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.
A crowded United Airlines flight was cancelled due to a mechanical problem. As would
have it, the airline left a single customer service agent with the
monumental task of rebooking a long line of inconvenienced travelers.
Suddenly an angry passenger pushed his way past everyone else in line to
the front of the counter. 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 help you but I've
got to help these folks first, then I'm sure we'll be able to work
something out." The passenger was unimpressed. He asked loudly, so
that the other 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 and made the following announcement: "May I
have your attention please..." she began, her voice echoing 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
With the folks behind him in line laughing hysterically, the man glared
at the United agent, gritted his teeth and swore. "(Expletive)
YOU..!!!" Without flinching, she smiled and said, "I'm sorry, sir, but
you'll have to stand in line for that too."
The man retreated as the people in the terminal applauded loudly. Although the
flight was cancelled and people were late, they were no longer angry at United.
--George L. Pharmer, email@example.com
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