There are some things gate or ticketing agents at the airport — whether for job security reasons or to keep hundreds of anxious fliers happy — just can’t tell travellers.
But that doesn’t mean they don’t want to. In fact, many of these things could be to their or your benefit, if only someone would speak up.
So Business Insider asked airline customer service reps to weigh in on the one thing they’d love to tell passengers but can’t.
We’ve anonymously included some of the more constructive thoughts here:
'Different airlines have different rules, but a change or upgrade can get you fired these days. And it's not worth our jobs. The airline computer system tracks everything, and big brother can be watching us.'
'I've been assaulted twice during my decades of working with the airlines. The stress of this job can be compared to working in any emergency room.'
'We are under a tremendous amount of pressure.'
'Many agents have been physically attacked by customers, including myself.'
'Cutting your toenails, flossing your teeth, putting on nail polish, and talking loudly on your cell phone shouldn't be done in public in the gate areas while you're waiting for your flight.'
'Is your issue really as serious as the stress you are causing to yourself and others?'
'If you show up to the airport with 20 minutes to spare, you might miss the flight. It is not like taking the bus. Plan ahead.'
'Take responsibility for your actions. Don't be late.'
'Travellers think we are being rude when we tell them, 'No, you can't do what you want to.' We tell them no because we are enforcing the rules that have been made up by our company, not by us personally. The rules are there for a reason -- not to make travelling harder, but to make it safer.'
'Most of the rules were made for safety reasons. Travellers think the rules are a nuisance or trivial, but they are rules for a reason. It's to keep the passengers safe.'
'Treat me right and you will get the best I can give you.'
'You get more with honey than with vinegar.'
'If you are rude and yelling at me, do you really think I want to help you?'
'Inexperienced international travellers don't realise the size of taxis and public transportation in the cities they are visiting. That extra large suitcase is not going to fit in a trunk of a cab. And you might often have to walk a distance to your hotel, which means dragging all your luggage with you. You really can get by with less when you travel.'
'No, we don't have spare aeroplanes to use if there is an cancellation.'
'We are responsible for ticketing, handling baggage, boarding, deplaning, dispatching flights efficiently and safely. We handle complaints, cancellations, lost luggage, weather delays, and travellers' problems -- all while trying to make our passengers' process easy, efficient, and less stressful for all.'
'Don't keep bugging the gate agents with questions they have already answered in their announcements'
'They are working with a time crunch, and all those extra questions are keeping them from doing their work.'
'If you threaten us, you can be arrested. We will call the police and you will not fly. The punishment for assaulting us is a fine of up to $US250,000 and up to 10 years in prison.'
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