I was at the airport yesterday afternoon and had to wait on MB’s flight to take off. This meant 15 min sitting at the gate with not much to do. I realized as I watched another crazy gate agent situation that pretty much every time I am not caught up in my world and spend a few minutes observing the interactions at the gate counter it is usually appalling
The gate agents were busy boarding the flight, checking bags for the person who was trying to bring 3 on board, dealing with re-arranging seats for a family with small children that were seated together. Meanwhile a man comes charging up the gate with his wife and little baby. He doesn’t even wait until they acknowledge him he immediately jumps into…”I was on that flight and it is delayed so can you put me on this flight and I will just drive to my destination. I have first class seats so I only want to do it if you put one of us in first class. Wait are you clearing upgrades, no I want that seat and I paid for first class tickets”. (side note he didn’t pay for first class…they were upgraded on their original flight :P) So now the gate agents stop what they are doing and try to understand what he is asking, mind you the flight is fully boarded and they are trying to get an on time departure, but they attempted to get him and his family on the flight. Now they couldn’t do the first class..they had rules on how those work (the rules probably were crazy, but it’s not their fault). This went on and on for about another 5 min when then the original flight this guy was on starting boarding so without a word he just looked at his wife and said “let’s go board our flight”, leaving the gate agents mid-step realizing it was all for naught.
Now I travel enough and have had some really frustrating gate agent experiences when I swear I am being nice and they are being ridiculous…but then when I watch this situations and I realize I never really know what type of person they had to help before me…or after me.
It has got to be one of the worst jobs…how often does someone come up to you that doesn’t have a problem? Probably never…I mean I don’t.
So Kudos for these gate agents for keeping their cool, laughing it off, and dealing with another crazy situation in a pretty thankless job.