remcor
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Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 1:52 pm

A couple weeks ago I was flying UA SAN->SFO->HKG but ended up missing my connection at SFO because of a delay at SAN. At SAN they repeatedly said that the delay was caused by an ATC problem in San Francisco. When we arrived at SFO the ticketing agent told us that the delay was some because of vague "problem with the air" in San Diego. Then, almost immediately after she told me this her supervisor walks by, looks at the computer screen that the ticketing agent was working on, reads it, and says "oh, these are the guys on the plane with the _crew_ problem". I caught it right away and pointed at the ticketing agent and said "It's a crew problem, you lied to us!" (I smiled when I said it, but I was angry). She just stayed quiet, knowing that she just got caught.

Because we caught this they put on the next CX flight to HKG. Obviously if it's an ATC problem or a 'problem with the air' they could claim it's not their fault and put us on the next UA flight 24 hours later, a crew problem is UA's fault and they'd be forced to put us on the next available flight to HKG regardless of the airline. We were lied to both in SAN and SFO.

My question is, has it become policy to blatantly lie to the passengers as to the cause of a flight delay?
 
itsnotfinals
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RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 1:59 pm

Quoting Remcor (Thread starter):
It's a crew problem, you lied to us!"

With all due respect, Gate agents only know what the problem might be when the dispatch people tell them or when they see a new update in the system . Many gate agents are poorly paid and have no prior airline experience and many typically couldn't tell the difference between an APU and a service cart.

The only sinister "lie" at work here is that you assumed the gate agent is actually knew what was going on. Many times dispatch is too busy to update the Flifo, and so the gate agents are just as clueless as the passengers.
Speedbird 178 Heavy, FINAL runway 27L
 
FlagshipAZ
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RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 2:02 pm

The supervisor really put the ticket agent on the spot there. She should have kept her mouth shut.
Were you, perchance, flying out of SAN when the wildfires were raging big time there? Perhaps there were issues with smoke in the area.
And as for them lying to you...don't take it too personally. It happens every day of the year at any given airline, and at any given airport.
Regards.
"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
 
remcor
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RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 2:11 pm

Quoting Itsnotfinals (Reply 1):

With all due respect, Gate agents only know what the problem might be when the dispatch people tell them or when they see a new update in the system . Many gate agents are poorly paid and have no prior airline experience and many typically couldn't tell the difference between an APU and a service cart.

All I know is that both the agent and the supervisor looked at the same computer screen. The agent first said that it was a problem that was not their fault, the supervisor then looked at that same computer screen shortly thereafter and read that it was a problem that was their fault. Plus, when I called the agent on her lie she didn't deny she was lying to us or offer any explanation.

I don't think I was being an ass about he situation, I think anyone could reasonably conclude that someone was deliberately not telling us the truth - especially when doing so would be financially advantageous to UA. I tried not to be rude to the agent as well: I smiled, called her by her first name, told her it wasn't her fault that we were upset.

Yes, the fires were burning earlier in the week, but the airport was operating just fine - we were the only flight in the concourse with a delay that I noticed.

[Edited 2007-11-12 06:15:40]
 
itsnotfinals
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RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 2:25 pm

Quoting Remcor (Reply 3):
I don't think I was being an ass about he situation

I don't think you were either, but 90% chance that Gate agent didn't know what the problem really was.
Speedbird 178 Heavy, FINAL runway 27L
 
smokeyrosco
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RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 2:27 pm

Happens all the time, I've seen it countless times at DUB
John Hancock
 
User avatar
na747
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RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 2:41 pm

Quoting Itsnotfinals (Reply 1):
Many times dispatch is too busy to update the Flifo, and so the gate agents are just as clueless as the passengers.

This is true. I can attest to that.
However, there is no reason why an employee should lie if they actually know the truth, no matter how bad the truth is.
 
OHLHD
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RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 2:43 pm

Quoting Remcor (Thread starter):
My question is, has it become policy to blatantly lie to the passengers as to the cause of a flight delay?

The agents normally do not really know what the reason for the delay is. Sometimes we do not even tell them in order not to talk nonsense to passengers. However saying that someone lied to you is a bit of a over reaction. I am sure the lady behind her computer was not really in the mood to start a discussion with you.

Furthermore it easily possible that they lost their slot at SAN because of the crew problem. One should thing of other possibilities before accusing someone of lying.

Quoting FlagshipAZ (Reply 2):
The supervisor really put the ticket agent on the spot there

That is true. I have never done that nor will I ever do that. That is really really bad by the supervisor.
 
itsnotfinals
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RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 2:48 pm

Quoting NA747 (Reply 6):
no matter how bad the truth is.

agreed, or just say they don't know.

Not too long ago I actually was able to give some F9 gate agents more info from flightaware then their own system.

I was using my laptop with a wireless connection when I noticed our inbound flight was doing a holding pattern 60 miles SE of Denver due to a small localized thunderstorm that had moved over the field very quickly.

The Gate Agents had told everyone the plane was "in range" and would be at the gate in 15 min.

I showed them the Flightaware (which is delayed information and not even all that accurate) and they said "We wish we had something like that".

Of course the plane pulled up to the gate 50 min later not 15 minutes later as the agents had announced to everyone. Where they lying? no, they only knew that when the "in range" status was displayed it is typically 15 minutes or so.

They weren't trying to mislead or lie, they just didn't have the information they needed.
Speedbird 178 Heavy, FINAL runway 27L
 
smokeyrosco
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RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 2:57 pm

Quoting Itsnotfinals (Reply 8):
They weren't trying to mislead or lie, they just didn't have the information they needed.

