Sponsor Message:
Travel Polls & Prefs Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Gate Agents - How Do you Deal With Problem Passeng  
User currently offlineBridogger6 From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 715 posts, RR: 10
Posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 6777 times:

Well, we want to keep our airline in business... so we're not going to normally purposely do something downright horrible to a passenger.... but there are some who are just total jerks, not matter how far you go to try to appease them. So... what are some of the passive aggressive ways that you get back at such passengers? I know we all do it... it some ways...

For example... I had a passenger once complaining repeatedly about the middle seat he was stuck in... the aircraft had been downgraded so the seating configuration had changed and he no longer had his precious aisle seat. I can understand being upset about that, but these things do happen. He repeatedly demanded a first class seat, and he wasn't even nice about it in the least. I can understand being upset, but there is no reason to make a complete ass of yourself. Anyway, I promised I would get him an aisle seat and apologized for the situation (even though I wasn't sorry at all at that point, the man was making a complete fool of himself)... I asked the man in the aisle seat next to him to follow me, and I took the gentleman up to first class in plain view of the complaining passenger. I went back to his seat and said "You can take the aisle seat right next to you." That shut the guy up AND I got him his aisle seat.  Smile

What are some of the things you have done as gate agents or flight attendants that are similar when passengers are downright rude about things that are out of your control?

15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAIR757200 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 1579 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 6705 times:

Quoting Bridogger6 (Thread starter):
repeatedly about the middle seat he was stuck in...

"If there was another seat available, I would offer it to you, otherwise, if you want to pay a change fee for another flight with an aisle, that's an option."

Quoting Bridogger6 (Thread starter):
He repeatedly demanded a first class seat, and he wasn't even nice about it in the least.

"You're guaranteed a seat in the cabin you've purchased, pre-resevered seats are subject to change and are simply a "request".. and you are not guaranteed an actual seat number."

Quoting Bridogger6 (Thread starter):
I promised I would get him an aisle seat and apologized for the situation (even though I wasn't sorry at all at that point, the man was making a complete fool of himself).

Never promise, always say "I'll try my best to assist you..." .. I guess offering an apology is OK, but if he was being a jerk, I wouldn't of.

Don't reward people with attitudes or bad behaviors, it only encourages them to continue doing it in the future and contributes to the decline in dealing with issues in a civilized manner.


User currently offlineChewingPlastic From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 57 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 6642 times:

Ohh, you are so, so smart.

I'm surprised gate agents have the authority to do that, is that not a flight attendant's responsibility? I'll be even nicer on my next flight.


User currently offlineN353SK From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 822 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 6600 times:

Quoting ChewingPlastic (Reply 2):
Ohh, you are so, so smart.

I'm surprised gate agents have the authority to do that, is that not a flight attendant's responsibility? I'll be even nicer on my next flight.

On most airlines it is the Gate Agent's responsibility as they must edit the information into the computer, and I'm pretty sure the passenger should get a new Boarding Pass too.


User currently offlineBridogger6 From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 715 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 6497 times:

The flight attendants usually don't have any say until the door is closed. Once the door is closed, there is not much the gate agent can do to stop them from doing whatever they want to do...

And yes, the man I bumped up, his seat was changed in the computer. And gate agents CAN do that. We have the the authority to do, what we need to to make the customer happy (in many things)... using our best judgment. I used my best judgment and did what should have made two people happy.

Okay, so any other gate agents or flight attendants out there with similar stories? Come on, there have to be some.


User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 6374 times:

Quoting Bridogger6 (Thread starter):
I asked the man in the aisle seat next to him to follow me, and I took the gentleman up to first class in plain view of the complaining passenger. I went back to his seat and said "You can take the aisle seat right next to you."

Brilliant!

I was booted from First Class a few months ago on an aircraft swap the F/C cabin had been downsized from 18 to 14. The airline called us a day before to inform us that they needed us to change flights since they had changed to a smaller cabin and could we/would we take another flight that day. Our travel plans didn't allow for that so we were told no problem....not at least until we got to the airport to print the boarding passes and found NO ASSIGNED SEAT, see the agent.......mmmm, sure different than the itinerary I had in hand showing 1E/F. We dashed into the airlines club and found out why....seems all the F/C seats had been F/C tickets except our that were "Y" fare purchase upgrades due to level of Elite we were....so we got to sit in coach for the 3 hr trip...not where we wanted for sure but understood that since all the tickets were purchased in first oh well. Though of making a few choice comments about being Plat/Gold etc., but surprised myself and used my head since we are good standing in Elite status and hardly ever are in coach that I'd be nice and quiet. Not to my surprise but certainly not expected, upon getting to the gate, the gate agent paged us, again apologized for the mess up, got us bulkhead seats at window and aisle leaving the only open seat on the airplane being our middle seat open AND gave us each certificate for $250 to be used in purchasing of future tickets. WOW that was sure nice......so we board and the flight attendant knows us as we have flown on her flights numerous times......we got pre departure drinks, wine with first class glasses during the flight and even 1 the first class meal option, oh yeah and the famous ice cream and all the toppings before landing.......so it pays to be kind, polite, and understanding to agents and employees no matter where! There I think is a lesson in here someplace for all you wanna be turds.  Smile Oh and that is why I will continue to fly CONTINENTAL.



Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlineLamedianaranja From Venezuela, joined Nov 2004, 1246 posts, RR: 20
Reply 6, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 6349 times:

Quoting Bridogger6 (Thread starter):
He repeatedly demanded a first class seat,

I just say: "Yes sir, no problem sir. KL's First Class is up on the roof"  Big grin They should get the message by then!



I wish that all skies were orange and blue!!
User currently offlineUALPHLCS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 6274 times:

I had a customer on the ticket counter once, who was complaining that he got a middle seat. I told him there nothing I could do from the ticket counter but see that gate agents at 20 minutes prior to departure and they might be able to accomidate him. This wasn't good enough for him and refused to leave the ticket counter until he had an aisle seat. So I booked him on the NEXT flight to ORD and checked him into an aisle seat. I remember he smuggly said "Now, was that so hard?" to which I replied "Not at all sir since all I had available was on the next flight at 11 o'clock." "Oh, NO No." the guy said. "I need to be on the 10 o'clock." OK I said and rebooked and rechecked him in on his original flight, in the original middle seat. Now he understood that middle was all that was available and went to the gate to see if they could help him.

As a gate agent I checking in a really gorgeous woman into her pre-assigned aisle seat. She was absolutly model beautiful. The next guy got a middle so I quickly changed it to the middle next to her. I handed him the middle and he complained a second then I said "would it help to know I checked you into the middle seat next to her?" He snatched the boarding pass quick as a flash and said "thank you!"


User currently offlineFreedom747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 6234 times:

That's right. You are guaranteed "A" seat on the plane. Flights are subject to change without notice. READ THE FINE PRINT.......LOL, I love it.

User currently offlineGQfluffy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 6206 times:

Quoting AIR757200 (Reply 1):
Don't reward people with attitudes or bad behaviors, it only encourages them to continue doing it in the future and contributes to the decline in dealing with issues in a civilized manner.

Best advice all day. If you give in once, they think it's their god-given right and DEMAND it each time afterwards.

My worst "mistake" (well, I proved a point that I'm human too, but I honestly think I probably should've kept my mouth shut) This night, I was an all-in-one. Working counter, gate, ramper, etc... Here we go.

I was working a late-night flight at a thru station, and while checking for bags, I saw two boxes against the bulkhead, or at least I thought they were up against it, and didn't move them to see what was behind them. Turns out it was a lawyer's briefcase. Great. Went back inside to board the flight, see him standing at our counter pacing back and forth, ignore it, and start boarding. One passenger says- "I think he wants to talk to you". I reply that he can wait, my first concern is getting this flight out of here. After the flight leaves, I walk up to him and ask him if I could help him. "Yes you can f****** help me, get your a** back out there and chase down the f****** plane and get me my f****** bag." I see out of the corner of my eye that a airport cop started leaning towards out counter. Great, that's the last thing I need is for this guy to get arrested for blowing his top. I apologize to him, explain that it was probably my fault, and while we were very short that night, (I was the only one working) I would do my best to get it routed back here as soon as possible. I start filling out the lost bag report, while being called every single name in the book. I ask him if I could see his boarding pass, in which he literally throws it at my head, telling me to "hurry the f*** up." At that point, while the cop started walking at a fast clip towards us, I lose it.
M-me L-asshole lawyer

M- Sir, yes, I left your bag on that flight, I apologize, but...
L- (interrupting) You know, how hard is it to look. Jesus Christ, what if I had sensitive documents in there? How worthless are you? You aren't worth the money they pay you. God I can't believe this. How stupid do you have to...
M- (interrupting him) All right, how much do you make a year?
L-None of your business.
M- Seriously, how much? Say $150,000. Divide that by 2080 (average hours worked per year right?) makes that like $72 an hour. I make (at the time) $8.50 an hour. Say that one bag, that briefcase, that 25 lb case, makes that aircraft overweight, and they crash because I didn't put that extra 25 lbs on the sheet to give to the captain. THAT is my MISTAKE. that is potentially 19 passengers and 2 crew, for a total of 21 lives that I just killed because I made a simple mistake. Do you think $8.50 is enough compensation for that?
L- Starts to mumble something
M-(interupting again) No, I don't. Now, again, I'm freaking sorry I left your bag on that flight. I will do my best to get it back here as soon as possible. Technically I could've walked away when you started shooting your mouth off and cussing at me, but I didn't. Now, I'll give that number there a call when I know more information about your bag. Any other questions?
L- No...
M- Have a good night....

