Flights Of Fancy

| Atlanta, GA, USA | Working | September 29, 2013

(My initial flight is delayed, so I am checking to see when the next connecting flight leaves. My final destination is by no means a small city.)

Agent #1: “Do you have a connecting flight, sir? If so I can direct you to the correct gate.”

Me: “Yes, I was supposed to be on flight [number], but I’ve already missed it. When is the next flight to [location]?”

Agent #1: *confused look* “Umm… we don’t fly into [location].”

Me: “Here is my boarding pass; you obviously fly there, or else I wouldn’t have a ticket.”


Me: “I printed this at the airpo—”

Agent #1: “THAT’S IT! SECURITY!”

(Finally, another nearby gate agent hears the screaming and comes over.)

Agent #2: “What is the problem here?”

Agent #1: “This man printed a fake ticket. I know we don’t fly to [location], so it has to be fake.”

Agent #2: “Oh, for the love of—I’m sorry, sir. Let me look up when the next flight to [location] is.”

Agent #1: “NO! Y’ALL JUST CONSPIRING AGAINST ME!” *storms off*

Agent #2: *to me, sighing* “The sad part is, that’s at least the third time she’s tried to call security for a fake boarding pass.”

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The Flight Of His Wife Is The Fright Of His Life

| San Francisco, CA, USA | Right | August 16, 2013

(I am closing the ticket counter for the night. Our airline believes very strongly on flights leaving on time, and as such have a strict 30 minute cutoff policy. Anyone arriving at less than 30 minutes to departure will not be allowed to check in. It is 27 minutes to the last flight’s departure, and a man comes running to the counter, where my coworker and her trainee are still at an open computer.)

Passenger: “I need to check in for this flight!”

Coworker: “I am really sorry, sir, but unfortunately you are too late to make your flight. I will be glad to rebook you for a flight tomorrow. May I see your ID?”

Passenger: “What do you mean I’m too late? The flight doesn’t leave until 9 pm!”

Trainee: “Yes sir, but we have a 30 minute cutoff for check in, and it’s 8:33 pm.”

Passenger: “It’s only three minutes!”

Trainee: “Yes sir, but you still have to get through security. We want the other 131 passengers on the plane to leave on time.”

Coworker: “I’m very sorry, sir, but it is too late. Like I said, I would be glad to book you on a different flight tomorrow.”

Passenger: “Your airline is stupid! I got your stupid credit card because I thought you would respect loyalty! It’s the last flight of the night and I’m going to be f****** stuck here until tomorrow!”

(The passenger continues to get increasingly angry and starts yelling obscenities. Everyone around, including the employees of airlines next to us, are staring. He is waving the credit card around.)

Passenger: “Fine! Rebook me for tomorrow! And give me that stapler!”

(My coworker hands him the stapler. The passenger uses the stapler to split the credit card in half, then throws the pieces at my coworker.)

Passenger: “I will never fly your airline again!”

Coworker: “Sir, I have been trying to help you, but I won’t take this kind of abuse. Now, if you want me to continue, I will need you to stop. Also, I would like to inform you that your flight was actually for tomorrow.”

Passenger: *suddenly quiet* “Oh. My wife was supposed to call and change that.”

Coworker: “Well, she didn’t. Do you still want me to rebook you?”

Passenger: “Never mind. I’ll just call.” *leaves*

Trainee: “Wow.”

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Check-In Has Totally Checked-Out

| Australia | Working | July 26, 2013

(I have noticed my airline ticket states ‘Check-in: minimum three hours prior. Failure to report to check-in on time will result in loss of seat and forfeiture of refund’. This seems excessive, but I decide to play it safe and arrive at the airline more than three hours prior for check-in. However, check-in isn’t available until about an hour and a half prior. I eventually check in.)

Clerk: “Thank you, have a nice flight.”

Me: “Actually, I was wondering where I can direct a complaint.”

(The clerk immediately looks uncomfortable. I quickly realize my mistake.)

Me: “Oh, no, don’t worry. I have no complaints about you. Your service was excellent! However, the ticket clearly states we have to check in a minimum of three hours prior to the flight, which obviously isn’t the case. I just want the airline to know that if they don’t provide more accurate information on their tickets, they might lose conscientious passengers.”

Clerk: “Oh, the ticket doesn’t mean you have to check in three hours prior; just that you should be at the airport at that time.”

Me: “Actually, the ticket specifically says CHECK-IN is a minimum of three hours prior.”

Clerk: “No, it says you must be at the airport three hours prior.”

(I point to the part of the ticket which provides the check-in information, and read it aloud.)

Clerk: “Um, uh… sorry about the, uh, delay…”

Me: “I don’t think you understand. I’m not claiming you did anything wrong. I know it wasn’t your fault. I simply want to register a complaint with the airline so they know this type of misinformation on the ticket can be frustrating to some passengers, potentially resulting in a loss of business.”

Clerk: “I’m really sorry about the delay.”

Me: “I simply want to know how to contact a complaints or customer service department, so they might stop placing this misleading information on the ticket.”

