After I graduated from college, despite the fact that I hold a bachelor’s degree in International Relations, I decided to start my career in the aviation industry. To be more specific, my first professional job was as a Guest Service Assistant for some airline that you’re probably already familiar with if you’re a frequent flyer around Southeast Asia region.
Back in the days, just like pretty much all students in International Relations, I was also looking into the opportunities to work in the high politic sector like in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or embassies. In Indonesia, you need to pass some certain tests to get a position in the ministry as a civil servant. And by the time I graduated, the tests got postponed for some reasons.
So, just like pretty much everyone who just graduated from college, I had to bury my dreams and get some back-up. And for this, I chose the aviation industry dealing with customer service.
I thought this must have been not so hard. I only had to deal with people and as a bonus, I would get to relocate and even better some staff discount for airfare.
Joke’s on me, because on this day, 7 years later, I’m so sure that I was a people person… Until I had to deal with people.
How Customer Service Job Has Changed Me
I think everyone who was once working in customer service might agree, that this job might transform you into a bitter, petty kind of yourself.
I mean, while becoming a cabin crew turned me into a person who is more careful and aware for any discrepancies, I never really hated people before I became one. 😛
Like, if you had to reminisce the good ol’ day before dealing with this job, you remember how great it was to get a chance to meet new people. But now that you do it everyday, if possible, you just want to live far away from people because you’re kind of sick of them.
If you get to that point of bitterness, then just know that you’re definitely a customer service professional. Been there, done that. 🙂
For me, since I spent almost 5 years working somewhere around the airport, I had to deal with a lot of passengers with different characteristics every single day. That has gained me another superpower: to trust my vibes everytime I meet a new person, because honestly energy never lies and this job has gained me the ability to read the situation even when I don’t want to.
I remember I had a chat with my former boss in my last corporate job, she also used to work as a flight attendant some time in her life and she told me this, “The more you meet people, the more you need to believe your instinct when you meet the new ones.”
The Beauty of Working around the Airport
Have you ever heard this quote somewhere throughout the internet?
“Airports see more sincere kisses than wedding halls. The walls of hospitals have heard more prayers than the walls of churches.”
Well, it’s true. In fact, if anything, airport also has heard more prayers as well that it makes them more complex. There’s something about airport that could get you in a way no place would.
Airport is the first place I heard my Dad crying because we had to bid farewell for the first time, it was where I had to deal with a passenger who was late to board the aircraft. It was to catch a flight as her dad just passed away.
Working in a customer service industry is not easy. It’s even harder when you have to do it at the airport.
Some days, you’ve gained a chance to increase your empathy towards the human race. Other times, you’re just glad that murder is illegal that it stops you from killing some certain people pronto. And on this post, I’ll talk about the latter.
4 Types of Passengers that Anyone Around the Airport Try to Avoid
As you all probably know, I worked in the aviation industry for around 4 years. I worked as both an airport staff and a flight attendant, and there are some certain types of passenger that I wish I never had to deal with.
I mean, yes… I once wrote about the types of passengers that I had to deal with that are simply unforgettable, but those are people that I had to deal with a good mood.
But just like you and the rest of community, there were times when I had to doll up with my uniform, but my mood was so hideous. And just like a domino effect, I often had to deal with passenger and their annoying antics at the same time. These 4 types are only a few that I once had to deal with.
1. The Know-It-All Passenger
So you’ve flown with like 4 or 5 airlines in your whole life, it doesn’t make you know everything about the whole airline industry, to begin with…
Believe it or not, there are people out there who actually think it makes sense to compare Jetstar to Lufthansa. Sorry to break you into this, but if you think Daihatsu and Lamborghini are not apples to apples to compare with, then I don’t see any reason it’s okay to compare budget airlines with 5-star airlines.
Imagine if you worked as a customer service and had to deal with this kind of passenger. You can’t laugh at how stupid this passenger is, but then this passenger thinks he can’t be wrong with his opinion.
I hope none of you who came across this post is like this, but if you feel triggered at this point, I would suggest you to become a smart customer. It’s your job to know the basic of the airline you’re dealing with before purchasing your flight ticket, because there’s a reason you gotta tick that terms and condition before making an order.
Don’t embarrass yourself through an unnecessary debate when you clearly have no idea what you’re talking about.
