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AA Agent and PHL Passenger Get Into Major Tussle

AA Agent and PHL Passenger Get Into Major Tussle

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Old Jul 1, 18, 2:27 pm
  #16  
 
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Whatever is right or wrong, photographing people in the middle of disputes is guaranteed escalation. Sometimes it is exactly what is needed but other times it is exactly what is not needed.

Would a customer that wanted to file a complaint about something need to do this? With place and time/date the airline pretty well knows who was there. If necessary one can add a physical description to the complaint. I think photographing an employee of a business in response to a dispute can only be interpreted as a personal threat. What do others think? Do people think that doing this is going to suddenly persuade the TA, GA, or FA to back down and change their approach? The normal process to get that to happen is supposed to be calling a supervisor (who will also know exactly who on his side is causing a problem if anyone is.)

Also, if it is really true that the change was to the name of a different person rather than to correct an error, do they do that for a change fee? I thought you couldn't do that.
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Old Jul 1, 18, 2:31 pm
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by Finkface View Post
Can you clarify what time the pax actually arrived at the boarding door?
If I knew for sure, I would say. That's one of the facts that I was unable to get from either party.
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Old Jul 1, 18, 2:34 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyerJT View Post
If I knew for sure, I would say. That's one of the facts that I was unable to get from either party.
What is your suspicion based on the info you have? If the passenger is not willing to give up that fact, that is also telling.
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Old Jul 1, 18, 2:35 pm
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Seems the "taking of a picture" is causing the agent to go insane. Maybe just get the name off the name tag, or snap the picture without them knowing. Don't announce it.
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Old Jul 1, 18, 2:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Uncle Nonny View Post
Not unique to Philly. I had a ticket cancelled on me at DFW in May when I was told to "fly another airline" by an agent. I told him i was taking a pic of his ID and writing a letter to customer service. He came at me, ripped my tags off of my bag (I was transferring from a TPAC to domestic flight, trying to get an earlier connection) and told me he was canceling my ticket. He did. Station agent wouldn't tell me why it was canceled but said I could buy a new ticket on the same flight. $600 later I got home. Twitter was no help. No there isn't anything sordid to the story. I'm still in shock two months later.
You can take photos of the agent or of his/her name tag - you cannot take photos of an agent's SIDA badge or airline ID. This is considered a TSA security violation due to fears of counterfeiting. The agent can get their badge revoked and lose their job if they just let it go so such behaviour will rarely end well for the passenger as you found out.
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Old Jul 1, 18, 2:42 pm
  #21  
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Originally Posted by CALlegacy View Post
Whatever is right or wrong, photographing people in the middle of disputes is guaranteed escalation. Sometimes it is exactly what is needed but other times it is exactly what is not needed.

Would a customer that wanted to file a complaint about something need to do this? With place and time/date the airline pretty well knows who was there. If necessary one can add a physical description to the complaint. I think photographing an employee of a business in response to a dispute can only be interpreted as a personal threat. What do others think? Do people think that doing this is going to suddenly persuade the TA, GA, or FA to back down and change their approach? The normal process to get that to happen is supposed to be calling a supervisor (who will also know exactly who on his side is causing a problem if anyone is.)
You nailed it.

Originally Posted by CALlegacy View Post
..Also, if it is really true that the change was to the name of a different person rather than to correct an error, do they do that for a change fee? I thought you couldn't do that.
Probably a last-ditch effort to try and just get the thing over with-- a waste of effort as it turns out.
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Old Jul 1, 18, 2:52 pm
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Originally Posted by clbish View Post
Seems the "taking of a picture" is causing the agent to go insane. Maybe just get the name off the name tag, or snap the picture without them knowing. Don't announce it.
So true. When they know it's on record and their a-- could be on the line, anyone in the same position will usually get their adrenaline going..
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Old Jul 1, 18, 2:53 pm
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Originally Posted by Finkface View Post
What is your suspicion based on the info you have? If the passenger is not willing to give up that fact, that is also telling.
I assumed that it was indeed tight, but I just checked in with the reader about this. He said T-15 and passengers were still boarding. So, the flight wasn't closed yet.
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Old Jul 1, 18, 3:00 pm
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Originally Posted by Uncle Nonny View Post
Not unique to Philly. I had a ticket cancelled on me at DFW in May when I was told to "fly another airline" by an agent. I told him i was taking a pic of his ID and writing a letter to customer service. He came at me, ripped my tags off of my bag (I was transferring from a TPAC to domestic flight, trying to get an earlier connection) and told me he was canceling my ticket. He did. Station agent wouldn't tell me why it was canceled but said I could buy a new ticket on the same flight. $600 later I got home. Twitter was no help. No there isn't anything sordid to the story. I'm still in shock two months later.
Did you ask for the Station Manager? If I hadn't done anything wrong I certainly would politely but firmly escalate the unilateral cancellation of my ticket without cause.
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Old Jul 1, 18, 3:33 pm
  #25  
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Starting point here was that the passenger was participating in a scam, a key fact which the commercial blogger who is paid for product placements, omitted. This was not a missing letter or somesuch, nor was it an error. Rather, it was a ticket issued for some other person and passive agressive Photo Guy thought he could pull a fast one. He could not.

