“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen and welcome to American Eagle flight (whatever the flight number was) with non-stop service to Nashville, TN (Raleigh, NC, Chicago, IL, Dallas, TX, take your pick).” If I just had a nickel for every time I spoke those words! I worked for American Eagle for a little less than five years and in that time, I lived in four different states and worked flights at seven different airports. I worked mostly in small stations where each agent performed all the jobs. We made your reservation, sold you your ticket, assigned your seats, checked your bags, took your boarding pass, loaded your bags, your freight, and your mail, assisted with the paperwork, shut the aircraft door and marshaled you out. We searched for your lost luggage and freight, and de-iced your aircraft if it came down to it. We used to joke that we did everything but fuel them and fly them. And, given the AMR dress code at the time, we female agents could accomplish all of this in a skirt and heels without running our hose or chipping our nails, thank you very much. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed worked for a scheduled airline – really I did – and I think they have a huge place in the US air transportation market. I just no longer think that they are the US air transportation market. I’ve been working in the air charter world for about eight years now and can really appreciate the differences.
From time to time, I will share with you some of my nearly 20 years of aviation experience. I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time during those two decades shaking my head and saying, “if I had only known then what I know now.” I’ll try to explain why some things in scheduled air service are the way they are and how charter air service is different. I will not try to tell you that scheduled service or charter service is the perfect fit in any situation. Clearly, that isn’t the case and I won’t insult you by pretending that it is. I will share some memorable moments from my own career and share some stories from my co-workers. In short, I am going to share what I know now.
I’ve worked with some fantastic companies, some amazing people and in some challenging circumstances through the years. I’ve enjoyed nearly every bit of it (although I’m more than a little glad I don’t have to de-ice airplanes anymore) and I look forward to sharing some of it with you. So, join me for my tales from the ticket counter and, as they say, “Welcome aboard!”