They’re Not Entitled To Any YOLO

, , , , , | Friendly | January 20, 2020

I am an engineer for a German car manufacturer. I fly to northern Sweden several times each year for car testing — we drive on a frozen lake to test in cold and slippery conditions. The airport there is very small and it would be pretty complicated to get there with normal scheduled flights, so there is a company that charters several flights each week directly from Germany to this airport.

Up there in Sweden, there is almost nothing. There is an igloo hotel and a biathlon track, most major European car manufacturers have testing tracks there, and then there are some “driving experience” hotels which provide drifting courses on frozen lakes for very rich people. So, our chartered planes are usually filled with 85% grumpy engineers, 10% normal tourists who want to ski or hike, and 5% rich, entitled a**holes.

Since the planes only fly once every two or three days and the airport is so small, they will usually wait for late passengers. We are sitting in the plane after two hard weeks of work — we usually work almost twice as many hours up there — and they announce that they are waiting for three passengers. Over one hour later, they finally arrive. We see them through the window approaching the plane. There are three 18-year-old guys with sunglasses and Gucci swag. Then, they stop and take selfies in front of the plane for about five minutes.

They enter the plane and an engineer says to them, “What the f*** was that? You come one hour late and make 200 people wait, and then you take your time for some f****** selfies?!” 

Their response is, “YOLO!”

Further down the floor, one of them suddenly screams, “Why did you do that, you a**hole??” Apparently, someone tossed some water or soda over their Gucci swag. Several people in the plane answer with, “YOLO!” They complained to the stewardess and she says, “Sorry, I didn’t see anything. Please don’t curse at other passengers,” and walks away.

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We Don’t Need Your Business (Class)

, , , | Right | December 5, 2019

(I work for the Elite/VIP line at an airline call center in Prague. While most of our passengers are polite and understanding, sometimes they are just entitled jerks.)

Me: “Good morning. Welcome to your [VIP line]. My name is [My Name]; how may I help you?”

Caller: “I need to be on the next flight from Paris to New York. One-way, business class, quickly.”

Me: “Sure thing. Let me look at what we can offer you.”

Caller: “The price on the website is outrageous; I hope you can do better than that.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, we are almost fully booked and the departure is in two hours; the best price I can offer you is [horribly high last-minute price].”


Me: “I understand, sir, but she will not do that. Looking at your booking from six months ago, you purchased the ticket four months in advance. You cannot expect the same price for a last-minute business-class ticket.”

Caller: “But I’m a [second-highest tier] passenger; I should get cheaper prices!”

Me: “That’s not how it works.”

Caller: “Your program is useless. Frequent flyers are not rewarded enough.”

Me: “With your additional bag, your extra-comfortable seat on the [arguably the best passenger plane in the world]’s top deck, as well as the shuttle to the airport, all free of charge on both legs, you saved more than €300 on your previous booking.”

Caller: “I didn’t… I mean, this is normal, but I expect more.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but it looks like the last seat on this plane was booked by another passenger since we did not confirm it early enough, and the next ones for today are already overbooked. If you wish, I can put you on tomorrow’s flight, same time.”

Caller: *curses, then hangs up*

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Playing Scrabble With Airlines Is A Costly Endeavour

, , , , , | Working | September 13, 2019

(I’m booking a flight for a friend to come to visit me in August 2019. There’s a convention that we both are interested in. This happens after I book the flight.)

Friend: “Uh… my last name is incorrect. It is missing an E at the end.”

Me: “Crap!”

(I immediately call the number it gives me to fix it with.)

Rep: “In order to fix everything, you will need to get the flight cancelled and rebooked.”

Me: “But I do not want to lose the tickets and wait for ten business days for a refund. It’s one letter… Let me talk to a supervisor, please. Nothing against you. I just want this fixed.”

Rep: “Please hold, and I will tell you now that they will give you the same advice.”

Me: “Not a problem.”

(I’m put on hold for twenty minutes. I finally get someone, but it sounds like the same person as before.)

