Sometimes you should just take the effort to make someone’s life a bit more pleasant. Here are a few ideas of ways you can make your airline gate agent’s day:
Bring them a can of soda or water from the lounge.
Especially on days when flights are delayed and people need to be rebooked, the gate agents may be on their feet for hours without a break. Many times, they just want a drink of water. If you can get water or sodas for free, why not share the love?
Give them a pen.
Pens are in short supply at every gate. That pen that you stole from the hotel on your way to the airport? Give it to the gate agent. She probably needs it more than you do and she will be very thankful.
Give them a “Job Well Done” certificate.
Most airlines give out certificates that top-level elite members can give to airline staff to recognize them for a job well done. Usually, these certificates are worth some kind of incentive points or go into an employee’s personnel file and get considered when it comes times to determine who gets promoted or fired.
Whatever you’re asking of the gate agent, be prepared. If you’re looking for a seat assignment, know whether you want an aisle or window seat and whether legroom is more important than your window/aisle preference. If you are looking to be bumped off the flight in exchange for compensation, know what you’ll accept. Better yet, know what the alternate connections are beforehand. The quicker an agent can handle your request, the better.
Gate agents have a hard job; they bear the brunt of most customer hostility and rarely get thanks. Especially late in the day, gate agents will be tired and will have been yelled at a dozen times by other customers. A smile and a few words of thanks can go a long way toward turning a miserable day around.
I don’t believe in bribing gate agents, but I do believe that what goes around comes around. Because of bottles of water, pens, a friendly wave each time I go by, or just a few words of thanks, there are several gate agents in Minneapolis who will come through for me when it counts.
Readers, what have you done lately to make an airline employee’s day?