If they don't have the information but they say it's going to be 15 minutes then yes it is a lie.
John Hancock
 
itsnotfinals
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RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 3:01 pm

Quoting Smokeyrosco (Reply 9):
If they don't have the information but they say it's going to be 15 minutes then yes it is a lie.

if they are trained that "in range" means the plane is 15 minutes from the gate, how is that a lie?

Misinformed ? Yes. A lie, no, just no real data to make a "smart" analysis of the situation.

If you tell someone you are meeting across town that you will be there in 20 minutes because you have done the drive hundreds of time, but on the way there is a bad accident and it takes you 45 minutes, does that make you a liar?
Speedbird 178 Heavy, FINAL runway 27L
 
smokeyrosco
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RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 3:06 pm

nope but if "in range" has never been 15 minutes you should get the picture.
John Hancock
 
itsnotfinals
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RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 3:09 pm

Quoting Smokeyrosco (Reply 11):
nope but if "in range" has never been 15 minutes you should get the picture

it usually is at DEN. Do not confuse under-informed or under-educated with deceit. These people work their butts off and get abused daily.
Speedbird 178 Heavy, FINAL runway 27L
 
tinpusher007
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RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 3:25 pm

Quoting OHLHD (Reply 7):
The agents normally do not really know what the reason for the delay is. Sometimes we do not even tell them in order not to talk nonsense to passengers. However saying that someone lied to you is a bit of a over reaction. I am sure the lady behind her computer was not really in the mood to start a discussion with you.

Furthermore it easily possible that they lost their slot at SAN because of the crew problem. One should thing of other possibilities before accusing someone of lying.

This is complete BS and why alot of people hate flying anymore. The agents are there to HELP customers, which means there should be enough shared info within the company so they do know exactly why a flight is delayed. There was no overraction in calling the agent a liar. If he/she didn't know what the delay was, he/she should have said so and found out about it. Thats what they are paid to do. To say something else that he/she knew wasn't the reason was a lie, plain and simple. And if the agent just wasn't in the mood to get into a conversation to help a customer, than he/she really does need to be replaced with a touchscreen computer that just spits out boarding passes.
"Flying isn't inherently dangerous...but very unforgiving of carelessness, incapacity or neglect."
 
OHLHD
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RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 3:40 pm

Quoting TinPusher007 (Reply 13):
This is complete BS and why alot of people hate flying anymore.

Can you please clarify what you mean with that?

Quoting TinPusher007 (Reply 13):
The agents are there to HELP customers, which means there should be enough shared info within the company so they do know exactly why a flight is delayed.

Yes they are but too much information is not good either! We give (sometimes) only the minimum of information to the agents and it should only be told just as we tell them. If they want to know more.... that is why supervisor Dutyofficers and managers are there for.

Quoting TinPusher007 (Reply 13):
There was no overreaction in calling the agent a liar. If he/she didn't know what the delay was, he/she should have said so and found out about it. Thats what they are paid to do. To say something else that he/she knew wasn't the reason was a lie, plain and simple.

She obviously said what she knew. If I see that my aircraft is late because of ATC I say so. You don´t know if she was aware of some crew (scheduling??) problems. So we cannot know if it was a lie or not.

BTW If the employees ever start complaining about customers lying to them we would not even know where to start. But we do not do that!

Quoting TinPusher007 (Reply 13):
And if the agent just wasn't in the mood to get into a conversation to help a customer, than he/she really does need to be replaced with a touchscreen computer that just spits out boarding passes.

I have had many even uncountable passengers who like to go through useless discussions which has nothing to do with the actual reason why the aircraft is delayed or not.

Read through what the Thread starter wrote:

Quoting Remcor (Thread starter):
She just stayed quiet, knowing that she just got caught.

I was refering to that not if she wanted to discuss with Remcor or not.


I still believe that it was not correct to tell the agent that she was a liar. But that´s my 2 cents.
 
bistro1200
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RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 3:59 pm

If there is one thing that airlines have yet to accomplish, it's an easy way to answer the question, "Where is the airplane?" In some ways we have more tools available than ever (FlightAware, PASSUR, Flight Explorer), but the amount of info that Customer Contact people have is the same as when GDS's first came out in the 1970's.

There is no easy way to transfer what a dispatcher or station ops person sees using the above tools to an Apollo/Sabre/Amadeus/System One reservation system. Some airlines use ACARS to give accurate times, and I know that during airborne delays UA sends a message to update FLIFO with the estimated "ON" time after holding. But, that usually occurs close to the destination, when most people are already at the airport for the outbound leg.

I really don't think that most agents LIE in the strict sense of the word. Looking here ( http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/lie ), the key is on *INTENT TO DECEIVE* and I don't think agents have that kind of mindset. This implies knowing the truth, and masking the truth for personal gain. Besides, any compensation doesn't come out of their pockets, why would the agent care if you receive compensation, as far as it being a cost to the company or not? The way that most agents have seen their salaries cut and benefits slashed, there is little incentive to try and "save a buck for the company" out there. Most simply read the screen, find the delay code, and if it is one that is eligible for compensation, then they grant it. I don't believe they are thinking, "Ooh, one more denied claim and I get a free toaster".

Finally delay codes are very fluid and other than ATC, can be a very subjective issue. Suppose a flight takes a 30 minute maintenance delay, and in that time the destination airport receives a ground delay program. Now the flight has a wheels up time in 90 minutes. If the original delay would not have occurred, would the flight have departed on-time and not been subject to the GDP? Would the flight have held in the air instead? Should maintenance receive the entire 120 minute delay? Is it the airline's fault (the original 30 minutes yes, but what about the remaining 90)?
Measure to the millimeter, mark with a crayon, cut with an axe.
 
