Etiquette in Travel

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I seem to travel non-stop for work these days. Sometimes it’s hard—travel delays, anyone?—but most of the time you find a rhythm, responding to e-mails in hotel lobbies, working on a proposal in an airport terminal or—if you’re me—writing thank-you notes on a tray table during a flight.

This kind of flexible work style functions best when you have convenient services and places to keep you in your groove. From easy-to-use WiFi in airports to credit card machines in taxis (thank you New York City!), hotels and airports are adapting to serve working travelers. It’s why Hyatt Place Hotels and I created a website for business professionals — www.TheEtiquetteEffect.com.

There are so many etiquette questions about how to handle yourself (and your technology) when working on the road—questions that have answers which will make you more confident and successful.

One of my favorite travel questions is how to ask for an upgrade. You know it’s worth asking, but you also know you have to strike the right tone—it’s all in the how. (So much of etiquette is, as it turns out.)

You want the person you’re asking to want to help you. The key here is never to bluster or demand; always request with a smile, a please and a respectful tone of voice. “Would you mind checking to see if there are any upgrades available please? I’d really appreciate it.”

An upgrade is a favor, even if it’s in recompense for a mistake made, so that appreciation is key, no matter the situation. And if your wish is granted, don’t forget an equally sincere “thank you.”

Even if you don’t get that upgrade, a genuine, “Thanks for looking. I appreciate your time,” shows that you truly are a well-mannered professional. Good luck!

As told by Anna Post for Hyatt Place, www.TheEtiquetteEffect.com. Anna Post is Emily Post’s great-great-granddaughter and an author and spokesperson for The Emily Post Institute.

About Melody Demel

Melody is Senior Manager, PR for Boingo Wireless, where she is responsible for media relations, brand building and thought leadership initiatives. Melody is a die-hard Nebraska Cornhuskers fan and retired NCAA DI college field hockey player.
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