That alone was good reason to cancel the tickets and let the AA anti-fraud people deal with this. However, the better practice here would have been to allow AA security folks (PHL is staffed) deal with the crook.

No need to take pictures of peoples' name tags. Just write it down and leave it at that. Same thing after the second agent made the change and collected the $275. Leave it alone and file a complaint if you want.

Hopefully AA will figure this out when it gets to the bottom of the fraud. Perhaps Photo Guy has done this before.
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Old Jul 1, 18, 3:38 pm
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyerJT View Post
TPG author here glad to explain this situation. When I turned in the piece, that sentence noted that the "last name was wrong on the ticket". My editor misunderstood this and changed it to "last name was spelled incorrectly on the ticket." Unfortunately he didn't check with me before publishing the story, so it wasn't caught until after publishing.
In the legal profession, we call that the "blame the secretary" excuse... and far be it from me to defend PHL GAs; grabbing the phone was not acceptable under any almost circumstances. But the title of the piece suggests that the pax is without fault here when the pax 1. failed to notice that the name was wrong on the ticket (it was apparently an entire different name); 2. whipped out a phone, which is always the wrong way to deal with these types of encounters; and 3. contacted TPG to report the "encounter". Would pax have done no. 2 to no. 3 if the agent waived the change fee? Doubt it.

This is passenger error made worse by PHL GA hostility. The rest, especially, the title, is sensationalist clickbait. But hey, it worked.
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Old Jul 1, 18, 3:58 pm
  #27  
 
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Two wrongs don't make a right. At least that's what I was taught. Once AA agreed to process a change fee, and the passenger agreed to pay it, the scam incident was over. AA chose not to pursue action against what some have called (probably correctly) a scam. At that point, the passenger was a regular customer who deserved to be treated as such. Breaking the phone is bad enough, but waiting until the customer leaves then canceling the tickets? Woo-boy. That's serious power-tripping.

But I'm not surprised. PHL is a miserable airport staffed by miserable workers who have to deal with miserable flyers every day. PHL exists to make EWR look good.
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Old Jul 1, 18, 4:32 pm
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Originally Posted by Catbert10 View Post
Two wrongs don't make a right. At least that's what I was taught. Once AA agreed to process a change fee, and the passenger agreed to pay it, the scam incident was over. AA chose not to pursue action against what some have called (probably correctly) a scam. At that point, the passenger was a regular customer who deserved to be treated as such. Breaking the phone is bad enough, but waiting until the customer leaves then canceling the tickets? Woo-boy. That's serious power-tripping.

But I'm not surprised. PHL is a miserable airport staffed by miserable workers who have to deal with miserable flyers every day. PHL exists to make EWR look good.
THIS. Once the fee was paid, the name issue -- whether it's a letter different or completely different -- is a non-issue. Yes, the passenger did something that triggers a $275 fee and argued over the fee. But with the payment of the fee that issue ended, the only issue that remained was the check-in agent's attitude.

Last edited by aoumd; Jul 1, 18 at 7:05 pm
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Old Jul 1, 18, 5:14 pm
  #29  
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This stroy is confusing. Did the gate agent cancel this guy's ticket? Or was it cancelled by someone else prior to his arriving at the gate? I also don't understand the agents at the check-in counter allowing him to pay the change fee in order ot change the name on the ticket. It should be the person who it was originally ticketed for to be the one to change the ticket, not someone else.
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Old Jul 1, 18, 5:56 pm
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Let me summarize how all these threads go, for those watching at home:

1) people will feign all sort of reactions based on a forum or blog posting

2) a slurry of folks will offer how it should have been handled differently

3) a different group of legal and DOT rule “experts” will come forth with cockamamie advise

4)the why fly AA borish peanut gallery weighs in

5) it goes sideways (not that it was ever right ways up)

6) the thread will be closed without any accomplishment

Caveat: the 6 stages above are not likely chronological

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Last edited by DataPlumber; Jul 1, 18 at 6:02 pm
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