June 26, 2013 10:12 ET

No Need to Maple-o-gize; Canadians Fondly 'Flash the Flag' Too!

Canadians and Americans Use Maple Leaf to Secure Better Service

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 26, 2013) - It's long been rumoured that Americans wear the Canadian flag while traveling abroad to get friendlier treatment, but that patch on your backpack will only get you so far. FlightNetwork.com, one of Canada's leaders in online travel, is providing a Canada Day dossier to help travellers spot flag-jacking infractions while vacationing overseas.

"Using quintessentially Canadian symbols, body language and facial expressions is a time-tested way to enhance the travel experience abroad," said Allison Eberle, VP of Operations for FlightNetwork.com. "It's not surprising that travellers from other nations would do their best to come off Canuck."

As summer travel heats up, FlightNetwork.com commissioned body language expert and author Mark Bowden of TruthPlane Inc. to demonstrate faux Canadiana contortions that immediately betray a 'flag-jacker' -- be they American, English or other.*

In video and photographs posted at FlightNetwork.com, Bowden displays the Top Four Flag-Jacking Foul-ups:

  • Stars and Gripes Forever: Chin is jutted out, face is blank (or worse, frowning), causing the recipient of the message to assume something is wrong before the traveler has spoken
  • The Frost Bite: An aggressive stance signaling displeasure, causing irritation
  • American Psycho: A well-meaning but misplaced gesture that appears superior, placing outstretched arms with palms down, above the heads of others, in an attempt to calm a situation but has the effect of escalating it
  • The Polka-Loon (corollary to "Toque Tilt"): Overdoing friendly head tilt in a manner that implies you might need pharmaceutical assistance

So, now that you can spot a flag-jacker, how can a Canuck get better service? When cruising the Champs Elysees, does the waiter pooh-pooh your paltry appeal for service? While ordering a pint in Pontypool, is the bartender frostier than the froth on your Fuller's? It could be the body language you're using. A common question travellers ask is "How do I get along when in a foreign country?" The answer is simple: Be your kind, courteous self, and use internationally-recognized Canadian gestures to win friends and influence people.

In video and photographs posted at FlightNetwork.com, Bowden displays top tips to identify oneself as Canadian, and, ideally, an easy-going traveller. A tourist who behaves politely is more likely to be received well, and can wear the 'maple leaf' with pride. He recommends the following:

  • The Maple-o-gy (pronounced "May-paw-loh-gee"): A Canadian gesture showing submission by raising the shoulders in an apologetic motion, showing oneself to be no threat
  • The Cooler: Placing bent arms with hands palm down at belly level to help diffuse a tense situation
  • The Canuck Crinkle: Showing the creases around your eyes when smiling - indicates genuine friendliness
  • The Toque Tilt: Slight tilting of the head when smiling, shows courtesy/congeniality

Happy Canada Day

*FlightNetwork.com recommends that you always observe flag-jackers from a safe distance.

About FlightNetwork.com (www.flightnetwork.com)

As one of Canada's leaders in online travel, Flight Network delivers the lowest airfares from the top airlines by offering consumers access to over 2 million bulk rates on cheap flights negotiated with major airlines. Its proprietary flight booking engine offers last second booking and the exclusive ability to 'mix and match' fares - the only Canadian online travel agency that allows booking on different airlines for departure and return flights to get the lowest fares possible. Backing up Flight Network's award winning online service are over 120 insightful travel specialists in the FlightNetwork.com call centre who ensure that customers successfully book the best travel deals.

FlightNetwork.com's Price Drop Protection plan is a unique, free program, exclusive to FlightNetwork.com customers on all economy flights, vacations and hotels. The Price Drop Deal is now unlimited on all domestic, USA and international flights, as well as vacations and hotel bookings. If you book with FlightNetwork.com, and the price drops after you book, you will get the difference credited back.

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