Mixed emotions about this blog post. It has potential to be misconstrued into something I don’t want, but I think I need to say it. Dear Delta gate agent (OK, any airline agent), do not lie to your customer. I just boarded a Delta flight from DCA. I’m on my way home now climbing through 14,000 feet. Life is good. I was a little late getting to the boarding gate today, admittedly. But sometimes, that happens when you have…..a life, a job, etc. In fact, I was so late getting to the gate that the majority of the flight had boarded, and I, a lowly
dirt Silver Medallion, was number one on the upgrade list. (I don’t make these things up.)
I walked up to the boarding agent and before I scanned my Apple Wallet boarding pass, I asked a simple question: “has first class boarded full?” I could tell I had confused things by throwing the word “boarded” into the conversation as I got a stumbled response. There was some feverish typing on the keyboard and a quick answer – yes. I scanned my phone and boarded. Of course, when I did, I found two empty first class seats.
I took my exit row seat, and now, I’m typing this blog post from the air. Here’s the thing, I’m a firm believer in #TeamBoardLast, but I can only play on that team when I’ve checked a bag. Today, I’d done just that, and had no need to fight for overhead bin space. As a result, I did not rush to the gate. As I already said, I arrived pretty late in boarding, found myself # 1 on the upgrade list, and asked a simple question. I’d be fine, except first class wasn’t full.
Now, there are two ways that conversation could have gone, the way it did, and the truth. That truth should have been something like this. “Mr. Jackson, I have a couple of people that haven’t boarded, but I have a Platinum Medallion and a Diamond Medallion ahead of you that I should give those seats to” (which I truly hope happened). My reaction would have been something along the lines of “I think it’s great that you’re taking the time to do that. Have a great day.”
Recognizing that I’m not an average airline customer when it comes to knowledge of how things really work behind the scenes, I can’t help but wish that more gate agents would just tell the truth instead of making up something that seems expedient to them. Heck, actually hearing a gate agent stick up for higher level Medallions might have inspired me to concentrate on flying Delta enough to make sure I get back to Platinum. Instead….what am I doing? Sitting on a Delta flight annoyed as hell and writing a blog post.
Airline lesson to be learned: just tell your customers the truth. It’s that simple.
-MJ, May 27, 2016