Would you like more “plain talk” from airline employees?

Robert, a loyal MR reader, writes to me:

Are there any airlines where the flight staff speak/behave more "naturally," as opposed to the robotic beauty queen default? I don't mean this in a snarky way. I'm just curious, since customers don't seem to be overly fond of the default mode, and some folks actively dislike it. I also imagine the enforced pleasantness to be a relatively tough/emotionally costly act for most flight attendants to keep up. However, I am not sure how customers would react to more natural flight-attendant speech, body language etc., given expectations of default behaviour.

My longstanding view is that half of them dislike or sometimes even despise their customers and that their natural speech patterns, given their true feelings, would come across negatively.  Perhaps Air Genius Gary Leff can comment on the cross-sectional variations vis-a-vis different airlines.  But the problem is a tough one.  They face lots of customers, with varying and often unreasonable expectations, and they have few resources to buy them off with.

In which sectors do the service staff have the highest opinions of their customers?  (Do you have nominations?  How about the old days at Tower Records?  How about an indie bookstore?)  I would expect a greater extent of plain speak in those situations.

What should we infer about doctors?  Ladies of the evening?  Economics professors?

Addendum: Gary responds.


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