FlyerTalk Members Were Airport Gate Agents For a Morning

Approximately 80 FlyerTalk members became deputized as gate agents for Delta Air Lines on a recent October weekend at the international airport in Atlanta, spread at gates throughout every concourse and working mainline flights, regional jet flights and international as well as domestic flights.

We Were Delta Air Lines Gate Agents for the Morning as part of The 2010 Second Annual Delta Air Lines FlyerTalk Event — October 21-24, 2010., and some FlyerTalk members even memorialized their experience in this BoardingArea weblog. However, despite the fact that attendees piloted flight simulators, dined well, took part in Road Warrior Training and toured such areas as the Operations Control Center, the Technical Operations Center, the Delta Heritage Museum, the towers above Concourses A and E, and met with executives of Delta Air Lines — which included the chief executive officer — being gate agent for a morning was one of the most popular venues of the event.

Many FlyerTalk members say that being a gate agent — normally a grueling job with many responsibilities, restrictions and tight deadlines —  simply did not last long enough and wished that it could have lasted the entire day or longer. Incredibly enough, no FlyerTalk member was compensated for being a gate agent!

One would think that with access to such functions as upgrades, scanning boarding passes and making official announcements at the gate, having FlyerTalk members as gate agents would be a recipe for disaster. Not so — in fact, the weekend was a rousing success!

The end result was that not only did FlyerTalk members have a whole new appreciation and understanding about what it takes to be a gate agent and what their job entails, but gate agents also have a whole new appreciation for the customers who fly frequently. Best of all, everyone — including Delta Air Lines management — had a great time and enjoyed!

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Yes — as a side note, I was gate agent for a morning twice, as pictured above. Click on the photograph for a larger view. I was also invited to write an entry as a guest “blogger” for the official weblog of Delta Air Lines.

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