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VIE+W | My work is my hobby?

I say often that I do not have hobbies, at least the typical ones like others in my life have. For many they might not like or agree with what I have to say about the subject of hobbies, but regardless, I want to share my experiences having a full time job which replaces most any hobbies I might or would have.

So let’s put it out there: “My work is my hobby”

‘Ever since I was a little boy, I dreamed I would do something important in aviation.’

I am currently working as passenger services agent at Sofia Airport. When I was a child I dreamed about becoming a pilot because I am obsessed with the airplanes. Now I am almost 21 years old and my dream is to become an airport manager (wow, a big dream), so I decided to do my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and to do my Master in Aviation Management.

Working with people, especially with airline passengers, is quite difficult to do. There are a lot of requirements to working as an airline customer service - different rules for each airline, politics, systems, etc.

My workplace is at the check-in counters and the boarding counters as well. My job responsibility is to do the best customer service, I have never done. Checking passports and the visa as well, weighing and labeling of the passenger’s luggage, giving orientation of passengers and the boarding are the most basic duties we do and everyone knows, but I am going to tell you some secrets about our work:

  • We can get you a better seat – if you ask nicely.

As eligible passengers are upgraded, more (and often better) seats in economy class will free up. Plus, seats that were previously blocked can now be assigned, so you could ask for an upgrade to a seat with more legroom. Try asking politely about half an hour before departure to see if you can move out of that middle seat at the back of the plane.

  • The computer picks the compensation for bumping - not the agent.

When you’re angling for more benefits, the agent can’t do much - the computer is calculating how badly the seats are needed and how much of a travel delay it would cause you; then it derives your compensation. Most agents don’t have access to airline lounge passes or drink vouchers, so attempts to finagle more goodies most likely will prove futile. However, you could politely request that the agent ask a supervisor if it’s possible to offer more. Just don’t get your hopes up. Airlines from the European Union - and U.S. carriers operating from it - are subject to strict guidelines on what they can offer passengers if a flight is delayed, canceled, or oversold. However, agents won’t always offer extra up front, so it helps if you ask.

  • Misbehaving can go on your permanent record.

Seriously: Although each airline is different, agents can and do make comments on a traveler’s record. While the agent may have to search for the info, your nasty behavior or comments in the past can haunt you when you travel—you could even be more likely to get bumped from future flights if you’ve been really disruptive.


by Todor Kotev

Participant in

YE Save our money in Mezobereny, Hungary


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