In this job, there’s never a shortage of unusual travel experiences. And many could be considered “teaching moments.”
The gate agent for a recent flight said my name over the intercom. (Nothing else, just my name. No instructions, such as “please see me at the desk,” just my name.) As I walked up, she was looking down at the notes on her desk. I said, “Hi, my name is Mike Anderson, and you just paged me.” Then, without so much as looking up from her desk, she slapped a new boarding pass (first class!) on the counter and shoved it my way. She did not say, “Hello.” She did not smile. Nothing.
Here’s why this matters: Airline upgrades just don’t happen as often as they used to. And if you travel a lot, they’re kind of a big deal. (More room to open up your laptop and get work done, and better snacks and beverages.) As often as gate agents have to deliver bad news to the traveling public, you would think she might have savored this opportunity build on the goodwill an upgrade to first class represents. It would have made the trip—and the airline—more memorable and enjoyable.
Nothing went wrong with this experience. It just didn’t go nearly as right as it could have.