Plucking An Answer Out Of The Air

| Orlando, FL, USA | Working | April 12, 2014

(I have just finished visiting my friends and have arrived at the airport for my return flight to Washington Dulles. I get up to the airline greeter who is standing at the entrance of the line.)

Greeter: *rudely* “Sir, you need to place that carry-on in this slot to confirm the size.”

Me: “Oh, this is my return trip, I already know it fits.”

Greeter: “That doesn’t matter. Put the bag in.”

(I do as asked.)

Greeter: *shocked* “It fits. Where are you flying to?”

Me: “D.C.”

Greeter: *scoffs* “There are two airports in D.C. We only fly to one of them.”

Me: *shocked look* “Washington Dulles.”

Greeter: “That is the one we fly to.”

(As I am walking away to go to the counter I turn around.)

Me: “There are actually three airports in the D.C. area.”

(I got better service from the TSA agents!)

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Keeping Sense At Arm’s Length

| Geneva, Switzerland | Working | February 16, 2014

(My mother has broken an arm during her vacation, and will need help to get her suitcase off the luggage carrousel and out the airport at arrival. I’m calling the airline to ask for it since she can’t do it from where she is.)

Me: “Hello. My mum is coming back Tuesday on [flight] from Zurich to Geneva and she’s broken her arm. Is there any way I can get into the luggage zone to help her with her suitcase?”

Airline Rep: “No, Madam. It’s completely impossible. We can offer wheelchair assistance though.”

Me: Okay, but it’s her arm that’s broken, not her leg.”

Airline Rep: “Madam, it’s a wheelchair or nothing.”

Me: “Okay, then. We’d like assistance at Geneva, please.”

Airline Rep: “I’ve booked it in Zurich and Geneva.”

Me: “But she doesn’t need it in Zurich. She won’t even have her suitcase there. She’s coming back from Sydney via Singapore & Zurich.”

Airline Rep: “It’s all booked, madam. Thank you and goodbye.”

(Guess who had to tell Mum she’d be wheeled around in two airports for just a broken arm!)

Mile High Blood Pressure

| England, UK | Right | November 7, 2013

(I work for a very successful low-budget airline. On this particular day, there is an air traffic control strike, which has caused an hour delay to the flight. One passenger has been kicking off at everything since he has got on board. He’s also traveling with his kids. We are in the air, doing the food service. We have run out of a popular sandwich that he wanted four of.)

Passenger: “This is f****** ridiculous! I’ve paid for a f****** sandwich!”

Colleague: “I’m terribly sorry about that, sir. Is there a different sandwich I could get you, or would you like a refund?”

Passenger: “I don’t like any off the other f****** sandwiches. I wanted a [sandwich] and you don’t have it, so you can f*** off!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee availability. Here’s your money back for the sandwich. Can I get you anything else?”

Passenger: “You can f*** off, f****** mugging me off! I’ve just been charged five f****** pounds for a [soft drink]!”

(The sandwiches come as part of a deal where if you buy a soft drink, you get a free packet of crisps. As the sandwiches had been put through our machine already, the customer in question is actually up on the deal, having still gotten the free items.)

Colleague: “If I can just take you through your receipt, sir, you’ll see you are actually up on the deal…”

Passenger: “F*** you! You’re s***, and [Airline] is s***! F*** off, you f****** c***, and get back to your poxy little job!”

(At this point my colleague’s eyes are watering. I go to get a manager. When we get back, despite having moved the trolley to serve the rest of the cabin, the passenger is still kicking off.)

Manager: “No! You do not talk like that to my crew, and you do not swear on board this aircraft. There are kids on board!”

Passenger: “They’re my f****** kids, so f*** off!”

Manager: “There are other kids around you. Do not swear in front of them, and don’t swear at us, sir. We are trying to help you.”

(At this point, I’ve spoken to the captain to explain what’s going on. We arrange to have the police meet the aircraft, not to have him arrested, but to speak to him and make him realise that his behaviour is not acceptable. The captain then does a PA to say that abuse against staff will not be tolerated. Other passengers are getting involved at this point, backing us up, but the passenger continues to shout and swear…)

Passenger: “F***** discrimination, that’s what it is! If I ran a business like this, it would f****** go under!”

