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Why Do Ticket Agents Type So Much?  
User currently offlineCory6188 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2723 posts, RR: 5
Posted (11 years 1 month 16 hours ago) and read 10442 times:

When my family was checking in for our flight to PVR from EWR back in April, I could have sworn that the CO agent at the counter was typing in the Declaration of Independence by heart in order to pull up our reservation and print out the boarding passes. The bag tags were another story, however, with the entire novel of War and Peace being necessary for 2 tags. How come it takes a professionally trained agent loads of typing to pull up a reservation that I could do in a few clicks online?

63 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineAA777DFW From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 100 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (11 years 1 month 15 hours ago) and read 10295 times:

I know what you mean, it feels like your about to go to sleep or something.  Nuts

User currently offlineMike77 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 203 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (11 years 1 month 15 hours ago) and read 10270 times:

I have never worked at an airport, but I do work at a hotel at the front desk. I often have guests ask me why I am typing on the computer so much and why it takes so long. There are many different reasons as to why. When I spend forever typing, it is usually because I cannot locate the guest's reservation. Sometimes the res gets stuck in the system between the main booking source and my terminal at the front desk. And sometimes the guest name is misspelled in the reservation and I have to check several different sources to try and locate it. Sometimes I do not tell the guest that I cannot locate the reservation, because usually they become rude, worried and/or annoyed that the res is not popping up right away. Therefore, to avoid dealing with worrying a guest unnecessarily, I will just type away until I am able to access what I am looking for. My point is, that I doubt very much the employee you dealt with was trying to make your life difficult or seem incompetent. He/she was most likely trying to get you on your way as soon as possible.


[Edited 2004-07-31 05:20:48]

User currently offlineJBirdAV8r From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 4498 posts, RR: 19
Reply 3, posted (11 years 1 month 15 hours ago) and read 10259 times:

The short answer is most computer equipment there is so old and antiquated that it's still command-line based. No Windows there.

I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
User currently offlineCory6188 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2723 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (11 years 1 month 15 hours ago) and read 10248 times:

I'm not complaining; the CO agent was very nice. I'm just making an observation.

User currently offlineYanksn4 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1404 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (11 years 1 month 15 hours ago) and read 10244 times:

I was watching a program a few years ago on msnbc about the industry and when they had this expert talk about the ticket agents I loved this line: "For all we know, they could be programing a nuclear missle with how much they type"

User currently offlineVSFullThrottle From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 280 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (11 years 1 month 15 hours ago) and read 10215 times:

Not all check in processes are as simple as each other. It will all depend on how many people traveling, if the people are booked together, if you have seats etc.... On top of that if you ever saw the format that airlines use to check in then you would understand. There are quite a few different formats out there such as Sabre, Shares, etc......


User currently offlineHPA320 From Mexico, joined Jul 2004, 160 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (11 years 1 month 15 hours ago) and read 10192 times:

Well, just like Mike77 said.

There are many factors.

Maybe we are putting some remarks on your reservation regarding your bad behavior to the agents  Innocent

America West Airlines. 1983-2005. The Journey Continues...
User currently offlineAussie747 From Australia, joined Aug 2003, 1169 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (11 years 1 month 15 hours ago) and read 10182 times:

As a person who starts a booking from scratch for our corporate company there are many things to type in to the system, and yes it seems that why are typing forever. If the below is just to start up a booking I could only imagine what a check in agent has to do especially id there any complications

Name, Contact Addresses numbers and email addresses, Look at availability with all different airlines, find connections, Cross check with fare databases to ensure correct booking class,deal codes, fare basis, taxes, additional surcharge,penalties, correct routing, transfers, stopovers, etc. Hold seats, set ticketing dates, advise passport and visa info to airlines, assign seating , frequent flyer numbers advise to assciated airlines, advise meal preferences, total complete party messages, in remarks enter info to pax about fare info, ticketing date, cost, via info, destinational info, look up hotels in database, request hotel, book transfers and cars and advise all relevant info and then some.

And the pax has the audacity to ask have you finished yet!!!! after only a couple of things has been completed.

And you only thought it just involves holding some seats!!! LOL

User currently offlineCancidas From Poland, joined Jul 2003, 4112 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (11 years 1 month 14 hours ago) and read 10125 times:

because of the stupid entry codes for sabre. i swear, that program is so damn complicated!