The prick leaves, and I look over to the other counters and at the cop. Everyone was laughing so hard they had tears coming out of their eyes. Honestly, I felt ashamed for losing control of myself like that, but some people need to be put in their place. I am totally surprised I didn't get fired for it, but, after a chat with our Customer Relations supervisor, in which she laughed, but basically gave me a slap on the hand, I was told never to do it again.

LoL, and when I delivered his case to him, he actually shook my hand and said he owed me an apology....


User currently offlineUA_727 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 215 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 6099 times:

Here's the thing about the flying public, and it is a very natural, sensible phenominon. Emotions run exceptionally high when people travel. Pax are essentially relinquishing all control of their travel plans and safety to airline professionals. As such, many have the propensity to want to have a certain amount of 'control' over their travel agendas and often display what I like to call "overcompensating." You know, the pax that walk right up to the counter/gate and essentially put on the production that they know entirely more about the airline official's job than the airline official.

"I'd like these seats, and last I checked, they're still available, and this flight is a Boeing/Airbus/Canadair *** etc., and I've noticed my connection time is this and so I'd like to make sure the bags are being checked all the way through, and is my (name of FF program) number in there, and I'm premier/elite/global/gold etc., and on and on and on....

Of course, the dialague has its own morph when irregular operations come into play. Often, it's the "the airlines cannot be trusted, I am being screwed, they are not accomodating me, etc" mentality that prevails. My favorites are "well that's just not going to work, I NEED to be in SEA by __:__ for such-and-such reason, so you have to get me there" & "I want a free upgrade; I want a free ticket, etc".

This all being said assuming airline customer service competency and professionalism.

To be honest with you, so much of it goes through one ear and out the other for me, and I'm not shy about making that obvious to the pax. I am dedicated to doing my job to the best of my ability and representing my company with pride. As such, I don't need to hear a pax tell me how to do my job. I usually just roll it off, remembering how high peoples' emotions are running during travel time.

There are times, however, where people simply act reprehensibly - like your pax, GQFluffy. When things get like that, I offer one warning to the pax about the use of any invectives and loud comments. After that, I will seriously not hesitate to tell a pax to hit the road (those often being my exact words). Call me a hard-a$$, but I simply will not reinforce rude, demanding, irresponsible behavior.

Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 5):
Though of making a few choice comments about being Plat/Gold etc.,

You know what, Bud, I am really glad you refrained, because that is like worst thing we have to hear every day. 90% of the time, we do not need to be reminded of your status with our company - we see it all over your reservation/PNR with us. We work extra hard for our premier customers - you already get significantly more consideration and priority over many other pax.

 twocents  My two cents, anyway - this is great, keep it going - I'm excited to hear about other predicaments!  twocents 

Salute!

-UA-  Wink  Wink



"AW - I'm on Board..."
User currently offlineNkops From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2665 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6077 times:

Quoting Bridogger6 (Thread starter):
So... what are some of the passive aggressive ways that you get back at such passengers?

We used to put the jerks in row 32 on the MD80... next to the engines and no recline and no window. We got a few bad letters for that. Doesn't work so well on the Airbus though.



I have no association with Spirit Airlines
User currently offlineLHR777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6028 times:

Well, today I worked my last ever shift in customer service at Heathrow for the airline I love working for. It was an interesting shift, to say the least. I set out at the start of it at 1pm with this thought - "it's my final shift, I'll give my best service ever!".

...and then it went downhill from there. I had some lovely passengers, and honestly, i'd say 98% of our passengers are lovely and just very pleasant to deal with. However, there's always that 2% to counter-balance it.

Todays' 2% consisted of 4 passengers offloaded from a delayed European service, due to them arriving at the gate 6 minutes after the published revised departure time. Ah well, we can't wait all night for them. Two of them proceeded to abuse my gate team, and then I arrived back in the gate area. The following then occured.....