OHLHD
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RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 4:07 pm

Quoting Bistro1200 (Reply 15):
If there is one thing that airlines have yet to accomplish, it's an easy way to answer the question, "Where is the airplane?"

I agree with you! This spring we had a horrible storm with a !complete poweroutage! at the airport resulting in a airport closure. I was looking at the screens in order to see whether it was in approach or even had landed. I saw it was in holding and I was waiting and waiting for about 25 minutes with more and more aircrafts coming in. Finally I was investigating because at this time the aircraft had only the minimum cerosin left. By looking on the monitors I could see the aircaft still in the hold when I received a call by the operating captain that he had landed the aircraft 200km away because of low fuel.  Smile
 
tinpusher007
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RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 4:10 pm

Quoting OHLHD (Reply 14):
Can you please clarify what you mean with that?

I meant your statement was BS...like a copout.

Quoting OHLHD (Reply 14):
Yes they are but too much information is not good either! We give (sometimes) only the minimum of information to the agents and it should only be told just as we tell them. If they want to know more.... that is why supervisor Dutyofficers and managers are there for.

Again, i gotta call BS and say again that this is a problem with airlines. There is a reason why flights run late, but paying pax are depending on those schedules for connections, etc. Tell them what the delay is...simple as that. If "too much info" involves some sensitive secuirty info, I can understand that. Perhaps gate agents need more training about the field they're in so they can make more qualified statment about situations instead of second hand info that just given on a need to know basis. They do need to know!

Quoting OHLHD (Reply 14):
She obviously said what she knew.

LOL...."something wrong with the air" doesn't sound to me like she knew what she was talking about.

Quoting OHLHD (Reply 14):
BTW If the employees ever start complaining about customers lying to them we would not even know where to start. But we do not do that!

Point taken...but they are the customer! We get paid to serve them, no matter how stupid they can be. And trust me, I know a lot of pax seem to literally lose their minds once they set foot in an airport.

I used to throw bags for 5 years and was the ramp sup and load agent for the last 2 of those 5 years. I got to see and make alot of the operational decisions. But I've also seen gate agents rountinely give bad info to pax just to get them out of their faces or because they really had no idea what they were talking about. And in my opinion, thats poor service to the customer. Some pax are seasoned fliers and they are not as naive as some people think. They know when someone is trying to pull the wool over their eyes which is insulting.
"Flying isn't inherently dangerous...but very unforgiving of carelessness, incapacity or neglect."
 
sstsomeday
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RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 4:50 pm

I have been lied to or heard about lies told to passengers at gates many times.

Air Canada has been accused of cancelling their shuttle (YYZ-YUL) due to poor load and simply putting all the passengers on the next scheduled shuttle, sighting "mechanical problems."

A few years ago Varig lied to us about the estimated departure of a Sao Paulo - LAX flight repeatedly until all the other airlines we could have been transferred to had departed, and then we were finally told that the inbound A/C was actually 6 hours late. We were lied to by the airline and as a result had to spend a night in the gate area.

Air Canada delayed a San Fran departure to YYZ I was on, sighting "a mechanical inspection that needs to be done every 48 hours, so there's really nothing we can do..." but they failed to apologise or take responsibility with regard to why the inspection had not been done on time in order for our flight to depart on time. In other words, they inferred that the delay was routine and unavoidable, and denied accountability, which is a lie.

Travelling YYZ-YXU on Air Canada's commuter service; a 35 minute flight was delayed several hours sighting "weather," long after the weather had past, however I overheard the ground and gate crew commenting on how they just didn't have the ground staff to process all the departures that were waiting to go, and they obviously didn't have the staff to call in for mandatory overtime, or were unwilling to do so. This was during the post-911 turn down when airlines were slashing jobs, so apparently the jobs were not getting done.

I have often been lied to about seat selection. After making attempts to get seats on line, at check-in, at the gate, and being told along the way thats seat selection would be available at each of these next checkpoints, I finally found that there WERE seats where I wanted to sit and when I moved there on my own accord, no one showed up with boarding passes to claim the seat I was "squatting" in. I can understand (to a point) that airlines use seating restrictions to reward passengers for paying higher fares, or penalise those who do not, but they do so in a clandestine and dishonest way.

Also - it's clear that the marketing departments of airlines are completely deceitful in terms of the redeamability of frequent flier points. Invariably I go through a great deal of frustration trying to redeem points because there is seldom if ever availability without having to shell out many more points than the advertised minimum due to artificial capacity restriction. Airlines are solving this problem (for themselves) by making F.F. points expire sooner. In addition, I am now paying upwards of $150 in charges for "free" seats on Air Canada...

Um... OK, SOMEBODY got out of the wrong side of bed today...
I come in peace
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 5:07 pm

Quoting Bistro1200 (Reply 15):
There is no easy way to transfer what a dispatcher or station ops person sees using the above tools to an Apollo/Sabre/Amadeus/System One reservation system.

Yes there is - at least to Amadeus anyway. Airlines using 1A for Res send us MVT messages (FLIFO messages) that update the system in realtime and are visible to anyone using the system. These include all the estimate departure, reason for delay, actual off blocks, actual airborne, ETA, touchdown and on blocks times. e.g.