"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
User currently offlineVenezuela747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1447 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (11 years 1 month 14 hours ago) and read 10090 times:

Trust me you haven't seen an agent type untill you try to get vouchers for unused tickets and then try to buy tickets with those vouchers. They take forever. But as you all said, they all don't have Windows XP

User currently offlineAussie747 From Australia, joined Aug 2003, 1169 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (11 years 1 month 14 hours ago) and read 10081 times:

This reminds me of a scene in the movie Meet the Parents when Ben Stiller is requiring to get home sooner, and the agent is furiously typing at 200 words a minute quite loudly at the keyboard trying to find a flight for him, meanwhile Ben is becoming infuriated at her attitude.

User currently offlineHPA320 From Mexico, joined Jul 2004, 160 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (11 years 1 month 14 hours ago) and read 10077 times:

Yup, many airlines use Shares.

America West Airlines. 1983-2005. The Journey Continues...
User currently offlineAv8rPHX From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 713 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (11 years 1 month 13 hours ago) and read 10055 times:

We, (HP and YV) use QIK here in PHX which is a frontend for SHARES. Makes things quite a bit easier and less time consuming. Even having a frontend,sometimes we are forced to type for what seems like an endless amount of time. In my experience,the most common issue seems to be lost reservations.

User currently offlineOttoPylit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (11 years 1 month 13 hours ago) and read 10056 times:

Well, anytime I have checked someone in, a typical scenario would be to pull the customer's reservation up, verify the destination, check e-ticket and ensure it is hooked to the reservation and to see if there are any other charges that need to be collected, ask how many bags are being checked, load that number into the bag tag template, check seats assigned, then check to see if any more preferable seats have come available. If so, I ask the passenger if they are happy with their window/center/aisle seat and if not, there is one available at (enter seat assignment here). Whether the passenger wants the seat change or not will cause a little more typing, I then request the boarding passes and bingo, you are done and on your...dangit, stupid computer is saying that your e-ticket and current reservation are not the same, and I already know that because there has been a schedule change and it was reflected in the e-ticket verification. So now I have to override that. Little more typing ensues. Ok, now you are done and on your way.

Every now and then, if I have a little time, I may program a nuclear missle or two or add a section to the Declaration of Independence.

User currently offlineTekelberry From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1459 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (11 years 1 month 12 hours ago) and read 9951 times:

I love how the airlines make it so easy for customers to check themselves in online and at kiosks but make ticket agents type @ 200 WPM to accomplish the same task.

User currently offlineXnv From Canada, joined Jan 2000, 142 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (11 years 1 month 11 hours ago) and read 9896 times:

For any of you who have never worked check-in, you have NO idea what can be involved.

Take for example checking in a family of four who are not booked on the same PNR (file).

First of all, you have to pull up each file to make sure the passengers are booked correctly.

Of course, no one's frequent flyer number is on file, so you have to enter each one individually, end the file, and pull up the next file. Do that for all four of them.

They each have electronic tickets, but when they changed their reservation the e-ticket wasn't revalidated so you have to do that on each file, end it, and pull up the next one.

So then you check each person in and they say "oh, we're connecting to another flight, can you tag our bags through?" Of course, this is not on the file.

So then you have to un-check in each of them, cancel each bag tag (and in Sabre this involves typing in each bag tag number manually), then pull up each reservation again and add their connecting flights that were not on the file and end each file, do that for all four people.

THEN check them in again and hope your bag tags and boarding passes print properly.

And of course, no one is sitting together so you have to change all of their seats - pull up the seat map and change everyone around.

Even in the newest version of Quick Sabre, it takes a lot of typing to accomplish this. Personally I think it's faster to do most of it in native Sabre.

For the most part, check-in is straightforward and fast.

Go easy on your agent next time you check in. There's a lot more going on than you think.

User currently offlineWilcharl From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1170 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (11 years 1 month 11 hours ago) and read 9866 times:

Everyone knows they are typing nasty notes about the pax in the PNR... Pax was a looser tried to check 3 bags in stated he was a platinum/gold/silver member and his membership catagory was only copper.... its a conspiercey they sit there and type nasty notes about every pax

Disclaimier: I do not seriously believe this conspiercy theroy though i have seen some funny things in pax PNRs

User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 23
Reply 18, posted (11 years 1 month 6 hours ago) and read 9745 times:

because of the stupid entry codes for sabre. i swear, that program is so damn complicated!

