Find out the secrets of a former Check in/Gate agent

Not because you care about me, but while I hated my job at a certain point, I saw my airline screw over so many passengers and I wanna give as many tips as I can.

I've worked for 2 major international airlines.

Top Answer:

his advice is kind of crap, y'all. I kind of think he was a contract employee. Airlines that fly seasonally to certain airports might enjoy basic lowest living wage workers that split shifts and other nonsense.
Airline employees get standby travel. Free. They may have to pay for airport fees, or tick fee. Their spouse/family, if they get benefits at all will be buddy pass tier, which usually pays a mileage fee that is pretty similar to regular fare, but offers flexible travel, and possible upgrades, but is damn hard to standby and use (since passenger load is so high, and most flights are oversold on purpose).

You don't get an upgrade. Ever. Unless you pay for it, or have clout in the clubs or with your credit card. They aren't allowed to give you free things, so charm isn't going to do it. When they are forced to upgrade someone to squeeze in people in coach or business, they usually approach the waiting list and their "miles" club passengers by ranking. When you are on a completely empty plane, which sometimes happens, crew move you forward if they enjoy talking to you/bored.

Hi Kite Guy. I always enjoy your threads :) What airlines do to checked luggage is xray it through a separate scanner back in bag claim. Don't check-in late, since a cursory glance at the contents of your bag, or the weight being so damn balsa wood light ;) might make it need to go through the xray. What I would do in your place is have a luggage tag with your name/business and a nice little kite graphic, like a good indication of your business or hobby when they look at it, so they can go ahhhh. You found the perfect bag, so ya, use it. They should be happy it's underweight for the usual.

Other Answers:

I've flown internationally and every time the meal section had tons of options, but none for allergies. On one such flight where both meals contained food I and another person couldn't eat we were informed by a flight attendant we should have told them when we booked the flight and we could have gotten a suitable meal. But despite there being kosher, vegetarian, dairy free, etc. options there were none for any common allergies. What gives and how do I find such a meal option? I don't usually worry about having an allergic reaction but being on a plane would be the single worst possible place for it to happen since I wouldn't be able to get to a hospital.

I normally fly Cathay Pacific. When booking online there is a section where you pick your seat, and a special meal, if you want one.

Are you told to lie?

I had a flight diverted due to whatever nonsense reason causing me to miss my connection. Because there was only one flight per day from my city and the rest of the week was booked up I was flown to another city 4 hours away for a new connection, AFTER I slept the night on the airport floor. I was 17 at the time too. All along the way I asked if my baggage would travel with me I was assured each and every time that my bags would 100% arrive at my final destination when I get there. What do you know they got lost and the gate agents were all full of nonsense.

I have a question that anyone with experience can give there input, it's about hidden city/ throw away ticketing:
Will an airline actually send your checked baggage to your final destination if you aren't on the flight?
Everyone says this on all the forums but I don't see how this is not a huge security issue. I'm not allowed to leave my luggage unattended for 5 minutes while I take a dump but an they will fly luggage without me? Aren't they worried about "terrorists" doing that?

an airline actually send your checked baggage to your final destination if you aren't on the flight?

In the US, Europe, Canada, and the like -- absolutely not. Once they've determined you're not on the flight your checked baggage will be pulled. I suppose at that point they dump it in their lost luggage pile, but there may be more (additional screening, open it to see what's inside, etc.) I don't really know about. At the very least it'll be a hassle getting it back, so if you're going this route I'd suggest hand-carry only. There are of course additional issues involved with deliberately missing a flight leg, but I'll let other persons discuss these.

As a baggage handler I can say offloads are the worst :).
Maybe a tip: Don't pack your bag to the absolute maximum (unless it's a hardcase).
Theres a good chance it will tear or handels/wheels break off.
I also see those straps people put around suitcases are absolutely useless. You'll be likely to lose them. More?

What's the best way to pack a bike, bar using a hardcase, so it survives travel as a checked baggage?

