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A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Gate


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#1 B757Guy

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 11:14 AM

Ahh the joys of dealing with some of the traveling public....

Minding my own business, grabbing a quick bite before my next leg for the day, when a couple approach me, asking if I'm a pilot and who I fly for. While I was a bit hesitant to answer, as they seemed a bit off, my uniform and stripes kinda give it away. So I answer yes, and tell them who I fly for. They then procced to offer me all manner of compensation if I upgrade them to first class.I politely but firmly tell them I have no control over such things, and even if I did, the answer would be no. They begin to make some snide comments about how airplanes fly themselves, and that I must be a Trump supporter. Their behavior was erratic, and it was kinda clear they were either on something, or drunk. About 20 minutes later, I start making my way to the gate, and see them both arguing loudly with someone at one of the restaurants. They spot me as I walk by, and begin yelling at me. It's loud enough that a few folks look over at them, and me. I shrug, and forget about them, my mind on the flight ahead. I get to the airplane, begin my normal pre-flight stuff, brief the FA's on a few items, and get acquainted with my FO. As karma would have it, while outside in the gate area, talking to a few folks, I notice the couple is on my flight. It's pretty clear to me that these folks are a potential problem, and I speak with the gate agent, and have them denied boarding. The ensuing argument delayed us 35 minutes, and required the police, but in the end, it was the right thing to do....

I love my job, and while I don't interact much with my passengers, over the years I've had some wonderful experiences with them. But, some days I watch those FEDEX MD-11's blasting off with nothing put packages, and sigh... smile.gif


Edited by B757Guy, 01 June 2018 - 11:31 AM.

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I'm an airline pilot with a major US based carrier, and avid lover of trains since the very early days of Amtrak. I fondly recall GG1's zipping along the NEC, and sleeping in a slumbercoach on the Montrealer as a kid. I miss the old heritage cars, the GG1 and the original Budd Metroliners. The new equipment today simply doesn't have the same personality and elegance...


#2 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 11:28 AM

I read all the way to the end but still didn't see how much it would cost me to get an upgrade. :ph34r:


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.


#3 B757Guy

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 11:31 AM

I read all the way to the end but still didn't see how much it would cost me to get an upgrade. :ph34r:

 

Lol!


I'm an airline pilot with a major US based carrier, and avid lover of trains since the very early days of Amtrak. I fondly recall GG1's zipping along the NEC, and sleeping in a slumbercoach on the Montrealer as a kid. I miss the old heritage cars, the GG1 and the original Budd Metroliners. The new equipment today simply doesn't have the same personality and elegance...


#4 railiner

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 11:57 AM

I felt similar sentiment many times thru the years driving buses, and feeling envious of the driver's of 18-wheeler's..... :)


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#5 cpotisch

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 12:02 PM

Ah, people. Sadly, I've seen crazy people yelling at airline staff to get upgrades all too many times. However, this case is probably the weirdest one I've seen yet - usually they harass a flight attendant or someone at check in, but not the pilot. Seems like those people were either intoxicated or have some kind of mental illness, but either way you definitely did the right thing by denying them boarding.


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Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service
 
Wish List: Auto Train, Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome, Downeaster


#6 caravanman

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 12:05 PM

Yep, working as a taxi driver, I loved it when the job was a parcel delivery instead of a passenger.

 

Ed.


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#7 railiner

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 01:24 PM

Well, we may agree that at times, carrying freight, rather than "annoying" passenger's is preferred, I must admit that, had I had the chance to do it all over again, I would still rather be hauling passenger's than freight, and driving a Prevost, instead of a Kenworth... ;)  :)


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#8 Bob Dylan

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 03:15 PM

Fly the friendly skies indeed! LoL
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#9 jis

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 03:31 PM

B757Guy hope this wasn’t on a flight to BOM! BTW we never managed to meet up.

#10 CCC1007

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 05:10 PM

I absolutely agree with your assessment of the situation, and I have a story of my own to share.

 

One day, last summer, I agreed to come in to cover a shift for a co-worker. Of course, that shift, which was supposed to be a fairly short one, ended up being 11 hours long due to the scheduled aircraft not being legal to operate due to a computer failure onboard. The next available aircraft to replace it wouldn't be able to get to Montana until about 5 hours later. Right around when that replacement aircraft was supposed to leave Denver, I got cornered by an irate woman. I went ahead and let her vent on me, as I knew that the situation was causing tensions to rise.

 

An hour later, she came up to me and apologised. I told her that "I knew you were yelling at my hat, not me."

 

The funny thing is that three separate aircraft from the same regional airline had failures that day, and if the plane that eventually showed up had been 5 minutes later, the crew waiting to take it to Denver would have not had enough time to do so that night. My manager told me that he hadn't seen anything like that in all of the years that he had worked in the airline industry.



