divorce~even though her husband has been convicted of 2 accounts of DV{while she was pregnant with stellan ~she believes in “total submission” as stated in the bible!
    she also has a blog frog community that is good for some laughs to~~~ one of the latest “hot topics” is “is it unusual that i still breast feed my 4 year old”

  63. Oct 25, 2010

    Nah, find something else about Anissa’s story to be perplexed by. I’ve been in airports where no one at security gave one good goddamn if people way back in line were about to miss a flight. I’ve never tried to jump the line in a wheelchair, and I think it would take some stone cold balls to refuse anyone who asked to, but I can easily believe it could happen.

  64. Rosa
    Oct 25, 2010

    Lorrie – any medicine you have a prescription for is allowed on the plane, liquid or not. Even contact lens solution.

  65. Oct 25, 2010

    OK, I’m glad you’re excited — but I just said I’d *look into* the Mckmama situation! I did not say I’d sign off on a wholesale condemnation of Mckmama at this point. Let me state for the record that I don’t know anything about Mckmama and am only beginning an investigation of Mckmama because so many people have demanded that I do so. As of right now, Mckmama might be a totally normal and legitimate person as far as I’m concerned, so let’s all just keep our pants on. For now.

  66. Oct 25, 2010

    Totally agree it pays to be nice. And I think if you’ve ever worked in a customer service position it really helps you in this situation. As I get older I really feel like some of the most valuable life experience I’ve ever had was the year I spent working in bookstores after graduating from college before I started graduate school. Not only did I have to deal with the public and therefore get a taste of this kind of behavior from that side, I was able to really understand from a firsthand perspective that people are not better than or less than based on those kind of circumstances. You don’t know why somebody is working where they are, or who they are or what their story is. You know they are human, and that they have a job to do that sometimes sucks ass. How about we try not to be assholes about it?

  67. Oct 25, 2010

    I feel for somebody missing a plane and being frustrated in an airport. Yes, in theory. But they start to lose me when I find out that it’s their fault because they were late for the airport, and they’re blaming the airline for it, and complaining about transfer fees and chargers and meds being packed. Because that’s a personal responsibility issue. I hate being late, I hate having to spend time in airports. But taking it out on people who are not at fault is not what responsible adults — parents! — do.

  68. Oct 25, 2010

    Yeah, me too. I’ve been there that early and still had such a long security line that it’s been a close call. And I end up all sweaty and panicked when that happens.

  69. Nic
    Oct 25, 2010

    Oh, that’s a sad situation. I do think she started off normal and then, like so many people, had An Incident that spurred a ton of blog traffic and they were enamored with the secondary gains in a terrible situation and well, it just all went downhill from there. (I did watch that situation unfold and was, at one point, a big supporter of hers.)

  70. Yeah, obviously I did not properly educate myself before flying. Thanks, Rosa!

  71. Rosa
    Oct 25, 2010

    PLENTY of people have incidents that spur a ton of blog traffic, and they don’t become self-entitled douchebags. Just because something bad happens to you doesn’t mean the world owes you a thing. It SHOULD. But it doesn’t work that way.

  72. MCL
    Oct 25, 2010

    I’m confused why the discrimination accusation isn’t a bigger deal for your commenters.

    Because OH MY FUCKING GOD, are you kidding me?!

  73. Rosa
    Oct 25, 2010

    That’s actually what really struck me about this whole thing. Where, exactly, was the discrimination? That’s a pretty serious claim to throw out there.

  74. Oct 26, 2010

    holy shit! (can I say that?). I want to vomit throw up on this type of behavior. WTF?

  75. Nic
    Oct 26, 2010

    Oh, I totally agree. The MckMama thing got NASTY rather quickly. And, to my knowledge, remains that way.

  76. Oct 26, 2010

    Mckmama interests me in part because her recent dismissal from . . . an ad network is reminiscent of my own dismissal in that it seemed like a dicey reason to dismiss somebody at best. The charge of “plagiarism” was a little trumped up, since the amount of material she used was well within fair use, and the only problem would have been direct citation of the handout she had used from the photography class. It was an infraction, to be sure, but it was a minor one, and it was something that could be easily fixed and something of which many, many people are guilty both on the web and throughout publishing everywhere on a routine basis.

    Not to say it was totally kosher what happened, I’m just saying: they were clearly trying to find a way to get her out and jumped on it. They did the same thing to me. That part interested me. I don’t think her situation is a wrongful termination of contract, but it still reminded me of my own experience because if she was somebody else I’m guessing they would have looked the other way.

  77. Oct 26, 2010

    The discrimination thing is just too absurd to even deal with. I think people get caught up on the entitlement involved with the calling of the airport, and cannot even get to the discrimination part. It’s like the discrimination is an afterthought.

  78. Michelle
    Oct 26, 2010

    Maybe it’s because anyone who has ever worked as customer service in any capacity knows that ‘discrimination’ is a go-to for the entitled.

  79. Al
    Oct 26, 2010

    I’m of the opinion if you don’t like her, don’t read her and if you still choose to read her, quit your bitching. I think she could use some therapy, it’s like she’s completely addicted to the attention she recieves from her blog. From strangers. On the Internet.

    I also don’t think Blogher her trumped up any charges in releasing her from her contract. She ignored the standard rules for giveaways several times. She plagarized more than once, including posting photographs without crediting the source and she calls herself a professional photographer. I think it’s unfortunate she lost her income since it seemed as though that was the sole means in providing for her family.

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