Rinko

Use a bike box from a shop. If they happen to have the the plastic things to protect the rear derailleur, and the front hub, get those. I've flown with a bike in a box at least 30 times without problems.

When packing, along with the plastic protection mentioned, use zip ties to make the bike a solid thing that nothing is moving around.


Kinda tempted to go on a flight and claim there was bubblegum on the headrest so i can get some kind of freebee voucher at some point. Its worth putting some bubblegum in my hair cutting out a bit of hair for a discount for the next flight seeming im so damned poor, its worked in the past with other companies so i dont see why it wouldn't work out with flights.

Will i get caught out?

I fly with kites as checked luggage. Usually I carry wind0-infalted pieces with no sticks, crammed in a compression bag, but recently I have been carrying some sticked kites in a golf bag. So far nobody has objected, but it has only been a few times. Iis anybody ever going to care that it is not golf clubs?

In my experience, we almost never check to see whats inside oversized luggage. If someone tells me they have a bike, I'll take their word for it.
I changed fields entirely. It's kind of a bad job, at the end of the day.
I had free travel when they sent me abroad to train and learn new techniques exclusive to the airline, but typically it's like 20% off flights.

That's been my experience so far as well, but it is interesting to hear word from the other side.

What airlines do to checked luggage is xray it through a separate scanner back in bag claim. Don't check-in late, since a cursory glance at the contents of your bag, or the weight being so damn balsa wood light ;) might make it need to go through the xray.

Interesting -- though weight would not be an isse, I am up against the weight limit with line, winders and kites.

What I would do in your place is have a luggage tag with your name/business and a nice little kite graphic, like a good indication of your business or hobby when they look at it, so they can go ahhhh.

Interesting, Iworth considering

You found the perfect bag, so ya, use it. They should be happy it's underweight for the usual.

Ha, I chortle. But it would probably be worth making it the lighter of my bags, thanks.

Drop trip

i rarely come to this board but I worked for 15 years in the hotel business. most people send stuff like this ahead of time through FedEx. Put your name and arrival date under the hotel name. Get the packaged tracked. You can ship it in a pvc tube for super strength. In all my years helping people there were a lot more missing bags or bags people were forced to check that were never found than packages never found. It is possible it could get lost but FedEx is pretty good at finding them. I would say 95% of packages could be tracked with a phone call.

That is worth looking into. I used the Black Cat freight people for shipping large bags around internally in Japan, have never tries shipping the show from home to destination.

I guess there is some procedure for indicating to customs that this is personal stuff for a visit cultural visit, not trade goods. Don't want to get hit with duties and charges like that.

Ha, I did know a guy who shipped a lot of carbon fiber kite sticks in a pvc tube -- the pressure change in transit sucked the air out and sealed the end caps super- tight. Had to use a crane to get it out. PROTIP - drill a small hole in the PVC tub BEFORE filling it with your stuff, to allow pressure to equalize when in transit.

How do I have to act to get any problem I might encounter fixed as fast as possible?

I'm usually just very polite and doesn't yell and stuff like that.


Anyway i can increase my chances of being treated like a VIP and get free upgrades or lounge passes?

I wanna give as many tips as I can.
gives no tips

work for your thread, friend.

Do you still work with airlines, or did you change fields entirely?

Also, forgot the most important part: What were your travel benefits like (free travel, etc?), and how did you put them to use?

What were the job requirements and how much did you make?

How do I increase my chances of being upgraded?

and/or is there a way to get cheap upgrades?

it depends on the airline. The one I work for is pretty strict about it. Try to butter them up and be really sweet. Offer to board on tomorrows flight and give up your economy seat for a stand-by passenger.

It depends on the problem and how busy they are. Ask to speak to the supervisor, really. Don't get too salty or they'll threaten to call state police.

What problems do you usually have at check in?

If it's at the gate you gotta be assertive as hell, because I remember we would promise to change pax seats and inform the crew of special meals - but we didn't do anything.

Give some tips or hacks man

:(
There's no special code word that can get you bumped to business.

Give us something, my upstanding young friend.

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