DOSA261/11NOV
* OPERATIONAL FLIGHT INFO * SA 261 -1 SU 11NOV
CITY INFO HOUR (LOCAL)
FRA LEFT THE GATE 2100
TOOK OFF 2115
PASSENGERS ON BOARD (279)
PLANE IS LATE (IN HOURS MINUTES) 0002
LATE ARRIVAL OF AIRCRAFT
PLANE IS LATE (IN HOURS MINUTES) 0013
CHECK IN ERROR
ESTIMATED TIME OF ARRIVAL 0826 JNB
JNB AIRCRAFT LANDED 0831
ARRIVED 0840

* 1A PLANNED FLIGHT INFO * SA 261 -1 SU 11NOV
APT ARR DY DEP DY CLASS/MEAL EQP GRND EFT TTL
FRA 2045 SU CJZDEIRYBMK/DB 346 10:45
HSQTVLWGXN/DB
JNB 0830 MO 10:45

This info is made available in realtime as received, so provided the Flight Operations system is kept up to date and sends these MVT/DIV messages to the Res system, problem solved.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
USA9195
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Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2007 10:38 am

RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 5:09 pm

Quoting TinPusher007 (Reply 17):
Again, i gotta call BS and say again that this is a problem with airlines. There is a reason why flights run late, but paying pax are depending on those schedules for connections, etc. Tell them what the delay is...simple as that. If "too much info" involves some sensitive secuirty info, I can understand that. Perhaps gate agents need more training about the field they're in so they can make more qualified statment about situations instead of second hand info that just given on a need to know basis. They do need to know!

Have you ever heard the term "too much information?" You keep rambling on about how us gate agents should do this and do that, but have you ever worked a moment in our shoes?

For example, lets say their is a security breach in another part of the airport, yet the ramp and gates are all shut down and the guy is holding a gun to his head...do you pass along this information to the pax?

Here is another situation: let's say their is a GDP going on in PHL, and you have 45 international conx that are going to miss. You are pleading with the ATC desk for your airline to get your slot moved up 15 minutes because that can help. Now here is the question for you TinPusher....Do you tell the pax that their is a GDP before you call the dispatcher and the ATC desk, or after when you get an earlier slot? Which, of course, means that you just wasted your time making the announcement and answering the required after announcement questions of "what did you say?" "what about my flight?" "with the delay do you have any first class seats available?"  banghead 

Now if you don't get anywhere with dispatch or the ATC desk then my all means bite the bullet and make the announcement.

Also there are things to remember folks about the kind and type and speed of information passed along to us gate agents folks. We are only given the information that is passed along to us via ACARS, FLIFO, scheduling, and even our own supervisors. We are not psychic. We can't tell from the gate that the plane is circling, or landed on the other side of the field and going to take 20min to taxi in. The one thing that I hate as well as gate agents that have worked here since the 80's is when pax come running up with their cell phones, with the 800 number on the other side telling you what the agent on the phone is saying what the delay is due to, and what you are telling them. Alot of times the information is different on their computers than ours, because they are in the Philippines. (Give and example for that, had a flight to phoenix cancel, but the reservation center was telling our pax that their flight wasn't cancelled, that infact it was in range of PHX and they missed their flight and they were not entitled to re-booking.) After I was told that I went down and told the crew, who I know very well, that according to RES that they were about to land in PHX, to which they just laughed.

My point is give the gate agents a break, we are only given a finite amount of information. Sometimes we dont tell pax right away because we are trying to work on better things, like better slots and such, and some we just dont say because we are trying to get the full scope of the story before we tell so that way we know what we are talking about. But never fear the info will get to the pax one way or another.
 
kjet12
Posts: 894
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RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 5:10 pm

Like some have mentioned above, very often the information put into the computer is vague and many times it does have any reason at all. However, there are many resources for the agents to utilize to find out the reason for delays. When I have a passenger at my gate who arrives on a delayed inbound, I will try to research the situation in order to be fair. Flifo has some of the most basic information as to the nature of a delay, but operations very rarely will update it so the information is usually quite vague. In DECS, there is are delay narrative reports, and delay codes which we can look up. Additionally, the passengers PNR usually contains some information which can help assess the situation. Lastly, if no accurate information can be found, I will call operations. I don't believe agents intentionally lie to passengers, but it sounds like many do not utilize their resources. The question remains is do they not know how or are they just being lazy.

To give an example of a situation I once encountered with a passenger. The passenger was supposed to travel OKC-DFW-DCA, but instead was rerouted OKC-ORD-DCA. His OKC-ORD flight was delayed enough for him to miss the last connection to DCA. After some digging around, I noticed his OKC-ORD flight was infact delayed due to ATC. But, in his VCR record, that is when I noticed the original routing OKC-DFW-DCA. The passenger never told me about this. When I looked into that, it seemed his OKC-DFW flight was cancelled due to mechanical problems. Therefore, the passenger would not likely have been stranded in ORD if that OKC-DFW flight had not had maintenance problems. I did issue him a hotel and meals for the night. Needless to say he was quite suprised.

Again, I don't believe many agents necessarily lie, but rather don't use their resources.
AA - Doing what we do best.
 
Boston92
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RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 5:16 pm

In 2 UA weather delays, they have booked us on CX and CO after missed intl connections. They seem to rebook you whether it is weather/atc or crew/aircraft problem.
"Why does a slight tax increase cost you $200 and a substantial tax cut save you 30 cents?"
 
Arcrftlvr
Posts: 393
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:30 am

RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 5:24 pm

I think the biggest issue here is not that they lied, but the reason why they lied. It seems that the GA was lying in an attempt to avoid accommdating the OP and other travelers which is a terrible business practice. There is no excuse for this...

Quoting Itsnotfinals (Reply 4):
I don't think you were either, but 90% chance that Gate agent didn't know what the problem really was.

