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Now someone explain to me how this makes any sense

JetBlast

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I had a very disconcerting incident at work today, and I'm still trying to understand just why exactly this happened.

We have a flight leaving from the airport this morning, booked about halfway full going to LAX (we had 7 seats open in first class, with 17 booked). Myself and another gate agent are running this particular flight. On my list of passengers happens to be five members of our armed forces returning home from Iraq (all of them come through our airport after arriving from overseas). I decide that, as usual, since we have open seats in first class I am going to upgrade them on their flight home. Neither the military or the soldiers pay for this.

I ask the soldiers to come up to the podium and I issue them their new first tickets, they were very grateful for this. They go back and sit down in their seats. About five minutes later a rather irate gentleman comes up to me and demands to know why I upgraded them; he, too, would like an upgrade if there are empty seats, and he wasn't going to pay for it. I simply told him no, and he fumed on over back to his seat. A few minutes later he comes back over to me and demands my name so he can file a complaint, or that the soldiers return their tickets.

By this time the flight crew had shown up for the outbound flight and I spoke to the pilot about the situation. I called the military members over and informed them that they would be boarding last and needed to return their boarding passes to me- I would give them their stubs back when they got on the airplane and they were in their first class seats. They boarded without incident but did get some applause from other gates as they boarded, which was nice. I am still waiting to hear if a complaint was lodged against me by the irate fellow.

I'm not going to name the airline involved but needless to say I was not happy about the whole thing. I figured SF might be an interesting place to ask- how would you have handled this situation?
 

gdl203

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Isn't there a process or policy for upgrades of frequent fliers in a specific priority order? The airlines I fly would upgrade the top FF status first, then the next one, etc...
 

JetBlast

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Originally Posted by gdl203
Isn't there a process or policy for upgrades of frequent fliers in a specific priority order? The airlines I fly would upgrade the top FF status first, then the next one, etc...

Yes, this was a standard passenger with no frequent flier membership. I did check to see if he had anything in the computer and there was not.
 

Nouveau Pauvre

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Sounds like you did things exactly right.

I wouldn't be worried at all.

Also plz get me free tix to FLA, kthnxbai
 

JetBlast

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Originally Posted by Magician
Also plz get me free tix to FLA, kthnxbai

I will consider it when I can give you the freaking Tiffany book that's been sitting here for about 4 months.
 

gdl203

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Originally Posted by JetBlast
Yes, this was a standard passenger with no frequent flier membership. I did check to see if he had anything in the computer and there was not.
Do soldiers fit anywhere in that priority upgrade process? or is that just left to the discretion of gate agents?
 

JetBlast

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Originally Posted by gdl203
Do soldiers fit anywhere in that priority upgrade process? or is that just left to the discretion of gate agents?

Gate agent discretion. I did make the announcement for standard paying passengers who wanted to pay for an upgrade to come up. I had no one, so I usually delegate the seats to active duty armed forces (unless there aren't enough for everyone). This isn't the first time this has been done, only the first time I've had someone get pissed over it.
 

unjung

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I wouldn't worry about it. I don't see how you could get heat for this unless policy already indicated this was a no-no.
 

Johnny_5

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You did nothing wrong. Nobody got less than they paidd for, some got more then they paid for...
 

globetrotter

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you should have called the soldiers over, and told them that that gentleman objected to them having an upgrade, and pointed him out to them. you should have then said that you might not be able to give them the upgrade, unless, perhaps, some terrible accident were to happen to him......
 

Thomas

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ehhh, there's always some asshole who figures that just because someone got something, that he should be similarly entitled. You'll see more of these.

Just to be safe, I'd chat with your supervisor (in passing) just to get their take on it.
 

gdl203

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Originally Posted by JetBlast
Gate agent discretion. I did make the announcement for standard paying passengers who wanted to pay for an upgrade to come up. I had no one, so I usually delegate the seats to active duty armed forces (unless there aren't enough for everyone). This isn't the first time this has been done, only the first time I've had someone get pissed over it.

THen, it looks like you have nothing to worry about.
 

scarphe

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as long it is decribed in compan´s policy that it is at the workers discretion, there in nothing to wrong. everyone has there particular preferences.
 

Spirit of 69

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Originally Posted by JetBlast
I figured SF might be an interesting place to ask- how would you have handled this situation?

I would have discreetly and quietly upgraded the squaddies in the gate lounge OR directed them to first class seats once on board, rather than making a patriotic show out of it in front of other passengers waiting and listening in the gate lounge.
 

CDFS

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Tell the loser to
off. In less offensive language, ofcourse. I didn't really get it, but I'm thinking you let the irate man have is imaginary way and then gave the soldiers less official upgrades?

I would think that not many people in your organisation would deem that necessary. I wouldn't anyway.
 

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