I agree! Thats why AS created IMAGE. IMAGE gets its information from Sabre still. Sabre is in the background behind IMAGE. Its hard to explain how that works since Im not a IT person. But anyway, it was easier to use and alot faster. Less typing to do but the damn system crashes once a week. Id use IMAGE over Sabre any day.

A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineCory6188 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2723 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (11 years 1 month 6 hours ago) and read 9734 times:

Once again, I'm not criticizing the ticket agents or complaining. I'm just wondering why it takes so much typing.

User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 66
Reply 20, posted (11 years 1 month 5 hours ago) and read 9700 times:

My airline has a program that uses SABER to give crewmembers their trips, do monthly bidding, picking up trips from open time, payroll information and so on. Without an aftermarket frontend for it, it is very difficult to use. Saber gets bogged down all the time and stray keystrokes can send you places from which there is no getting back.

On the login page, there is a help desk number. I called them once and the guy said "oh, it is a [our program] question. We are not allowed to see any [our program] pages. I can't help you with that."

Blame Saber Systems.

Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offline4jaded From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 248 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (11 years 1 month 5 hours ago) and read 9668 times:

Depending on the program they were using at that airport they could be tabbing thru a pop up mask... Searching for the entry to find the pop up mask to tab thru, laying out long lines of code in order to get it all done at once and then having to go back and correct errors so the computer would take the entry, or taking a computer driven required lesson while on duty.
The other possibility of course is that they were just doing a skit from Airplane to make themselves look impressive and were just sharpening their claws on the keyboard..

User currently offlineAms From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 1692 posts, RR: 11
Reply 22, posted (11 years 1 month 5 hours ago) and read 9662 times:

Keep in mind that most Travel agents have to type the full-comments to pull up availability etc. Most Airlines use a Fast/quick reservation system. That is why most of the time Travel agents have to type a lot, while most Airline reservations reps don't.


User currently offlineCitationJet From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2584 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (11 years 1 month 5 hours ago) and read 9627 times:

I have asked my wife the same question. She worked ticket counter for AA for 12 years. The system has to be made MUCH simplier to accomodate self-service check-in.
The airline reservations system is based on an old command line based entry.

There was a skit on Saturday night live many years ago. The ticket agent asked "Smoking or non smoking?" The pax replied "Smoking". The agent then proceeded to type furiously for about 90 seconds. The pax/actor patiently watched in amazement at the lengthy process. Finally he asked, Why don't you just type in a Y or N?

Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
User currently offlineCaymanair From Cayman Islands, joined Apr 2004, 856 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (11 years 1 month 4 hours ago) and read 9596 times:

Havent you ever watched the movie Soul Plane? Its because agents are always playing computer games!!!!!!!!!!!! (just kidding)


