Should greeting passengers “Merry Christmas” in airports be banned?

Few days ago I found a disturbing article from Inquirer:

MANILA, Philippines — Lest they be mistaken for soliciting for tips, gifts or bribes, employees of the Manila International Airport Authority have been instructed not to greet airline passengers “Merry Christmas” and “Happy New Year” during the holiday season. (Inquirer 12/16/2009)

I think it is possible to have a win-win solution: it is possible to greet passengers “Merry Christmas” or “Happy New Year” and at the same time prevent airport personnel from soliciting tips.  One way is make a policy that those who greet passengers must be the one who shall give something to the passengers for free: a card or something with NAIA and PAL logo, a picture of the Nativity, and a “Merry Christmas!” written on it.  The reason why Filipino passengers return home is because it is Christmas. So let us greet them a Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.

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About Quirino M. Sugon Jr
Theoretical Physicist in Manila Observatory

3 Responses to Should greeting passengers “Merry Christmas” in airports be banned?

  1. mao says:

    There’s a thing that’s also bothering, the usage of the greeting “Happy Holidays”. Mind them that in the Philippines there is only one holiday this season and it’s Christmas, so major shopping malls and others should never use this ’cause it is not applicable here not like other countries like the USA. Maybe it’s part of the trend to make Christmas very secular… Shame on them. One cannot separate Christmas from Christ.

  2. Enbrethiliel says:

    +JMJ+

    First of all, Merry Christmas, Quirino!

    Now to address your post . . .

    I wouldn’t interpret a holiday greeting as a solicitation for a tip, but I guess I’m in the minority.

    For the past few days, I’ve been running into a man who likes to hang out near my parish church. Since I go every evening, he has learned to recognise me and likes to help me cross the street . . . whether or not I need any help crossing the street. (I mean, only one car as far as the eye can see is hardly rush hour traffic!)

    Anyway, when I was walking home from Midnight Mass last night, he approached me again, helped me across the street, wished me a Merry Christmas . . . and asked for a gift!

    Grrrrrrrr!

    It’s not very nice to know that he was just being self-serving the whole time I was going to Simbang Gabi! =(

  3. Enbrethiliel says:

    +JMJ+

    PS–I like your idea of having the airport personnel give presents (even small cards) to the passengers. To give is better than to receive, after all! ;-)

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