Clerk: “We’ll do our best to ensure check-in is speedier next time.”

Me: “Is there a department I can contact for complaints? A hotline? A customer service desk?”

Clerk: “I’m really sorry if my service—”

Me: “Never mind. I’m sorry I bothered you. I’ll just check the website and see who I can contact from there.”

Clerk: “Yes, that’s a great idea! Or perhaps you can send an email to the complaints department!”

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Love And War

| USA | Right | December 17, 2012

(My husband and I wed three weeks before he leaves for Afghanistan, so we decide to postpone our honeymoon until after he comes home. A year later, we finally find time for our honeymoon and decide to go to Vegas. As we’re boarding the plane, we’ve decided to wear what we had worn for the wedding so we can arrive in style: he’s in his formal Army dress uniform, while I’m in my cocktail-length wedding dress.)

Flight Attendant: “We would now like to invite our first class passengers and any members of the military in uniform and their guests to board.”

(As we get up to board, a male passenger scoffs loudly.)

Passenger: “That’s bulls***! Why should that f** get to board first?!”

(There are gasps from the other passengers.)

Passenger: “F***ing murderer! You should be ashamed of yourself.”

(At this point, my husband and I are beet red with anger and embarrassment, but we choose to ignore this man and board the plane. After the rest of the plane has boarded, a member of the flight crew approaches us in coach.)

Flight Attendant: “Sir, ma’am: two of our passengers would like to offer you their seats in first class.”

Me: *shocked* “You’re kidding!”

Flight Attendant: “Not at all, ma’am. They’ve cleared it with us, and would like to switch seats with you before we take off, in recognition of your service.”

(As we stand up, the other passengers take interest. An older gentleman and his wife began to make their way back from first class, obviously the couple who had offered their seats to us.)

Gentleman Passenger: “Are you folks on your honeymoon?”

Husband: “Yes, sir.”

Gentleman Passenger: “Wonderful.” *in full voice, so the whole plane can hear* “My wife and I would take it as a personal favor to us if you would sit in our seats up in first class. I served in the military, as did my father, as well as two of our sons, one of whom is no longer with us. And I wanted to let you both know how proud we are to be flying with you today and for everything you’ve done for us and our country. I’m dreadfully sorry for the way you were treated when you were boarding, and we hope you enjoy the seats and have a lovely honeymoon and a wonderful life together.”

(By now, I am in tears, and the man shakes my husband’s hand while his wife gave me a big hug. We went up to first class and the gentleman and his wife took our seats in couch to applause from the whole plane and flight crew. Furthermore, the crew treated us like royalty for the whole flight. We were told upon disembarking that the people who were seated next to the passenger who had slurred us in the first place had asked to be moved away from him, and that he was given enough dirty looks and reproachful comments that he pouted for the entire flight.)

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John Smith Calling On Line One

| Helsinki, Finland | Right | November 8, 2012

(I work at the frequent flyer service for an airline. A customer calls in to check his mileage balance but there are no flights registered.)

Me: “I’m sorry sir, but are no flights registered on your account. I’ll need to check what’s gone wrong and we’ll get the flights registered to your account.”

Customer: “I knew this! I knew this wouldn’t work. You want everyone to be you frequent flyers so you can spam us with your ads but you won’t give anything back! Not even what you promised!”

Me: “I’m very sorry, sir. I can assure you that’s not how we do business. If you’ll give me just a minute, I’ll figure out what has happened and we’ll get your flights registered.”

(I scan through our booking system for flights and manage to find three bookings that clearly are his. The bookings are lacking his frequent flyer number and that’s why they haven’t been registered.)

Me: “I think I found the reason why the flights haven’t been registered, sir. I found these three bookings but your frequent flyer number isn’t registered in the bookings. That’s why the flights weren’t registered. Did you give your frequent flyer number when booking the flights?”

Customer: “No, I didn’t.”

Me: “Well, then that’s the reason why the flights weren’t registered. You should always give your frequent flyer number when making a booking. But don’t worry, sir; I can register the flights right here, right now to your account.”

Customer: “Oh boy, you’re arrogant!”

Me: “Excuse me, sir?”

Customer: “I don’t need to give my frequent flyer number!”

Me: “Well, without the number we cannot register the mileage.”

Customer: “That’s bull-s***, of course you can! When I call you, you know I call you. When I make a booking, you know I make a booking. When I pay my flights, you know I pay my flights. When I check in, you know I check in. When I board the plane, you know I board the plane. You know people, you track us down, I don’t need to give you any d*** numbers to get anything registered!”

(As he’s ranting, I’ve searched our frequent flyer records with his first and last name.)

Me: “I’m very sorry that we haven’t been able to meet your expectations, but we sincerely do need the frequent flyer number to register your flights. We cannot use just passenger names for two reasons: firstly it’s against the privacy laws and secondly we have almost 30 frequent flyers that have exactly the same name as you do sir.”

Customer: “30?”

Me: “Yes sir, almost 30. And that’s just the ones that have registered as our frequent flyers, there’s even more who haven’t registered.”

(He agreed to use his frequent flyer number after that.)

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