Then there is clearly a training problem here. If the GA didn't know the issue, then they should have said something to the effect of 'I don't have current information at this point; I'm working with dispatch to find out the cause of the delay so we can accommodate you accordingly.' Done. End of story. Instead, they exascerbate the situation but making something up. Extremely poor level of customer service.

Quoting OHLHD (Reply 14):
We give (sometimes) only the minimum of information to the agents and it should only be told just as we tell them.

What is the purpose of this? Is it to compensate for the perceived incompetence of the GA's? If so, then maybe the airliens should look at who they hire rather than withholding information.

Quoting OHLHD (Reply 14):
employees ever start complaining about customers

Who cares if the employees complain about that customers. This is a non-point.
 
blueflyer
Posts: 3656
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 4:17 am

RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 5:25 pm

Quoting Remcor (Reply 3):
All I know is that both the agent and the supervisor looked at the same computer screen.

Not to be splitting hair, but do you know what they actually read off the screen ? Rather than some text message stating that your plane had been delayed by crew issue, could it be that all they both saw was the flight number, that the gate agent made up some excuse (it seems a lot of people, gate agents and otherwise, would rather make up an excuse than admit to not knowing an answer) and the supervisor was able to refer to prior knowledge about your particular flight just by seeing the flight number. Splitting hair, but at least the gate agent did not intentionally lie to you, she just may not have wanted to admit she had no answer.

Quoting TinPusher007 (Reply 13):
which means there should be enough shared info within the company so they do know exactly why a flight is delayed.

And where do you draw the line ? Where does the next passenger draw the line ? Is it at mechanical issue ? Is it at low oil pressure in the engine ? Is it at defective pressure regulating valve ? Is it at why you need to fix the issue rather than top off the oil tank and move on ? You get the point... Some people will just never have enough information to be satisfied.

Quoting Bistro1200 (Reply 15):
In some ways we have more tools available than ever

Not that they're very useful at a hub airport when that landing Mad Dog could be assigned to any number of continuing flights.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has no clothes.
 
JetBlueJackets
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2007 6:06 am

RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 5:27 pm

From someone who deals with this crap on a weekly basis......take my advice

WATCH THE WEATHER CHANNEL.....
if it is cloudy in the NYC area, expect delays
if it is windy, expect delays
if it is raining/snowing....expect delays
if it is a Thursday-Sunday and you are traveling after 4PM even in perfect weather.....expect delays

If you pay attention to the forecast for your desination and connceting points, you can know for sure when the ticket agen is BSing you......But don't be "that passenger" who says "I just talked to my brother and he said the weather is fine".....or "that guy" who can;t understand why flight to JFK are delayed, but not to LGA
 
flightopsguy
Posts: 299
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2005 9:51 am

RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 5:37 pm

Did you check the airline's website for delay info? Virtually all the major carrier's websites update flight delay info right from flightflo, so it does represent the "official" call by the airline. Did you also check www.fly.faa.gov/ois to see if SFO had a ground delay program?

At most major carrriers, the dispatchers do not update flightflo, rather the actual times come out of ACARS, and things like delay codes are usually assigned by the departure station, or perhaps central planning or flight movement personnel.

I would imagine that a "false" delay reason would be enough to lodge a complaint with the DOT.
A300-330 BAC111/146/J31/41 B99/1900 CV580 B707-777 DC8/9/10 L188/1011 FH227/28/100 SB340 DO228 EMB2/170 CR2-900 SH330-60
 
LHRBlueSkies
Posts: 321
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 4:23 am

RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 5:48 pm

Folks, many airlines ( or their employees) do lie about the reason for delays, in order to make the stats look better, to avoid paying compensation to passengers, or to get on-time performance bonuses...it happens!

Unless you manage to find out the truth as to why a flight is late (not always possible), then you will have to 'accept' what the agents are telling you...sad but true!
flying is the safest form of transport - until humans get involved!
 
OHLHD
Posts: 2903
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 6:02 am

RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 5:52 pm

Quoting TinPusher007 (Reply 17):
They do need to know!

I agree but only to a certain level. We discussed that already.  Smile

Quoting TinPusher007 (Reply 17):
LOL...."something wrong with the air" doesn't sound to me like she knew what she was talking about.

That is true but I believe that some words might be missing here..... if not then I agree that she did not know what she was talking about.

Quoting TinPusher007 (Reply 17):
But I've also seen gate agents rountinely give bad info to pax just to get them out of their faces or because they really had no idea what they were talking about

Exactly why we do not give a full detailed info to them. We tell them its a technical, crew rotation, weather etc. We don´t tell them that a side restraint on 11P is damaged and we cannot offload a PMC therefore.  Smile

Quoting ArcrftLvr (Reply 23):
What is the purpose of this?

It is not that we don´t want to show that the agents don´t know what they are doing but the agent is there for other things. If someone wants to know what the exact issue is we will tell them in a light form in order to have the customer calmed down.

Quoting ArcrftLvr (Reply 23):
If so, then maybe the airlines should look at who they hire rather than withholding information.

The agents are good and trained for check-in, boarding. The bad things like excess baggage,denied boarding or offloading is our job. And damn I love it.

Quoting ArcrftLvr (Reply 23):
Who cares if the employees complain about that customers. This is a non-point.

That is your opinion but just think about it. With all the lies you here day in day out one just gets bored by those passengers. The best thing is when we catch a passenger lying! That is super fun then.  Smile
 
Arcrftlvr
Posts: 393
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:30 am

RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 5:52 pm

Quoting LHRBlueSkies (Reply 27):
Unless you manage to find out the truth as to why a flight is late (not always possible), then you will have to 'accept' what the agents are telling you...sad but true!