P-Passenger M-Me

P - "F**king bas*ards, this it stupid, you gotta let us on the f**king plane!"
M - "Sorry sir, you're too late, it's already departed".
P - "Who the f**k do you think you are?"
M - "I'm the senior agent in charge of this departure, sir"
P - "I don't give a f**k who you are, get me on the f**king plane NOW!"
M - "Sorry Sir, you'd better give a f**k, cos' you're too late and now you're f**ked, Sir."

At this stage, he had a stunned look on his face, turned on his heels and stormed off to get re-booked. Oh, how I chuckled......!

...and that, ladies and gentlemen, is that.  

[Edited 2006-10-13 23:29:28]

User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 13, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5926 times:

Quoting UA_727 (Reply 10):
because that is like worst thing we have to hear every day. 90% of the time,

I know that and it drives me to laughing outloud when I hear someone attempt to remind the agent of their "Silver" status or higher....the very reason I did not do that, and I never will, as you said, you know who we are and where we are already.....the ones just quietly sitting reading a book or doing puter work waiting to board, at least most are I hope.

Thanks for all your work and all agents even on those carriers I don't ride, your work is never ending and we don't get onboard without you.



Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlineAirScoot From United States of America, joined May 2005, 688 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5870 times:

Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 13):
I know that and it drives me to laughing outloud when I hear someone attempt to remind the agent of their "Silver" status or higher

What kills me is it seems the majority of the time the lower the status, the worse the attitude. I've seen silver blow a gasket over a delay while the platinum next to him is totally calm.

I don't miss it. No sir, not one bit.

OK.. maybe I do.  Smile


User currently offlineKazzie From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (7 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 5865 times:

Quoting LHR777 (Reply 12):

P-Passenger M-Me

P - "F**king bas*ards, this it stupid, you gotta let us on the f**king plane!"
M - "Sorry sir, you're too late, it's already departed".
P - "Who the f**k do you think you are?"
M - "I'm the senior agent in charge of this departure, sir"
P - "I don't give a f**k who you are, get me on the f**king plane NOW!"
M - "Sorry Sir, you'd better give a f**k, cos' you're too late and now you're f**ked, Sir."

Brilliant!  Wink


A few weeks ago we was in a situation where all departures got Cancelled due to an aircraft overshoot on the runway... being that It was late in the evening and most of the day staff had gone home, it was only night shift, 3-4 of us with 600 odd stranded passengers...

We had 6 flights cancelled
Aviance had 5 cancelled and easyjet had around 17 cancelled, thats a lot of passengers for LTN...

The action plan was to offload baggage from the aircraft 1 by 1 and send that flight to to baggage reclaim (obviously passengers need to be escorted) and then back to ticket desks for more information and re-bookings...

Our instructions where to get all our airlines passengers to a certain gate area, hold them there and wait for our flights to be called back for escort... being that there was only a few agents.. well you get the drift...

It was not an easy task A lot of passengers understood and did as instructed... but a certain bunch of passengers wanted to make a scene.. These passengers constantly came to the gate we was at and demanded information that we didn't have, given they was upset and stressed...

1 passenger decided to push past other passengers, he looked at us,

P: Ok I want in writing, to me NOW why we are being kept prisoners here

Us: We cant escort flight back sir until instructed... Flights are being escorted back 1 by one

P: Thats not good enough, I want to be taken back NOW

Us: We cannot do that sir, we have to wait until we are instructed, The airport can not facilitate everyone in the baggage hall at once..

P: (shouting) DONT YOU TELL ME YOU CANT DO IT!!

Us: Sir, Please do not raise your voice, if you continue to do so we will call security..

P: DO NOT F*CKING THREATEN ME!!

so we called security and he ran away......

That was a fun night Big grin


Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Airbus In Trouble, How Do You Feel? posted Thu Oct 5 2006 00:00:16 by CURLYHEADBOY
How Do You Say...? posted Tue Mar 28 2006 21:30:50 by Btriple7
How Do You Pass Time In Flight? posted Mon Mar 20 2006 21:00:46 by Zrs70
How Do You Get A Free Upgrade? posted Sat Mar 18 2006 05:16:22 by GusNYC
How Do You Kill Ryanair Or Easyjet? posted Tue Feb 28 2006 21:48:25 by Lazyshaun
How Do You Like Delta's 767-400? posted Wed Jan 11 2006 19:29:00 by LUVRSW
How Do You Pronounce The Planes Names? posted Tue May 3 2005 16:34:28 by Sebolino
How Do You View Airliners? posted Wed Feb 9 2005 16:08:44 by Spike
How Do You Remember Your Flight? posted Thu Dec 23 2004 15:21:17 by Cragley
How Do You Pronounce "Embraer" posted Mon Dec 20 2004 05:45:42 by VxG