Reader Travel Tip of the Day: Another Note on Elevator Close Buttons

reader-travel-tip2Another Note on Elevator Close Buttons
Each Friday, we’re featuring a reader-submitted tip as our Travel Tip of the Day. This week’s tip is a footnote on Tuesday’s tip, in which I reminded everyone to hit the close button in a crowded elevator—to potentially save time, but also to appease the other riders if you’re the one by the buttons. Well, as reader Liane (thanks, Liane!) made sure to add:

“When people are aware the close door button has no function they don’t bother to push it. Only people who don’t know it is not functional will actually push the button. It isn’t that people are being rude or inconsiderate. They simply don’t push the button because they understand it has no impact and is pointless…This is true in hotels, malls, office buildings and any place with an elevator. Only in places like a hospital will the button actually work. In a medical emergency when you need to go quickly the button is functional. It is up to the building owner to decide whether or not the button will function.”

The New York Times and the Consumerist, among others, have even written about this. It’s interesting to me to hear that many close buttons don’t work. I didn’t know this! Did you? What has your experience been?



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Johnny Jet
I used to be afraid to fly and at times even leave the house! I conquered my fear (long story) and now I travel to 20+ countries a year sharing my firsthand knowledge, tips and deals with friends, family and readers. Please sign up to our free newsletters and tell your friends!

6 Comments on "Reader Travel Tip of the Day: Another Note on Elevator Close Buttons"

  1. The elevator close door buttons work in New Zealand and Australia. Rarely anywhere in North America.

  2. I always thought that they didn’t work until one day when I saw an elevator repair guy use it. I figured that if anyone knew if it worked or not, it would be him.

  3. Hi Whitney,

    This is awesome and it was really great. Thanx a lot for your lovely tip.

  4. I don’t know what elevators Liane is riding, but almost all elevators I have ridden in the past several years have “close” buttons that work and……I use them!

  5. Good to see Liane’s comment. I always thought it was just me that never saw the close buttons working except in certain types of facilities, e.g. hospitals and medical offices. My former career used to have me in those facilities very frequently and they always seemed to work there but not elsewhere.

    As an after thought I would like to add, please do not do what I saw a recent cruise ship passenger do to the horror of those of us already on an elevator. Elevator doors were almost closed. She raced up and waived the pool towel she had wrapped around her neck between the almost closed doors trying to get them to not close. Thank heavens someone on the elevator also placed their hand between the doors or we might likely have witnessed her strangulation by pool towel.

  6. Most elevator close buttons do not work. But aboard most ships the buttons do work and that is great when the lobby is full of people. It’s good to have control of the doors and close them when too many people are trying to make a decision where to push in or wait. Or to bypass floors when you are full. Everyone in the cab appreciates it when someone takes control and moves the elevator to the next floor without the waits.

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