#11 B757Guy

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 08:05 PM

B757Guy hope this wasn’t on a flight to BOM! BTW we never managed to meet up.

I know, I think our schedules were out of sync by a week or two. Hope your travels went well...


I'm an airline pilot with a major US based carrier, and avid lover of trains since the very early days of Amtrak. I fondly recall GG1's zipping along the NEC, and sleeping in a slumbercoach on the Montrealer as a kid. I miss the old heritage cars, the GG1 and the original Budd Metroliners. The new equipment today simply doesn't have the same personality and elegance...


#12 B757Guy

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 08:06 PM

I absolutely agree with your assessment of the situation, and I have a story of my own to share.

 

One day, last summer, I agreed to come in to cover a shift for a co-worker. Of course, that shift, which was supposed to be a fairly short one, ended up being 11 hours long due to the scheduled aircraft not being legal to operate due to a computer failure onboard. The next available aircraft to replace it wouldn't be able to get to Montana until about 5 hours later. Right around when that replacement aircraft was supposed to leave Denver, I got cornered by an irate woman. I went ahead and let her vent on me, as I knew that the situation was causing tensions to rise.

 

An hour later, she came up to me and apologised. I told her that "I knew you were yelling at my hat, not me."

 

The funny thing is that three separate aircraft from the same regional airline had failures that day, and if the plane that eventually showed up had been 5 minutes later, the crew waiting to take it to Denver would have not had enough time to do so that night. My manager told me that he hadn't seen anything like that in all of the years that he had worked in the airline industry.

 

That's a very bad operational day! But, it happens! I've had similar craziness at my airline, too.


I'm an airline pilot with a major US based carrier, and avid lover of trains since the very early days of Amtrak. I fondly recall GG1's zipping along the NEC, and sleeping in a slumbercoach on the Montrealer as a kid. I miss the old heritage cars, the GG1 and the original Budd Metroliners. The new equipment today simply doesn't have the same personality and elegance...


#13 Trogdor

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 09:35 PM

Funny. I read this exact same thread on FlyerTalk.
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#14 railiner

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 09:42 PM

Funny. I read this exact same thread on FlyerTalk.

Shouldn't be, really...many of us on AU visit other transportation related websites, that have similar threads, but usually with fresh and different viewpoints in each....


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#15 B757Guy

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Posted 02 June 2018 - 07:46 AM

Funny. I read this exact same thread on FlyerTalk.

 

That's because I posted it there.


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I'm an airline pilot with a major US based carrier, and avid lover of trains since the very early days of Amtrak. I fondly recall GG1's zipping along the NEC, and sleeping in a slumbercoach on the Montrealer as a kid. I miss the old heritage cars, the GG1 and the original Budd Metroliners. The new equipment today simply doesn't have the same personality and elegance...


#16 Thirdrail7

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 09:21 AM

You mean they were removed and they didn't write in, say you were rude and ignored them which means you'll be brought in for discipline and watch as they receive a voucher, even though the whole entire was caught on camera?

 

Ohhh! I get it. The voucher is forthcoming.


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They say laughter is the best medicine. Obviously they never posted on AU.


#17 XHRTSP

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 03:16 AM

If you're still interested in hauling boxes, we're still hiring like mad on the 74...

 

Interestingly, I got upgraded to first on my commute home today.  Never had to bribe anyone and didn't even find out until I scanned my boarding pass at the gate.


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#18 railiner

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 03:56 PM

If you're still interested in hauling boxes, we're still hiring like mad on the 74...

 

Interestingly, I got upgraded to first on my commute home today.  Never had to bribe anyone and didn't even find out until I scanned my boarding pass at the gate.

Very nice!

On my own carrier, they let us into first free, if available, but when I have traveled on other carrier's, they restrict us to coach....


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#19 B757Guy

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 08:46 PM

If you're still interested in hauling boxes, we're still hiring like mad on the 74...

 

Interestingly, I got upgraded to first on my commute home today.  Never had to bribe anyone and didn't even find out until I scanned my boarding pass at the gate.

 

Thanks, love the 74, but can bid and hold a pretty decent line on the 777 at this point, so I can't complain!


I'm an airline pilot with a major US based carrier, and avid lover of trains since the very early days of Amtrak. I fondly recall GG1's zipping along the NEC, and sleeping in a slumbercoach on the Montrealer as a kid. I miss the old heritage cars, the GG1 and the original Budd Metroliners. The new equipment today simply doesn't have the same personality and elegance...


#20 railiner

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 09:12 PM

 

If you're still interested in hauling boxes, we're still hiring like mad on the 74...

 

Interestingly, I got upgraded to first on my commute home today.  Never had to bribe anyone and didn't even find out until I scanned my boarding pass at the gate.

 

Thanks, love the 74, but can bid and hold a pretty decent line on the 777 at this point, so I can't complain!

 

I imagine the 777 will be around a bit longer than the 74, as well.... ;)


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