Merry Christmas' a no-no at airport

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Warm smiles are encouraged. But welcoming visitors with "Merry Christmas" greetings are not.

The Manila International Airport Authority on Wednesday told its employees and personnel to refrain from greeting arriving and departing passengers "Merry Christmas" to avoid the impression that they are soliciting Christmas gifts, whether in cash or in kind.

"I strongly discourage them from extending the 'Merry Christmas' or other similar greetings to passengers because such a gesture, no matter how casual or sincere, might be misinterpreted as asking for a tip," Miaa General Manager Jose Angel Honrado explained.

"A warm and friendly smile is enough-and, of course, very efficient service," he added.

Honrado said the "reminder" is especially aimed at employees and personnel manning airport counters or those who are tasked to assist passengers.

"It is not good for airport personnel, including immigration and customs officers, to be perceived as gift solicitors," he said.

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