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From our editors in the field!

As a Customer Service Manager at DFW for the world's largest airline,
I was out in the operation helping board an oversold flight on a
busy summer afternoon a while back.  I remember we had a lot of
standbys that day (both employees and their parents, spouses, partners,
children, etc.) and frankly, chances looked pretty slim for most of them, to be honest.

After soliciting volunteers (who then joined the throngs of standbys
crowding the gate area) I started the boarding process.  Soon the
lounge cleared out to only those passengers and standbys waiting
for a seat.  We released the seats of the no-shows about 10 minutes
before departure time and discovered we had a handful of seats to
dole out in the order on the priority list in the computer.  We
handed the first seats backed to the volunteers, then did some juggling
for the couples trying to get seated together, and finally came
down to accommodating one revenue passenger who had missed an earlier flight.

It was now about 3 minutes before departure and I had very little
time left to get that aircraft door closed for an on-time departure.
I told the standbys that we were sorry, but there were no more
seats and I'd be right back to 'roll' them to the next flight. 
Immediately one man jumped up and accosted me at the jetbridge door
(he was really far down on the standby list if memory serves me
well.)  "Whadda ya mean there's no more seats - I WANT MY SEAT NOW
before this plane leaves," he bellowed.  "I'm sorry sir, but you're
standby and there are no more seats on this flight, I replied."
He looked shocked and replied angrily: "Look, I've stood by for
over an hour, and now I want my seat so I can get on this flight!" 

Luckily a fellow agent ran down to button up the flight, while I
took him aside for a stern discussion.  As it turned out, he was
an employee's brother who hadn't grasped the whole concept of standby
as it was explained to him.  He actually thought it meant waiting
until departure time to find out what seat assignment he'd have
on the flight.   And for that he thought he could fly free?!!  When
I finally got through to him, he became totally irate and just said
"I'm never flying this outfit again!"

Sometimes you've just gotta laugh and move on to help the next genius in line.


From: Anonomys

I was collecting boarding passes on a very full Los Angeles flight. A passenger had too many carry on bags and I told him that he would have to check one. He began to argue, using all the usual cliches "I fly all the time" "I always carry on three bags" "I'm a premier flyer" He eventually figured out that he wasn't going anywhere unless he gave up the bag. I was apologetic, trying to explain that the flight was full, and I was just enforcing the FAA policy.

He said he was going to write a letter to my supervisor. I chuckled to myself because I was sure that my supervisor would be happy to hear I was enforcing the carryon baggage limits on a full LAX flight on a Friday evening, since she had just written a briefing item saying we needed to have more enforcement. Angry that he couldn't intimidate me, he started down the jetway after I handed him the claim ticket.

Suddenly his briefcase sprung open, it's contents scattering all over. "How is that for Karma" the next passenger in line laughed as I took his boarding pass.

From; Karl in Hamburg

comment: I was working at the information desk at Hamburg airport (Germany) when a woman came towardds me and asked me if she went to the right gate. The screen was showing "Las Palmas" but she said she booked a package tour to Gran Canaria. After I explained that Gran Canaria is the name of the island and Las Palmas is the capital city of it, she was very relieved and said:"Thank you, but may I ask you another question? How do I get to Gran Canaria from THERE?"


A very prominent retired baseball player, one of the best known of our time, was traveling with a companion, a beautiful, tall, leggy blond, that could make you sweat, with just a look.  Well the two of them arrived at O'Hare without tickets in hand, they were pre-paid. Noticing the lines were far to long for him to get through in time to catch his flight he stopped a passing supervisor and told him he needed assistance right now!                   The supervisor realizing who he was dealing with fell all over the ex-player, apologized for us being busy, and told him we would comply with his wishes immediately.            This supervisor had no idea how to issue a ticket or do anything else useful in his area, so he grabbed me (a Lead). I was in the middle of fixing a problem for another passenger when I was physically pulled away. I signed into a set and issued the tickets in a few moments. While listening to the ex-player berate me for being slow and, I "was going to make him miss his flight".                     Approx 40 seconds after signing in The tickets were on top of the counter with the auditors coupon next to them.                        The player scooped up the tickets and with his companion on his arm he hustled towards security.                     I quickly signed out of the set locked the drawer and took off after the ex-major leaguer. Catching him as he was going through the mag I called his attention to me.                                      He turned and saw a paper and pen in my hand, he responded "Look I really am in a hurry, but I guess I can give you an autograph."                              "I really do appreciate that," I said. "But could you please just sign for your tickets!    

       at O'Hare...   


One early morning about 0500, while working at the United ticket counter in

Milwaukee, I was working a flight to Denver, checking in the flight. As a

Customer Service Rep. ("CSR"), I was taught to confirm verbally our

customer's final destination, before tagging and checking their bags.

My customers were three woman in their mid to late 60's, traveling

together to Las Vegas, each with one piece of luggage. Our conversation was

short and light, but friendly. After I gave them their desired seats, I

directed them to their next step (the gate) and I attempted to confirm with

them that I had checked their luggage correctly.

"Three bags to Las Vegas?" I said quite confidently.

I BEG YOUR PARDON SONNY?!" they said in unison.


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