Early morning at the airport. Super long line. Ticket agent is having a fight with the printer. Luggage tag issue.
"The baby is outside with my husband. I figured I'd just come in, drop off my bags, and then when they come in, we won't have to wait in line." says a 23ish, orange hand-knit beret wearing woman in the queue next to me.
Grandmotherly ticket agent patiently explains that she can not check in a human being, even a small one, without actually seeing them.
Beret woman adjusts her gold wire rimmed glasses and says: "I am travelling all the way to LA by myself with a baby. It's REALLY hard to be with a child on the plane, so I want her to be calm, you know, before we board. That's why he took her outside."
Luggage tag printer jammed. I am thrilled. Now I can stick around to hear the end of this.
Ticket agent sends her outside to get the baby, very nicely offering to wait for her before seeing the next person in line.
She wheels her stroller up to the counter: "Usually, I just use the Executive Class line, and you know, the are so much nicer to me there."
"Ma'am, the Executive Class agents are for Executive, Business and First Class travellers only."
"It's amazing that you are being so difficult about this. I am travelling to LA today, with a baby.", she says condescendingly, straightening out the singing frog dangling from the stroller bar.
Luggage tag printer has now run out of tape. Ticket agent searching for a replacement roll.
Neighboring ticket agent's voice is rising. "I'm sorry Ma'am, I can't give you a Priority Luggage tag. Priority Luggage tags are used for high priority travellers only."
"But I am travelling by myself with a baby and it will be impossible for me to wait for my bags. I fly back and forth to LA all the time I have never had anyone be this difficult with me.", says Orange Beret.
She wheels away indignantly.
Our ticket agent has now made her peace with our printer. Perfect timing.
Oh wait - there's more -
Behind me, I hear someone smooth down her denim skirt and whisper to the Supervisor. I look over and sure enough it's Orange Beret. Supervisor is loudly declaring "I'm sorry Ma'am, High Priority Luggage tags are for High Priority travellers only."
Ticket agent calls to Supervisor: "I already said No to her", and then under her breath "I didn't like her attitude."
I smile at ticket agent: "You mean you could have checked in her baby? You could have given her a High Priority luggage tag?"
Ticket Agent: "Of course. I just didn't like the way she spoke to me. She acted like she was entitled to get all this special treatment. Had she just asked me, we could have worked something out."
"So you are saying that if people complain effectively, they are more likely to get what they want?"
"Yeah. We can do a lot to help our passengers. They just have to ask us properly."
Hah. Told you so.
My life's work has meaning.
This trip is off to a great start.