I'm OK with this, as long as the airline employees here at a.net don't defend those actions.
 
LHRBlueSkies
Posts: 321
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 4:23 am

RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 5:58 pm

Quoting ArcrftLvr (Reply 29):
as long as the airline employees here at a.net don't defend those actions.

If the gate agents are told something, then they (usually) have no reason to doubt it. Unfortunately, honesty is a commodity in rare supply these days, mainly due to the litigation-disease sweeping the continents, and because fewer and fewer people are willing to deal with the fail-out that might come there way. Personally, I prefer to tell the truth, even if it means having the hassle to deal with, 'cos at least then i'll sleep well at night, unfortunately not everyone has a conscience!
flying is the safest form of transport - until humans get involved!
 
n917me
Posts: 492
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 9:18 am

RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 5:59 pm

Quoting Kjet12 (Reply 21):
I don't believe many agents necessarily lie, but rather don't use their resources.

I totally agree. The more experience the gate agent has (for the most part) the more accurate information passengers will get.

I guess it would also depend on which airlines you work for as to how much information tthat a gate agent receives too. my airline for the most part is good about giving updates. When the flight crews "call in range" it always helps, however if the fligth calls in range, then gets put in a holding pattern, the flight should call the station ops to update.

Sometimes you do not want to give passengers the information right away, because there may be some "magic" going on behind the scenes to protect connections, such as aircraft swaps, etc. Once you tell the passengers their flight is delayed, its like the gates of hell opening up. Ever been a gate agant for a delayed flight with 90% of the passengers connecting?!?! The gate agent should get all the information possible before releasing information, and use judgement as to how much detail, etc. Hell I have used FlightAware to show passengers whoi think I am lying about a hoilding pattern to show them. I have even used OAL pilots.. (Thanks Air Wisconsin) to explain reasonsf for ATC delays to passengers. Yet there are still passengers who are hell bent on thinking that the "evil, sneaky dirty-rotten, doiuble-crossing" gate agent is lying. WHATEVER!!

Here is a little something to help those who work in the industry get through the day...

Airline Dictionary

The airline industry, like any other, has a specialized dictionary. These are words and phrases that are used commonly by airline employees for which the meanings many not be obvious to outsiders.

At great personal risk on an undercover sting operation, I was able to procure this dictionary. Now I present it to you with no thought to my personal safety in the interest of academic freedom.

· Air Traffic Control – A game played by airline pilots and air traffic controllers. The game has no rules, and neither side knows how it is played, but the goal is to prevent flights from arriving in time for passengers to make connecting flights.

· Baggage Claim – The most difficult area of the airport to find. It is usually hidden by numerous signs saying, “Baggage Claim Area”

· Carry On Bag – An item, usually of large dimensions, which somehow manages to fit under the passenger’s seat on the inbound flight. Regardless of what the passengers says the following is not acceptable as carry-on items: bicycles, refrigerators, truck tires, or wide screen projection TV’s.

· Flight Schedule – An entertaining work of paperback fiction.

· Fog – A natural weather phenomenon, which usually occurs around an airport while the surrounding areas are clear. Fog is controlled by the airlines and is used to delay flights.

· Non - Revenue Position – Usually can be identified by the fact that these passengers are in first class and are dressed in pilot or flight attendant uniforms. Non-revenue position are permitted to fly first class free of charge to prevent revenue passengers from being able to pay first class passenger charges.

· No Record – Any passenger booked through a travel agency.

· On Time – An obscure term, meaning unknown.

· Passenger – A herding creature of widely varying intellect usually found in pairs or small groups. Often will become vicious and violent in simple and easily rectified situations. When frightened or confused these creatures collect into a group called a “line.” This “line’ has no set pattern and is usually formed in inconvenient places. Passengers are four known species: Paxus iratus, Paxus latus, Paxus inebriates & Paxus ignoramus.

· Position Closed – This is a sign posted at various counter locations, which when interpreted by the passenger says, “Form line here.”

· Pre-Board – Passenger who arrives at the gate five minutes before departure.

· Sign – An airport decoration. Usually unnoticed except by small children. Its primary function is to hide the location of various areas of the airport, i.e., gate numbers, rest rooms, baggage claim, etc.

· Ticket Agent – A superhuman with the patience of a saint, the herding ability of an Australian sheepdog, the E.S.P. abilities of Uri Geller, the compassion of a psychoanalyst, and the tact of a diplomat. They have mysterious abilities to control wind/rain/snow/fog and all other weather phenomenon. They are capable of answering three questions at one time, while talking on the phone and without stuttering or choking on their tongue. Later in life they sit in parks carrying on mysterious conversations with themselves.
 
OHLHD
Posts: 2903
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 6:02 am

RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 6:03 pm

Quoting LHRBlueSkies (Reply 27):
Unless you manage to find out the truth as to why a flight is late (not always possible), then you will have to 'accept' what the agents are telling you...sad but true!

It should ( at least with major carriers) be possible to find out what the real delay was. I would simply ask for the Movement Message. A former colleague of mine had to go to court as an expert to read the MVT in order that everybody understood it. The passenger didn´t get anything, btw. It was weather.

Quoting ArcrftLvr (Reply 29):
I'm OK with this, as long as the airline employees here at a.net don't defend those actions.

If you are referring to me, I have to admit that I do not defend such lies.
 
luv2cattlecall
Posts: 643
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 6:25 am

RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 6:04 pm

Quoting Itsnotfinals (Reply 8):
Not too long ago I actually was able to give some F9 gate agents more info from flightaware then their own system.