2. The Cheap Ass Passenger who Flies with a Budget Airlines and Refuse to Purchase A Checked-In Baggage, Yet They’re Carrying a Bag Heavier than Their Dear Life… And Expecting the Cabin Crew to Put It in the Overhead Compartment
If there’s anything that I want to emphasize for anyone flying as a passenger, it is the fact that it’s never really a cabin crew’s job to place your belongings in the overhead compartment. It is yours.
Sure, cabin crews can help them out and they surely are the one who would take care of it to make sure it’s secured before take-off, but don’t sulk when they ignore your expectation to put your 15-kg trolly bag into the overhead compartment. You can check their standard of procedures, and you won’t find any on that part. Your belongings are your responsibility.
And you can’t carry a heavy bag into the cabin, to begin with…
For the love of God, just spend that $20 so you don’t have to play hide and seek to carry the heavy bag from airport staff, and you don’t need to struggle to put it in the overhead compartment.
3. The Manipulative Passenger who Would Use Their Kids to Get Away with Everything
They want to cut the immigration line because they’ve got 3 kids with them. Or they want to rearrange the whole seats on the plane just because the system didn’t get them together with the kids. See also the #2 type of passengers.
Believe me, some parents think that the life vest for infants that we gotta give for safety procedures are actually souvenirs. Hmm.
While in some full-service airlines, they usually give some souvenir for infant passengers, there are also some parents who actually use their kids to manipulate people to give them free stuff. You think I’m lying, but it’s true.
If I could get a dollar everytime some random kid asking for candies or Pepsi just so their parents could take them home some free stuff from the aircraft… In some difficult flights, it never really stopped.
I love kids, and although it’s not my favorite, I could understand your frustration when you have to deal with a crying baby on your laps for hours. But, but if you think you can get away with everything just because you have a kid… Please think again.
4. The Opportunist
The last type of passengers is actually where the idea to write this post came from. So I got connected to this person when I no longer work for the airline, but I still felt dizzy while dealing with this woman.
Basically, the woman got on board for a flight with the airline that I used to work for. The flight got delayed for 6 hours, and she wanted to know whether it was possible to claim something out of it. She said that she flew from Singapore to Bali, and she asked the airport staff in Singapore that there’s no one from the company to assist her. That made sense since I know that Singapore is not the airline’s airport hub if anything.
So I told her that maybe she could ask the staff in Bali since Bali is one of the airport hubs they’ve got in Indonesia. You know what she said? She said that the flight was actually last week.
That was rather ridiculous that she asked the question a week later when really, you don’t need to ever work for an airline to know that the complaint is long overdue. I wonder if it’s that hard to have common sense these days. And I’m only grateful that I’m no longer working in customer service so I can avoid this kind of person for the sake of my sanity.
The Key: Be Considerate.
Customer is a king, but then again… No one wants any tyrant.
Yes, you’re the customer and you’ve paid the ticket. But just because you spent your money on the flight ticket, doesn’t mean you’re always right. Communicate.
If you don’t like something, talk about it. It’s never fair for everyone that just because you don’t like one company’s policy, you actually pick on their staff who could do nothing about it as they only get paid to follow the instructions.
So, here’s for the passenger who has thrown money on my face just because I had to take some money from them. He said he’s the member of legislative in Indonesia and the next thing I knew, he actually reported the event to the Directorate of Transportation. The money I took from him was barely even 5 freaking dollar, and I barely earned $200 back in the days. Per month.
If I didn’t take the $5 from him, I had to pay it to the company so I had to swallow my dignity when he threw the money on my face.
So please, don’t be that kind of passenger. Stop being a pain in the ass for those people at the airport.
2 thoughts on “If You’re One of These 4 Passenger Types, Just Know That You’re Probably A Pain in the Ass for Someone at the Airport!”
I currently work as a customer service agent for a major US carrier and so much of what you have written resonates with me. When people ask about my job they think of the terrible passengers. Sure, there are a lot of those but there are also amazing passengers that make my heart sing and passengers who are flying because something terrible has happened in their life. I have hugged, cried and laughed with passengers. Thankfuly there are a lot more good ones than bad.
yesss, it’s true… that’s why i wrote about the passengers that made my heart sing in the other post as well. i mean, i’m still keeping a piece of paper that this lady gave me after flight to appreciate my assistance during the flight. and i also met this passenger who randomly gave me a cup of coffee to brighten my day before flight. no kidding, i’ve been friends for years on facebook with some random passenger i only met once at the airport, and we occasionally still keep in touch to update about what’s up. working as a customer service agent definitely has its ups and downs. as in, you either love some people so bad or you just despise them with your whole heart. there’s almost nothing in-between. 😛