(He continues until we land. As everyone is disembarking, the captain comes out and approaches the passenger…)

Captain: “Mr. [Name]? Nice to meet you. I have someone I’d like to introduce you to…”

(He passed him to the biggest police officer I have ever seen. The passenger went white as he got off the plane. The best bit? The police ran a check on his name and it turned out he was a wanted man, and he ended up being arrested! If he’d just kept his mouth shut, then he wouldn’t have been arrested!)

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They Have Something To Declare

| Canada | Working | October 31, 2013

(I am 17 and my mom is in her 40s. We are flying back from a month long trip across Europe, and are getting ready to land back in Canada.)

Flight Attendant: “Customs forms, one per household.”

My Mom: “Thanks, we just need one.”

Flight Attendant: “It’s one per household.”

My Mom: “Yes, thanks, just one.”

(The flight attendant leaves, but comes back shortly after and squats down next to us so he can talk quietly.)

Flight Attendant: “You do know these are one per household right?”

My Mom: “Yeah…”

Flight Attendant: “So are you two married, or…?”

My Mom: “She’s my daughter.”

(The flight attendant turned bright red, apologized and ran off. Mom and I couldn’t stop laughing. Shortly thereafter a different flight attendant came, said the guy was really embarrassed and really sorry and they would like to offer us a free bottle of wine for the mistake. We already had our liquor limit in wine from Italy, so we gave it to the flight attendant on our way out and thanked him for making us laugh!)

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Non-Flight Risk

| Canada | Right | October 10, 2013

(A passenger takes a flight from British Columbia to Newfoundland with one connection in between in Calgary. With roughly an hour to make the connection, she should have an easy time, especially since all flights are on time, and her gates are right across the room from each other. However, she misses her connecting flight. Our airline, at no additional fee, moves her to the next available flight in six hours. Within an hour or so, however, she calls our call center.)

Passenger: “I’d like to make a complaint!”

Agent: “Oh? I’m sorry to hear that. How can I assist you?”

Passenger: “I’m calling because your airline made me miss my connecting flight, and would not provide me a hotel for the night.”

Agent: “Oh, wow. I’m terribly sorry to hear that. What is your reservation code? I’ll see if I can find out if there is something we can do.”

(The agent reviews the reservation, and sees that the passenger has been re-accommodated to a new flight, and has been given a meal voucher for within the airport.)

Agent: “With all due respect, ma’am, it seems that your flight into Calgary was actually early, and you had just over an hour to connect to your connecting flight. It even shows that the agent at the gate called your name a few times. I’m not sure how we caused you to miss your flight.”

Passenger: “It was all your fault! And I want you guys to pay for my hotel for the night!”

Agent: “Again, ma’am, I apologize for—”

Passenger: “It was all the pilot’s fault! He didn’t tell me what time it was!”

Agent: “I’m sorry, what?”

Passenger: “The time! He didn’t tell me what time it was supposed to make an announcement about what time it is.”

Agent: “Ma’am, as a former gate agent at the airport, I can assure you that the captain does make those announcements. Also, in the case that he does not, I happen to know that roughly every 15 feet within the airport, there is a clock on a TV, food service station, and in every lounge. May I ask where you were that you were unable to see the clocks or hear the gate agent?”

Passenger: “That’s none of your business! Now, on top of paying for my hotel, I want you to pay me for my time that you’ve cost me by making me miss my flight. Give me back my money for this flight.”

Agent: “So, ma’am, let me see if I understand this: you got on a flight, knowing you had a connection in Calgary. On your confirmation, it told you the time you would arrive and leave. The captain may not have announced what time it was over the PA system, but within the airport, there were many clocks and many attempts at calling your name to get you on your connecting aircraft. When you did not make it onto the flight, we re-accommodated you at no fee, and even gave you a meal voucher for your additional hours at the airport. Now, you would like us to give you a free flight, AND reimburse you for the hotel that you only get about five hours of use from.”

Passenger: “Listen, are you stupid? You need to stop repeating me and get me some money.”

Agent: “I’m sorry, ma’am; I am not going to be able to help you.”

Passenger: “Tonight?”

Agent: “Ever.”

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