Coping with Business Travel

Coping with business travel can leave many travellers: frustrated, annoyed, angry or upset.  Does this sound like you?  Many business travellers are also frequent flyers and you know what it can be like with delayed flights, disrespectful workers, angry customers, or just having to plain wait.  So how do you travel in a way where you remain calm and lead by example for those who are not?
It is much easier than you think to remain calm during the storms that come with flying.  My question to ask anyone who is a traveller and is not exactly happy about the delays, food, cold personnel or other issues that come up, is: Can you control this situation?  There are many situations we can control.  For example, we control our reactions to travelling nightmares.  We can choose to remain calm or explode.  However, does it make sense to react negatively?  For example, can you control that a pilot or crew is late for the plane?  Could they control it?  Many pilots and crews are coming from another flight and have to go through security and customs just like you, but in a faster line.  This can cause delays if their previous flight was delayed.  You can’t control that situation and perhaps they could not have either (I am pretty sure they are not overly happy about having to work longer either), so is it worth getting upset when the flight board changes your take off time by 30 or more minutes?   You may be upset, but to complain about it to the airline worker is not going to do any good.

My advice, as I am a more frequent traveller myself, is to first recognize what you can actually control.  Your emotional responses and your actions to those around you are what you have control over.  Use these to lead by example.  Remain calm, if you talk about the delays or other issues with others, keep it on a positive note rather than a negative one.  Perhaps you say: “Great!  I have 30 more minutes to read, be on the wifi or answer emails.”  Putting a positive spin on it may calm those around you who are not as happy, as well as yourself.

Now that you have determined what you can and cannot control, it is time to recognize this and learn to accept it.  When things get rough or delays / rude people are around, take a deep belly breath 3 times to relax you, ask politely if there is an update on the flight status (be sure to thank the worker for the status) and call the person who is receiving you on the other end, so they know about the delay.  Then it is time to: sit back, relax, call a friend or family member to say hi, read a good book (there are lots available at airports), grab something to eat, but whatever you do – do not get upset, angry or disrespectful.  Lead by example.

Lastly, do not react to someone else’s reactions.  If someone else starts getting upset or yelling at the airline worker about a delay or any other issue with the flight, don’t join in.  Show others you have patience and others will likely join you.  Stressing over the little things during travel can cause mental and physical issues (think stress, pain, high blood pressure or others) that are just not worth it.  So, I say, enjoy the “you” time, relax the best you can and do the what you can to be positive in any bad situation.

Happy flying travellers!

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