Working in airline is full of glamour—–or is it?
I worked in airline before and oh boy! glamour is out of the context. The idea of working in airline gives people the impression of you knowing everything especially airfare promo. I was assigned in operations which means I’m either checking in the passenger or boarding them at the departure area but mostly I’m at the departure area, boarding the passengers and intercepting either their bags or the passenger itself. People tend to ask me if there’s any promotion going on or is there going to be a promotion. My answer is always, “You can always check our website for any on going promotion”, ofcourse I don’t know either lol. Ticketing and marketing department knows about those things. Working as a Gate Agent (Passenger/Customer Service Assistant) are very tiring, especially when there’s a delay or cancellation of flight. And for the information of the community, we don’t like it either but we don’t have a choice but to delay or cancel your flight for your safety and we do apologize for the inconvenience.
I have lot’s of experiences but few really hit me so hard, like when there’s a typhoon, we need to cancel all flights as there’s a zero visibility and most of the area are already flooded by the water not to mention the non-stop raining. We are all stuck inside the airport but some of the passengers are still complaining about the cancelled flight, some was cursing at us but most of the passengers are calm and can understand the situation. Then there’s this time when Former US President Obama visits our country, flights got delayed because of the protocol called Quasi (other planes are not allowed during take-off and landing, when an airplane carries the head of the state) so airplanes going to our airport diverted to the nearest airport. I kept on announcing about the delayed flights and kept on telling the passengers that there’s a special event happening at the airport. One passenger approached me and asked me about his flight and I told him his airplane hasn’t arrived yet. After quite some time, he approached me again and asked the same thing, I told him I will just check the system and so I did, out of excitement I told him that the plane he is going to use has just landed with a very nice tone of voice with a wide smile but what he did after surprises me, he hit my podium with his water bottle and asked me why I’m not announcing it, why I’m not doing my job properly and if I want him to hit me. So I answered calmly, “The aircraft sir has just landed the very same time you asked me that’s why I wasn’t able to announce it immediately and if you want to hit me it’s your rights sir but I would also like to inform you that I will file a case against you” and other passengers actually defended me and I heard one of them says, “Why hit the lady?Pick up your own size and Can’t you see she’s alone and we are all asking her about our flights?” after that he left and other passengers comforted me and says don’t mind him and it really really warms my heart.
We are blamed for everything, why washrooms are far from the gate, why washrooms are dirty, why do they need to change the gates, why the flights was cancelled and delayed, why the weighing conveyor is not accurate, why they cannot hear the announcement in the smoking lounge, why they were offloaded and the likes. Airlines don’t own the airport, they are just renting the space from the government. Airplane cannot take off if there’s zero visibility or bad weather, gate changes are the aftermath of delayed flights, it’s a domino effect, it’s like a first come first serve basis (correct me if I’m wrong tho, the captain and the traffic control knows it better than I do). This is a very very common issues, delayed and cancelled flights. We don’t like and want this either, but it also depends on the arrival of your airplane, if there’s a sudden aircraft maintenance check requested by the captain or other crew member and if there’s a bad weather condition. We value your life that’s why we are delaying the flight not just because we want to but we have to. Airport announcement are done by the airport personnel BUT gate announcement are the responsibility of the airline personnel, gate paging system doesn’t cover smoking lounge, immigration and x-ray area. But ofcourse it is the gate agent’s responsibility to call the airport personnel for general announcement. Be aware of the time, always look and read your boarding pass, after checking in go directly to your assigned gate, if you don’t have the assigned gate on your boarding pass yet be vigilant and attentive, listen carefully in every announcement or you can search it on the screens for flight announcements.
Working in airline is so stressful, you can still have fun but you’d rather stay inside and sleep especially if you are in zombie shift (lol it’s 2am til 1:30pm) but it will help you longer your patience, it will help you deal with different kind of person, you will witness events that you won’t see everyday. It is hard to work in airline, sometimes you can’t eat on time even if you are hungry, if you don’t have the time to eat you can’t eat. But what’s so good about working in airline? The people. When I was working in airline, My heart is always warm because I can witness the people meeting new friends, smiling at you and tapping your shoulder when you did a great job or even tapping your shoulders because they are sorry if we were yelled at by others. There’s always unity among the people, you can see the efforts. The affection they are giving to their company. The care. It really warms my heart to witness and to be part of that. Also the bond I’ve made with my colleagues which became my friends. There’s no dull moment with them even when the gate is congested and full of irate passengers, even if there’s non-stop boarding we still have time to tease each other who finished the boarding early. I miss them dearly tho! Plus we got to see celebrities and politicians most of the times.
Yes I was humiliated, yelled at and received harsh words but that doesn’t stop me to see the good things. It didn’t stop me from wanting to go back and work again in airline. Hopefully someday, I can go back and serve you better with all of my heart.
Have a safe flight everyone!