Saturday, June 21, 2008

Life Changes

Now that I have moved to the heartland, I found out that my new nonprofit has had to cut back on benefits to keep paying us a salary. Well I have been working too many years to live without benefits so I have been blessed to find a job in another shaky industry that is currently paying benefits. That's right I am a part time employee of a major US airline.

Personally, working on the other side of the ticket counter makes me understand how boorish the traveling public generally behaves.

First, the folk behind the counter are NOT responsible for airline policies and fees regarding checked bags, overweight bags or over sized bags. We are simply doing our job. 50 lbs is 50 lbs and depending on your attitude we will charge you the requisite fee for the overweight bag. Yelling at us, snatching things from us and all other forms of insolent behavior does not threaten us or scare us. So quit. And threatening to call customer relations is so scary to us that we will gladly give you the number. Quit acting like you are an IOWA (Idiot out wandering around) when you come to the airport go the web site or at least watch the latest television news so that you will know what charges and you can expect when you arrive at the airport.

Second, if you arrive at the airport after our cutoff time (also available on the website for each particular airport), do not act crazy when we say you have missed the flight. Do not for example say I can get there in 10 minutes. We close the door 10 minutes prior to departure in order to try to leave on time. And don't forget you have to go through security and don't even think of trying to check a bag if you are late. While we are sympathetic about the reason you did not arrive on time, your story is only one of many we will hear that day. You knew you were catching a plane get to the airport at least 1 hour prior to departure. By the way most times we will happily rebook for a fee at least $100-150.00 only if there is space available in your class of service.

Third, to all of you who think it is so great to get booked on Hotwire or Priceline beware of the multiple carrier booking. If your trip begins on Continental and you have a connection in Denver on Frontier, and there is bad weather or a mechanical or a crew problem on your outbound flight Continental cannot rebook you on a later Frontier flight.

Fourth, telling us that you are a mega flier does not overly impress us. You are certainly a valued customer but all of our customers need to be serviced. This is especially true at non hub stations. We will certainly give you the best service possible but your unruly behavior usually gets this reply. Oh they will take care of your problem in Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Atlanta etc. If you act human we will be more than happy to go the extra mile for you. Remember for the most part we are union employees and unless we cuss you out, which we won't nothing you can say to us will change anything about our jobs. Compliments make us feel good only if we are self actualizing. Many of us are working to help you but remember most of us are part time and with the multi tiered system many of us are not making a lot of money.

Fifth, Thunderstorms, Tornadoes and other weather related delays are not under our control. I know it is sunny in Omaha, but your plane is coming from Atlanta and they have thunderstorms in the area. Check out the weather channel before you leave home and make sure that you have plenty of time between connections. Because yes they will leave you. Also flights cancelled because of weather are not the fault of the airline and you are on your own.

One last thing, when you approach the CSR we really have no idea of who you are and where u are going so please begin by presenting your identification and by saying i am traveling to ....

Happy travels see you at the airport...