In the hundreds of millions of miles worth of award tickets I’ve booked, and what probably cumulatively adds up to a year I’ve spent on the phone with airline agents, I’m surprised this has never previously (knowingly) happened. I’d like to think if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my dealings with the airlines it’s to be really, really patient. So it’s rare that I show any sort of emotion or anger when on the phone with the airlines, because I’ve heard and seen it all (though sometimes agents still manage to surprise me).
Yesterday I was on the phone with an especially matronly airline agent. Not only did she have the charm of a DMV worker, but she was about as efficient as American’s pilots were last September.
I was asking her to do something quite simple. She huffed. She puffed. She cut me off and told me what I wanted wasn’t possible. She talked down to me. She basically made me feel guilty for even calling. Usually I’d hang up and call again, but she was so invested in making up every possible rule that I just had to play along.
She probably spent about five minutes typing without saying a word, so I was explaining to a friend what was going on and how she was quite possibly the worst phone agent I’ve ever had (I may have used some more explicit words than that). I could’ve sworn my phone was on mute. Apparently it wasn’t, or at least that’s what her saying “bye sir” and then hanging up suggests to me. Oops.
Okay, I can’t say I blame her for hanging up on me, though at the same time I can’t blame myself for saying what I said… just that she heard me.
And that’s my public service announcement of the day…