25 AirTran737 : It's because we're typing messages about you so that the other agents can read what an a-hole you are. Also we're busy screwing up your return part of
26 HPA320 : Another thing that may happen is that the passenger was rerouted during their outbound with another carrier but the agents didn't place the original f
27 OttoPylit : Wilcharl, Actually, here at Delta we do have the ability to send messages to each other, similar to an Instant Message. It comes in handy, for instanc
28 Zrs70 : All this being said.... Anyone remember easysabre? It was the online sabre program that was folded into travelocity a few years ago. Easysabre was the
29 Stirling : once you get all the 'code', easysabre was infinitely better than ANYTHING on the web today. hands down. A*/DFWSAT/12AUG/AA i haven't done it in years
30 Elwood64151 : This is why I like OpenSkies: Type in the command line (I forget what it is anymore, I think it's p*) and their last name, and it pulls up anyone on t
31 Post contains images SWA TPA : At WN our procedures are fairly straight forward and fast. Usually any excess typing on my end is caused due to the fact that I had a brain fart and
32 Northwestair : What takes forever for me is having to type all of the Pax's Passport information into his/her PNR. And then you ask yourself what was their country c
33 Ams : Northwestair, Don't you have automatic passport readers in Poland? Here at AMS airport we have automatic passport readers which will automatically tra
34 AIR757200 : If the passenger has a flawless reservation and is travelling on the flight they are suppose to be (no standby, etc.)... the check-in command is very
35 Skyway1 : Have you ever used NativeSabre???? Geesh.....ticketing a travel voucher for instance you have to type in 30 or 40 characters. Chris
36 Post contains images Skyway1 : Welll.. didn't have time to read the above comments Everybody that uses NativeSabre has made some good points.... I actually had a young passenger thi
37 Post contains images Jerion : I love "Meet the Parents" when Gaylord 'Greg' Focker (Ben Stiller) wants to go home to Chicago. The agent is typing like MAD for about five minutes wi
38 Gib : Meet the Parents IS HILARIOUS... Have ya'll heard about the sequel?? (sp?).. "Meet the Fockers"... That should be great... Oh..and btw... I have 20 ye
39 GlobeTrekker : Well I work for KLM Ground services and we handle several airlines besides KLM, such as Continental, Delta, Varig and several charters. Each airline h
40 SWA TPA : Oh my goodness GlobeTrekker! That first one is just to pull up a res? All we do is- *1324-Smith/J Flight number and pax name! If there is more than o
41 Post contains images GlobeTrekker : How I wish my system was like yours...sounds like heaven!
42 Post contains images Jerion : "STEP ASIDE PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!"
43 Post contains images SWA TPA : Step aside please? Huh? I'm afraid I didn't get that one Globe Trekker- We use a system called SAAS. I think it's a derivative of Sabre. SWA TPA
44 GlobeTrekker : Thanks for the info SWA TPA. And just like SWA TPA, I didn't get that "STEP ASIDE PLEASE!!!!!!!!" comment. Please feel free to explain.... GT
45 MD11Engineer : When I was still in pax handling for LH, I used the AMADEUS system. Somewhere I still have a manual with all the commands. You had to remember lots of
46 DAYGS : SAAS is the old Braniff computer system. (The very first Braniff). It was called "COWBOY." It was purchased in the 80's by AMR and moved to TUL where
47 Post contains images SWA TPA : Wow DAYGS! Thanks for the history lesson! Very interesting to know it started with Braniff I thought it had something to do with Sabre..... SWA TPA
48 DAYGS : When the computer system at Braniff went down, the agent would say "I'm sorry, I can't help you right now, My Cowboy just went down on me." (I'm told
49 Post contains images SWA TPA : LOL!!! Too funny When you think about it, it's kind of ironic that SAAS was originally a Braniff thing and now we at WN use it long after Braniff is
50 DAYGS : True - there used to be alot of smaller carriers on it awhile back but most of those carriers have closed up shop or were migrated to SABRE. I believe
51 Gib : Eh.....I don't get the "step aside" comment as well..... ??... Anyway... DAYGS?? I have had several Sabre reps. advise me that the US Gov't. main serv
52 Skyway1 : Hey Gib..... You should see our computer screens here in DAY....they look like something out of an 80's Sci-fi flick. The screens are black.....some h
53 DAYGS : Gib: I'm not sure about the backup system for the Government but the SABRE system is definitely underground and "under guard" (lol) in TUL. It's torna
54 AirframeAS : "STEP ASIDE PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!" Step aside please? Huh? I'm afraid I didn't get that one And just like SWA TPA, I didn't get that "STEP ASIDE PLEASE!!!!
55 Xnv : Sounds like the KLM transactions are very similar to Native RES3 that AC/ACR used to use. I have to say that for basic check-in transaction, Native Sa
56 Post contains images SCRAMJET : At NWA we use a program called "AOP" which stands for "Airport of Preference". It's supposed to make check-in, reissues, fee collections, etc. a lot e
57 GlobeTrekker : -SCRAMJET I have a question: Where did you learn KL's system? Do you learn it on the job, or did you have to go to AMS like I did for 6 weeks? I know
58 LEO777 : Thanks for the information, my respect to all the ticket agents.
59 LEO777 : Thanks for the information, my respect to all the ticket agents.
60 JGPH1A : Re: Oh...and I also have experienced Amadeus, in my 20 year travel/airline industry career...and it SUCKS!... Oh dear - an unhappy customer ! Which bi
61 Post contains images SegmentKing : >3OSI Pax standing in front of me asking why i/m typing so much >3OSI plz dg to middle last row at gate pax keeps asking dumb questions they're probab
62 JGPH1A : Radixx might be great from an airline user's point of view, but from the point of view of distribution and GDS connectivity, it sucks ! Talk about pri
63 SegmentKing : depends on the level of connectivity. At FCA, we really didn't have any problems and just before I left them, i set them up with GRS pages in Worldspa
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