Nasty Check In Agents at PHL

Old Oct 20, 16, 2:18 pm
  #1  
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Nasty Check In Agents at PHL

I had what felt like a bizarre experience checking in at PHL (A East?) . I was the only one in priority and there was one agent but she was ticketing someone. After about 15 minutes of watching them check in everyone in the coach line (they were very rude, barking orders to inexperienced flyers) I moved over to the coach line. As soon as the agent was free she called someone from the priority line who had just walked up aftee I left it. It really seemed like they were trying to snub me on purpose (I know that's ridiculous, but that's what it felt like).
Is this common occurence? Has anyone experienced similar treatment for these agents? I sent a complaint in, but got the canned report. It really seems like all 5 or 6 of them hated their job and nobody wanted to be there.
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Old Oct 20, 16, 2:39 pm
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I generally liked US Airways before the merger and like AA as well, but PHL has some really nasty agents. I've had the same experience there.
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Old Oct 20, 16, 2:44 pm
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There has been numerous post in the past regarding PHL agents, seems to be a common trend among them.
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Old Oct 20, 16, 2:53 pm
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I got a nasty AAgent at the post-customs re-check last Saturday. He spoke as though my request for an onward boarding pass had completely ruined his peaceful afternoon, and I was really stupid for having CX, BA, and AA mess up my itinerary so badly.
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Old Oct 20, 16, 4:05 pm
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PHL is definitely a mixed bag...sorry to hear about your experience :\
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Old Oct 20, 16, 4:17 pm
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It's the local culture...Philly is an unfriendly city.
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Old Oct 20, 16, 4:27 pm
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Originally Posted by lobo411 View Post
It's the local culture...Philly is an unfriendly city.
Here we go! The vast majority of us are nice people, thank you very much.

Also, isn't that a comment for Omni?
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Old Oct 20, 16, 5:17 pm
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Originally Posted by lobo411 View Post
It's the local culture...Philly is an unfriendly city.
Originally Posted by LINDEGR View Post
Here we go! The vast majority of us are nice people, thank you very much.

Also, isn't that a comment for Omni?
Lobo411 and I rarely agree, but this is one. The operant word here is culture. If you aren't part of THAT culture, then ...

We have family in NE Philly. Bitter experience causes me to fly into EWR, IAD, BWI, or Amtrak whenever I have to go.

As for OMNI, perhaps a better phraseolgy would be: PHL is an unfriendly airport. YMMV, and I hope it does.

(And don't get me going on those (Sarcasm on) Customer centric, caring, sensitive, (sarcasm off) orange shirts who are such great ambassadors for the the City of Philadelphia).
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Old Oct 20, 16, 5:52 pm
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Go through there all the time and never have a problem with difficult agents. On the other hand, JFK is the place where I notice unhappy agents who like punishing the flying public.
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Old Oct 20, 16, 8:11 pm
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PHL's CS agents are awful and seem like they hate their jobs, but most of the gate agents were friendly. I'm glad I never went through security at PHL as I hear the outsourced agents there are a real treat...
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Old Oct 20, 16, 11:28 pm
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Originally Posted by FAA1996 View Post
I had what felt like a bizarre experience checking in at PHL (A East?) . I was the only one in priority and there was one agent but she was ticketing someone. After about 15 minutes of watching them check in everyone in the coach line (they were very rude, barking orders to inexperienced flyers) I moved over to the coach line. As soon as the agent was free she called someone from the priority line who had just walked up aftee I left it. It really seemed like they were trying to snub me on purpose (I know that's ridiculous, but that's what it felt like).
Is this common occurence? Has anyone experienced similar treatment for these agents? I sent a complaint in, but got the canned report. It really seems like all 5 or 6 of them hated their job and nobody wanted to be there.
I ran into a nasty clerk at the post office like that yesterday. One box I wanted to send was a small flat rate priority, the other box was the same but I wrapped it in brown paper and wanted to send it first class. She yelled at me saying I wasn't allowed to use their boxes for first class and I would need to leave and redo it in my "own" box. I already had the postage on it. I told her to shove it and got in my car and drove to the next post office and dropped them both off there. Something about agitated clerks and administrative people yesterday. They seem to hate their jobs but won't do anything about it and make the people that pay their salaries suffer along with them.
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Old Oct 21, 16, 8:06 am
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This is actually a really common and unfortunate problem with the "priority" lanes. Often the priority lane only has one person working while the main lane has multiple agents. Anyone who understands basic queueing theory will see the issue, especially when you consider that priority customers often have more variability in their service time (since they are more likely to be entitled to change flights, etc).

When the one priority agent inevitably gets bogged down with a complicated situation, you would do better to be in the main line. Of course, the real solution is that if someone has been waiting in the priority lane, they should be called over by the next available agent, even if that agent was previously helping a non-priority customer. But unfortunately, this common sense policy is not implemented by AA in any airport I fly through regularly. It could just be unfriendly agents, but I suspect that it's simply not in AA's training.

I have gotten stuck in a similar situation enough times that I don't usually bother with the priority lane anymore unless there's a free agent, especially if I don't need something complicated. I just use the kiosk whenever possible and pick the fastest-moving line when that's not possible.
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Old Oct 21, 16, 12:38 pm
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OP here, have connected in PHL many times since merger and never had issues, it was specifically these check in agents that I encountered that seemed to want to make everyone's life miserable.
I guess I was wondering if it was a common thing or a fluke. Only way AA would know is if hey they receive consistent complaints form different flyers.
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Old Oct 21, 16, 12:59 pm
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PHL is my home airport. Some commentators have said that Philly is an unfriendly city. I'm not sure I'd say that, but baseline customer service in Philly is very unfriendly ("Do you want ME to do something for you?") to the point where it's culturally embedded. There's plenty of "good" customer service, but the baseline is pretty lousy.
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Old Oct 21, 16, 1:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Lakeviewsteve View Post
I ran into a nasty clerk at the post office like that yesterday. One box I wanted to send was a small flat rate priority, the other box was the same but I wrapped it in brown paper and wanted to send it first class. She yelled at me saying I wasn't allowed to use their boxes for first class and I would need to leave and redo it in my "own" box. I already had the postage on it. I told her to shove it and got in my car and drove to the next post office and dropped them both off there. Something about agitated clerks and administrative people yesterday. They seem to hate their jobs but won't do anything about it and make the people that pay their salaries suffer along with them.


This is way OT, but wasn't the first postal clerk correct? You were trying to use a box that the USPS provides free of charge for its more expensive (Priority/Express Mail) services on your less-expensive First Class Mail shipment. The Postal Service does not provide free boxes for First Class Mail.
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