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What’s the problem, ‘darling’?

Crime rates on the rise, Brexit worries and the death of high street shopping, but what’s the big problem we’re facing… obviously pet names!



Pet names. Some people like them, others hate them, and some people really couldn’t care less. So why has contractor Wilson James taken the decision to stop its Gatwick-based staff from using them after just one complaint?

Actually they haven’t!

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The national press has picked up a memo that was released from one of the airports service providers:

“Due to a recent customer complaint to GAL, can I ask that when communicating with our customers, you refrain from using terms such as “Love” & “Darling”.

If you do not know the name of the person you are speaking with, please refer to them as Sir/Madam.”

With tabloids exploiting the opportunity to attack the airport with claims of ‘Gatwick Bans Staff…” you wonder if silly season is indeed upon us.

To clarify, the memo was NOT sent out by Gatwick but by Wilson James who provide assisted services to the airport such as helping people in wheelchairs.

We contacted Wilson James who pointed out there is NO ban on the terms “Love” and “Darling”.

A Wilson James spokesperson said:

“Per our earlier statement to the media Wilson James endeavours to provide regular briefings and staff training around professional and courteous language. The memo which has been published is an example of that kind of briefing. 

To our knowledge there is no ban on the language reference this is simply a case of trying to provide best practise customer care.”

Gatwick themselves have also been left bewildered by the claims of the nationals but did provide a statement.

A Gatwick spokesperson said:

“Gatwick takes passenger complaints very seriously and, alongside our business partners, we always strive to address each passenger in a professional and courteous manner.”

So in a world where terror threats, global warming and Brexit are at the forefront of everyones mind, are we really concerned about the use of these words?

Most people agree that terms of endearment such as “darling”, “babe” and “sweetheart” are not offensive anyway.

A debate on ITV’s This Morning last year which featured comedienne Kate Smurthwaite and Kim Woodburn covered this very issue.

During the debate, Phillip Schofield referred to a poll presented to This Morning viewers asking: “Would you be offended if someone called you darling, babe or sweetheart at a supermarket checkout?”

A total of just under 13,000 people responded to the poll, which concluded that an overwhelming majority, 88% of people say ‘No’, they wouldn’t be offended.


Whiteboards out at Gatwick as digital screens go down

Passengers huddle around large white boards as staff frantically try to keep them informed.



Photo by Edmund von der Burg @evdb

Gatwick has had to take to writing flight information on whiteboards as their digital screens went down due to a technical issue.

The issue had occurred with the boards IT provider Vodafone.

Photo by @GinaMurrin

A spokesperson for Gatwick Airport said:

“Due to an ongoing issue with Vodafone, a provider of IT services for Gatwick, flight information is not being displayed correctly on the airports digital screens and is currently being displayed manually in the terminals. 

Gatwick would like to apologise to any passengers affected and expect Vodafone to resolve the issue as soon as possible.”

Gatwick added that this is only affecting a small number of flights in and out.

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Vodafone say the problems are down to a ‘damaged fibre cable’.

A spokesperson for Vodafone said:

“We have identified a damaged fibre cable which is used by Gatwick Airport to display flight information.

“Our engineers are working hard to fix the cable as quickly as possible. This is a top priority for us and we are very sorry for any problems caused by this issue. We are keeping Gatwick Airport constantly informed of progress.”

There are lots of staff are in the terminal working with passengers keeping them informed and lots of tanoy announcements.

But whilst many stories are reporting suggested chaos, passengers in the terminal are saying the situation is not that bad:

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