Supervisor: “My agent told me you need a name changed, correct?”

Me: “No. Just adding one simple letter to the end.”

Supervisor: “Okay, well, as she told you, best to just cancel and get refunded.”

Me: “Can you call the airlines and talk to them?”

Supervisor: “I’ll see what I can do. Please hold.”

(More minutes of waiting only for her to return with this masterpiece:)

Supervisor: “They told me it will be almost a hundred dollars to add the E.”

Me: “Seriously?! One letter for a hundred dollars? Just leave it the way it is. I’ll figure it out later!”

(I hung up at the point and my friend decided to call. I just hope the name gets fixed!)

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Asking For Flights Of Fancy

, , , , | Right | December 22, 2018

(I work at an airline.)

Caller: “How much to fly return with you to Bangladesh in two weeks?”

Me: *checking* “I see that neither we, nor our partner airlines, travel there, but [other airlines] do. I can provide you with their contact numbers—“

Caller: “What I asked you was, ‘How much will you charge me for a return ticket to travel there?’ I didn’t ask for you to fob me off onto someone else. Answer my question, please.”

Me: “Sorry about that. On what date do you intend to travel there, when would you intend to return, and in what class would you prefer to travel?”

(He gives the details; the price is around €4,000 in economy class before the various taxes and charges, which is the maximum allowed by law and the only fare that head office has programmed into our system. I wince in anticipation of his reaction to the news.)

Caller: “What? Why is it so insanely expensive?”

Me: “It’s the highest price in economy class for that route and time that’s allowed by law. [My Airline] doesn’t offer any discounts or reductions to travel on other airlines that aren’t our partners, much less to destinations where we don’t go. If you were to contact the airlines that do fly there, they’d probably have prices closer to what you were expecting, since they compete for passengers on that route.”

Caller: “That’s ridiculous! You should be ashamed of yourselves for charging such a rate. It’s no way to do business!”

Me: “I don’t claim that it is good, sir, merely that it is so. Shall I get those other airlines’ numbers for you?”

Caller: *frustrated growl or snarl, followed by a click as he hangs up*

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Will The Real Sheldon Shady Please Speak Up

, , , , | Right | September 8, 2018

(I am changing a reservation for a customer over the phone. She is not happy that she will have an extra charge because she waited to make the change. She knows the fee policy (I confirmed it) but is upset there is a charge. She waited until the very last moment to make the change when she had several weeks in advance to do it for free. She wants to impress me that she is a trainer in customer service skills and that she is an executive. That charge is $150 and it will give her 100,000 frequent flier miles if she keeps the ticket.)

Customer: *screaming* “I am an executive! You make no money at all! I own my company and I train people in giving good customer service. You are horrible at customer service! You are stupid and useless! You are worthless! Do you hear me? Worthless! You are not worth the air you breathe!”

Me: *feeling my face get red but keeping my composure; about to be beyond nice and make an accommodation for her* “Ma’am, if you like—”

Customer: “You don’t listen! You are stupid! I train people in customer service and you are horrible at it. What is your name?”

Me: “Sheldon.”

Customer: “Your name isn’t Sheldon! Your name is Shady. You’re shady. You’re stupid and shady. The airline is shady.”

Me: *trying not to laugh* “Ma’am, I would like to assist you if you will let me speak.”

Customer: “You are shady. Say it with me? Admit it! The airline is shady. Shady, shady, shady. Say it. Say it!”

Me: Ma’am, I’ve very sorry to have upset you but I will not call the airline shady.

Customer: “Give me your manager’s name and get him on the phone. You are stupid.”

Me: “Absolutely. I will get you to my manager right away.”

(My manager comes on phone… and customer starts screaming.)

Manager: “Mrs [Customer], Sheldon was correct in what he said. If you continue to disparage Sheldon I will terminate this call.”

Customer: “YOU’RE A D***!”

Manager: *hangs up*

(All I could think of is, “Man, I’m glad I do not work for him.” And can you imagine his customer service training classes?)

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