Not too long ago I got into a conversation with a guy who had worked for an airline service phone line, servicing mainly frequent traveler, top-tier loyalty customers to be precise (the equivalent of Lufthansa Senator or AirFrance KLM Flying Blue Platinum).

We talked a lot about the tension that is sometimes building between companies and their customers. Whether it is because of bad customer experiences, higher expectation levels with customers or worse execution by companies. And so we got to the subject of annoying customers. I asked him which were the single most obnoxious customers he would be connected to.

I really was curious as I did not know what to expect.
Younger people maybe, that have more liquid expectations and expect more from servicing organizations? Older, more senior people later in their career maybe, that had seen it all and were fed up with the airline quirks? Specific nationalities? Business travelers (the travelers’ tribe) that travel with their family for leisure and get fed up because their kids are not treated well? People flying business or even first class?
I really didn’t know.

Without a single moment of hesitation, he replied: “people who just turned top tier”
“They”, he explained to me, “feel they are entitled to many things because they just got to the highest level. They are super strict when it comes to the things they feel they should get.”

And I’m guilty as charged. Remembering various moments where I as a frequent traveler got into arguments with customer service departments because I thought I did not get what I was entitled to.

It probably is a great reminder for all of us – frequent traveler? Just turned top tier in your loyalty program? Don’t be a dick.

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