I interacted with quite a few United Airlines’ employees today on my journey from Philadelphia to Orange County via Chicago and was struck by something: no staff member–not a single one–uttered the word "Thanksgiving." Instead, everyone said, "Have a happy holiday" or "We wish you a pleasant holiday."
I can understand why ticket counter staff, RCC staff, gate agents, pilots, and FAs might choose to go with the catch-all "Happy Holidays" jingle rather than "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Chanukah," but when did "Thanksgiving Day" become a politically incorrect holiday? I don’t get it. Yes, Thanksgiving Day in late November is an American holiday, but I I’ve been wished a "Happy Boxing Day" on Air Canada before and didn’t link it to British jingoism.
There are certainly more important things to worry about, but I am scratching my head over this issue. It almost seemed like UA HQs sent out a memo banning the word Thanksgiving. To me, saying "have a happy holiday" is just not worth the breath.
When their lawyers in Human Resources told them it was.* 🙂
*Except in Alaska and Vermont on alternate Tuesdays when Mercury is in retrograde.
I got the “happy holiday” line with reservations yesterday. Thought it was a little weird, too.
They probably don’t want to offend some (most?) Native Americans. I’m flying on Christmas day this year and fully intend to wish every UA person I encounter a ‘Merry Christmas’. While I have in the past relented on the PC-ness of ‘Happy Holidays’, on Christmas Day I’m going to take the chance the receiver will appreciate my specificity.
@Darren: It appears you are on to something: