An award should go to the United Airlines gate agent in Denver for being smart and funny, and making her point, when confronted with a passenger who probably deserved to fly as cargo.
During the ﬁnal days at Denver’s old Stapleton airport, a crowded United ﬂight was cancelled. A single agent was rebooking a long line of inconvenienced travelers.
Suddenly an angry passenger pushed his way to the desk. He slapped his ticket down on the counter and said,
“I HAVE to be on this ﬂight and it has to be FIRST CLASS.”
The agent replied, “I’m sorry sir. I’ll be happy to try to help you, but I’ve got to help these folks ﬁrst, and I’m sure we’ll be able to work something out.” The passenger was unimpressed. He asked loudly, so that the passengers behind him could hear, “Do you have any idea who I am?”
Without hesitating, the gate agent smiled and grabbed her public address microphone. “May l have your attention please?” she began, her voice bellowing throughout the terminal. “We have a passenger here at the gate WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him ﬁnd his identity, please come to Gate 17.”
With the folks behind him in line laughing hysterically, the man glared at the United agent, gritted his teeth and swore “Fuck you.”
Without flinching, she smiled and said, “I’m sorry, sir, but you’ll have to stand in line for that too.”