I’ve just finished reading Chuck Thompson’s book Smile When You Are Lying — a good read I will write more about later — and there are many things that stuck with me (for different, random reasons). One of them is his suggestions to lie for benefits when you travel .
His argument is that travel-companies lie to us all the time (for example an airline’s “on-time” record that is always finessed in undetectable ways) so there is no harm playing the same game to our advantage. For instance: When you are booking a hotel and you are asked if you have a corporate discount, say yes and provide the name of a Fortune 500 company. They are unlikely to cross-check and you will get a better deal.
He also says: “…if you are creative and willing to sacrifice some personal integrity deals will fall your way more than not.” His examples: 1) You are prone to deep-vein thrombosis and need a bulkhead seat; 2) you just pulled a red-eye shift at work and you’re the best man at a wedding; the minute you get off the plane to have to race to the rehearsal dinner so can they block out an empty row at the back so that you can get some rest?
These lies are harmless, and looks like they have money-saving and added-comfort benefits.
I have no issues white-lying in general, especially in personal situations when it can save you from hurting someone else. For example: I’d rather say “I can’t come to your birthday because I have diarrhea” than “I hate your friends and really don’t feel like it.” As for white-lying while traveling, call me over scrupulous, but I wouldn’t be able to do comfortably nor convincingly, so I wouldn’t. Would you? Do you?