As I mentioned before, I work for the airlines here in Missoula. I am officially titled a Cross-Utilized Agent. What this means in humanspeak is that we’re trained to do it all. I am a Customer Service Rep, a Gate Agent, a Ramp Agent, and I work Operations and everything in between. On any given day, like today for example, I may check you in, board your flight, and marshall you out. So I thought that I’d give a little behind the scenes exclusive in the airline world… namely, the do’s and don’ts of airline travel.

Don’t show up any less than half an hour before your flight, because we’re not letting you on, no matter how much you cry and scream and drop the F-bomb.
Do arrive at least an hour before to save time for any unexpected problems.

Don’t be rude… because you’ve just shot yourself in the foot for any extra measures.
Do go out of your way to listen when I’m speaking (hang up your cell phone) and obey.

Don’t try to connive us – we’ve heard every excuse in the book.
Do be honest – we can often make simple changes if there’s a good, valid reason.

DO NOT board before your zone number is called (this may be my number one pet peeve). There are reasons for zone numbers, they’re not there for giggles.
Do wait patiently (not breathing down my throat) for your zone to be called.

Don’t have tunnel vision.
Do remember that you are just one of thousands of people traveling today and some of those people are on your very same flight and would appreciate it if you found your seat quickly and got out of their way.

Don’t ask if we’ll call your connecting flight and have them hold the plane for you (you’re not the President).
Do be very patient and kind as we do our best to rebook you.

I think my most unbelievable passengers yet were two businessmen traveling together to ATL. I was working their gate and I had paged them THREE times that their flight was boarded and ready for departure. When we were past cut-off time, I finally closed the flight without them. About ten minutes after departure they showed up to their gate, and when I arrived back from closing out the flight, I was greeted with arm flailing, yelling, and accusations that I HAD COST THEM A TEN MILLION DOLLAR DEAL!!! You’d think they would’ve chartered their own flight… or just been there on time…

How about you… any crazy traveling stories?

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