I was using my laptop with a wireless connection when I noticed our inbound flight was doing a holding pattern 60 miles SE of Denver due to a small localized thunderstorm that had moved over the field very quickly.

Too bad the pilot didn't have an iPhone with weather.com loaded up...he could have found an opening and make a dive for landing!
.
 
hamad
Posts: 731
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2000 6:29 am

RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 6:08 pm

Quoting Remcor (Thread starter):
I have often been lied to about seat selection. After making attempts to get seats on line, at check-in, at the gate, and being told along the way thats seat selection would be available at each of these next checkpoints, I finally found that there WERE seats where I wanted to sit and when I moved there on my own accord, no one showed up with boarding passes to claim the seat I was "squatting" in. I can understand (to a point) that airlines use seating restrictions to reward passengers for paying higher fares, or penalise those who do not, but they do so in a clandestine and dishonest way.

you know. one time, i asked at the check in counter to get the exit seat, and i am a premier, so what the agent said "we don't do this here, you need to see the gate agent" i looked at the guy, who didnt even look at my boarding pass nor the computer, and said "I am sorry, i know that you do, its not the first time i fly you guys, i am silver, and i just flew out last week" he said "oh let me see" and changed my seat to the exact seat i wanted... i was just stunned!!!! and said "so it is doable here i guess when someone takes the time to look" and i walked away
PHX - i miss spotting
 
LHRBlueSkies
Posts: 321
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 4:23 am

RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 6:10 pm

Quoting OHLHD (Reply 32):
I would simply ask for the Movement Message.

Sorry, the this is not correct, as the delays given on this are subject to airline staff deciding whether to tell the truth or lie...
flying is the safest form of transport - until humans get involved!
 
OHLHD
Posts: 2903
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 6:02 am

RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 6:12 pm

Quoting LHRBlueSkies (Reply 35):
Sorry, the this is not correct, as the delays given on this are subject to airline staff deciding whether to tell the truth or lie...

True, BUT I do hope that not 3/4 of the world agents are lying. If I have a check-in delay I put a check-in delay. If it is Tech - its Tech.
 
LHRBlueSkies
Posts: 321
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 4:23 am

RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 6:16 pm

Quoting OHLHD (Reply 36):
I do hope that not 3/4 of the world agents are lying.

Me too, but I fear we are in the minority, as others simply don't want to fill in the delay paperwork, etc... sad but true!
flying is the safest form of transport - until humans get involved!
 
XJetflyer
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2007 6:40 am

RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 6:17 pm

Get use to it. People lie to your face every second of the day and probably including your spouse or significant other! Lying has become easy for many people especially in the airline industry!
 
OHLHD
Posts: 2903
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 6:02 am

RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 6:17 pm

Quoting LHRBlueSkies (Reply 37):

You are on the good side, just like me. Welcome to my RU-List  Smile
 
hamad
Posts: 731
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2000 6:29 am

RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 6:19 pm

Quoting XJETFlyer (Reply 38):
Get use to it. People lie to your face every second of the day and probably including your spouse or significant other! Lying has become easy for many people especially in the airline industry!

airlines are getting away with many things these day .....
PHX - i miss spotting
 
FLYB6JETS
Posts: 225
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2007 2:05 am

RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 6:19 pm

Come to my airport when I am working the gate. I make it a point to know the reason for the delay if there is one. If it is weather, you can darned well bet I have the pilot brief radar up and running so i can show customers where the weather is and why even though it is sunny in Columbus and sunny in New York we are still delayed. They respond alot better when you have something to show them and I am usually able to explain it better as well. The OIS website is also a Godsend.
"If it ain't Boeing, I ain't going!"
 
LHRBlueSkies
Posts: 321
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 4:23 am

RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 6:36 pm

Quoting OHLHD (Reply 39):
You are on the good side, just like me. Welcome to my RU-List Smile

Ditto dude!!!! Keep fighting the good fight!
flying is the safest form of transport - until humans get involved!
 
ikramerica
Posts: 13772
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 6:37 pm

Quoting Smokeyrosco (Reply 5):
Happens all the time, I've seen it countless times at DUB

As far as I know, I don't get lied to much by CSRs but I do remember one trip that helped to sour me on AA forever.

I was lied to in MIA by AA staff a few years back because they were hiding the fact they had given away our paid first class seats to a famous fashion designer and his companion. It was a MIA-LAX flight, sunday after thanksgiving, and these flights are sold out well in advance, even in Y.

When checking in, they were acting strange, and taking a LONG TIME to do anything. Other counters kept moving while we were waiting. They finally told us we had missed the cutoff time for luggage (we hadn't, not even close, until we had to wait at the counter for 20 minutes....). They also told us we would be assigned seats at the gate now (we were already assigned seats in advance). Once we got to the gate, it took longer with luggage of course, they said we had missed the "must be in gate area or they'll give our seats away" time, which we hadn't (there were still 5 minutes).

I was flying with my cousin, who worked for the largest talent agency in the world, and he recognized the people in our seats. We of course were marching to Y to get our new seats. Yay. And the staff was so understanding, they wouldn't even give us 2 sets of free headsets when we asked. They gave us 1. Seriously. Other Y customers around us were disgusted with the staff attitude, which was surprising, as I'd have thought they might be "too bad, how sad, you First people have to live like us now." But instead, random people leaned over and said they thought it sucked that we paid for F and were stuck here.

