Sometimes, a gate agent can just make your day.
Due to favorable wind conditions and UA’s generous schedule padding (gotta retain that #1 in on-time arrivals status), I arrived in San Francisco one hour early this morning, leaving me just enough time to catch an earlier flight to Burbank.
At the Burbank gate, the agent working the flight could not have been kinder. She was all smiles and in a contagiously good mood. I asked if I could standby and she nodded her head, smiled, and said she was happy to help.
My British Midland (bmi) number was on the reservation rather than my Mileage Plus number, so the computer prompted her to charge me $50 to standby. Not deterred, she saw that my Mileage Plus number was on another part of the reservation and inserted that number to confirm my seat on the earlier flight, then put back in my bmi number. She talked her way through it, which was instructive to me (I was standing next to her and now know how to switch out frequent flyer numbers) and engaged in small talk with me while she was working.
After presenting me with a new boarding pass and insuring me that I would have two seats to myself (CRJ), she thanked me for my patience and for being a 1K and invited me to board first (I was the only 1K onboard the flight).
I suppose some might question why I would bother to post about a gate agent doing her job, but she acted like it was an honor to serve me–not merely doing her job or even helping a UA elite out. Even if you won’t admit it, there is something extremely gratifying about being treated kindly.
The agent’s benevolent treatment made my day–I hope she is working on Sunday afternoon so I can present her with a "going the extra mile" card.
As always, it’s the small touches that make all the difference.