My cousin (who's a talent agent type person and gets really pissed off when he isn't treated like the Pope or better) later confirmed in Los Angeles through his agency contacts that the famous designer had decided to fly only the night before (something insane for a Thanksgiving weekend). As the last "flying pair" in F to arrive at MIA, we were the lucky two to be bumped. He wrote an angry letter to Marianne Ciperly (former AA person you contact for this, sp?), and finally got the difference in price refunded for the flight. AA was claiming we were late so deserved nothing. The only thing that made us late was intentional stalling by AA MIA staff...
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
JetBlueJackets
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2007 6:06 am

RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 6:46 pm

Quoting FLYB6JETS (Reply 41):

WOOT WOOT!!

DID YOU BY CANCE WORK FOR B6 IN CMH?
 
FLYB6JETS
Posts: 225
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2007 2:05 am

RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 7:04 pm

Quoting JETBLUEJACKETS (Reply 44):
DID YOU BY CANCE WORK FOR B6 IN CMH?

How did you know? Have you seen me there before??
"If it ain't Boeing, I ain't going!"
 
JBLUA320
Posts: 2997
Joined: Mon May 27, 2002 8:51 am

RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 7:17 pm

I can't vouch for UA, but at XE, agents should know the reason for a delay. Our tracking system is usually very reliable, and a delay code is entered before an aircraft is dispatched. Every agent has a resource that lists what each delay code means.

JBLU
 
bwphoto
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 2:45 am

RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 7:38 pm

On an SFO - PHL flight on US last spring, we had MX issues which led to the complete cancellation of the flight (last of the day). I was so impressed by the gate agent in charge, who came on to the plane while they were trying to diagnose the problem - he'd walk up and down the aisle, saying, "Can I answer any questions?" and giving status updates. Then, once it was canceled, he and the rest of the gate agents made regular announcements in the terminal regarding what options were available for reticketing, which line to be in, etc. In my opinion, they handled this lousy situation in the best way possible. Give the paying customer all of the relevant information and once the situation is made clear, do what can be done to address the situation.
 
davescj
Posts: 1105
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:46 am

RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 7:47 pm

Quoting FlagshipAZ (Reply 2):
The supervisor really put the ticket agent on the spot there. She should have kept her mouth shut.



Quoting OHLHD (Reply 7):
That is true. I have never done that nor will I ever do that. That is really really bad by the supervisor.

The supervisor was undiplomatic I think. A better response would be "I see we have new information" or something similar. It certainly does nothing good to humiliate your employee. On the other hand, as a pax, you want some hope that "your" situation will be resolved.

Part of this I think is a managment problem. They may well need to consider giving gate agents more authority to fix problems -- such as this. Once it is obvious there is a delay, most airlines computers start rebooking. I know CO and DL both do this (I've had an ATC delay, arrived and in both cases the company itself had already re booked me, I just went to my new gate). This is obviously always pleasant -- if you have a delay, which is no fun.

But, the company needs to let their agents do their job -- which can include a rebooking as necessary.

Bottom line: was the agent incorrect? Hard to say. Could the supervisor have been more diplomatic? YES, and I thionk should have been. Should the truth be told? Always.

Dave
Can I have a mojito on this flight?
 
NorthstarBoy
Posts: 1416
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 12:53 pm

RE: Lied To By Gate/ticketing Agents

Mon Nov 12, 2007 7:54 pm

Quoting OHLHD (Reply 7):
The agents normally do not really know what the reason for the delay is. Sometimes we do not even tell them in order not to talk nonsense to passengers.

see, this attitude on the part of airline personnel in general is what annoys me about flying, no one gives passengers any information anymore. I'm a big fan of full disclosure, rather than keeping people in the dark, or giving some vague explanation, tell them exactly what's going on in non-technical terms, it's not hard. Case in point, a few years ago, flying Ord-Bru on AA, our equipment went mechanical, the captain came on the pa in the gate area and gave everyone a very funny but informative update on our situation. and he continued to update the situation on a regular basis, so even though we sat through a 3 hour delay, until the aircraft was declared OTS, and they brought over another 763 from maintenance, people stayed calm and collected. one part i won't soon forget "Ladies and gentlemen, well, we got the part we ordered from United, and to put it in terms you'd understand, imagine you're doing a remodel on your house and you order a light switch, well folks, we ordered a light switch and United sent us the whole wall. we're now working with dispatch to line up another aircraft, this one's not going anywhere."

more recently flying NW Msp-Ams, the aircraft had a mechanical and you know what the crew/gate agents told us? zip. nada. zilch, not a word. the only reason i figured out what was going on was because i overheard the gate agents and F/As discussing whether the flight can go on 3 lavs in coach. How hard would it have been for someone to come on the PA and say something to the effect of "Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of Northwest Airlines, i'd like to apologize for the delay, here's the situation, one of the four lavatories in coach is not working, we have maintenance onboard sorting out the issue and we should know soon whether they're going to clear us to go with just 3. as soon as we know more, we'll let you know."

for some reason, since 9/11 the airlines seem to have taken the attitude that the less people know, the better, this IMO is a disturbing trend, that i hope does not continue, likewise I'd like to see a return to the days when it was company policy that the full first and last names of the flight crew be announced. again it's not that hard to say "Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of Captain George Washington and First Officer John Adams, we'd like to welcome you onboard."

(yes, i miss the good old days, when there were such things as "destination checks" and when the pilots came on and introduced themselves, stating their names and giving a summary of the route of flight, the weather to be expected enroute and what weather can be expected upon arrival. Some flights i've flown on since 9/11/01 it's hasn't been uncommon where the only thing you hear from the cockpit crew is "flight attendants prepare for takeoff."
Yes, I'd like to see airbus go under so Boeing can have their customers!