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What Is an Airline Customer Service Agent?

Air travel is often stressful, and a problem with customer service may prompt passengers to give the airline a poor satisfaction rating.
Customer service agents process passenger's luggage at an airport.
To become an airline customer service agent, a person usually needs a high school diploma or its equivalent.
Airline customer service agents may be the primary source to receive feedback about flights.
Customer service representatives have to treat customers well, even if they're having a bad day themselves.
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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 19 December 2014
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An airline customer service agent is an individual who assists travelers with everything from purchasing tickets and getting answers about flights to selecting seating arrangements and managing special needs. A person in this position has the job of making sure an airline customer’s needs are met efficiently. He is also charged with making travel with the airline and boarding the plane as pleasant as possible, so the customer will want to patronize the airline again.

When an individual needs over-the-phone or in-person help from an airline representative, he often turns to an airline customer service agent. These agents handle questions and special requests from airline customers and may also sell tickets. A customer service agent is typically responsible for ensuring passenger seating requests are met, whenever possible. He may also process requests for special meals and assist passengers who desire upgrades.

Part of this job often includes helping individuals with specials needs. This may include helping handicapped travelers or children who are traveling without their parents. It can also mean spending a little extra time reassuring passengers who are anxious about flying.

Sometimes, an airline customer service agent is responsible for helping customers board planes. He may check passenger tickets as people prepare to board and show passengers where they need to go. He may also help check on cabin security and make announcements as necessary. In some cases, the agent also processes luggage for the airline’s passengers.

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In order to be successful in this job, an individual should be resourceful and capable of keeping up in a fast-paced environment. He typically needs good communication and problem-solving skills. Some airlines also expect successful job candidates to have typing skills.

A customer service agent candidate should also be patient and able to stay calm when situations become intense. If an airline customer becomes angry about a delayed flight, for example, the agent isn’t expected to react with anger or frustration. Instead, he’s normally expected to remain calm and courteous throughout all of his communications with airline customers.

In most cases, an individual does not need a college degree in order to find work as an airline customer service agent. Instead, applicants usually need a high school diploma or its equivalent. Some airlines require new agents to have a couple of years of experience in a customer-service-related job. There are many airlines, however, that are willing to train agents. In fact, many airlines offer paid training, even if an individual already has customer service experience.

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Discuss this Article

anon317750
Post 7

I worked as a Customer Service agent, and I loved it! It was not stressful at all to me. I hope I'll do it again very soon.

anon312319
Post 5

I used to be one. The pay varies from airline to airline. I worked for Southwest and they had one of the highest pay rates for a CSA (10 to 23 dollars per hours), but you had a lot of responsibility and worked all sorts of hours.

I did get free insurance for myself and cheap for the family also. They fly for free on standby. You have to do your research on what each airline will give you. Some only pay minimum wage, etc. I had been there for almost ten years and liked the job, but was still working weekends and nights. Seniority is hard to get at those jobs. I did love flying all over the country. It was lots of fun. And it is a very high stress job.

honeybees
Post 4
What is in average airline customer service agent salary? I am also curious if this type of position would include airline benefits such as free or reduced flights?

myharley
Post 3

My daughter works as a customer service airline representative over the phone. This position can be just as stressful as working at the airport. I think any kind of customer service position would be difficult, but for some reason it seems like people are very particular about their flight times and seating arrangements.

My daughter can tell within the first few seconds if she has an upset passenger or not. They go through training in how to deal with this, but it can still take a toll. Thankfully there are many more pleasant passengers and these are the ones that make her job rewarding.

John57
Post 2

I was recently flying home after a long business conference only to discover that our flight was delayed for 2 hours. The airline customer service agent at the desk by the gate was very pleasant and accommodating.

She kept everyone updated of the flight status and remained professional and cheerful. Even though it messes up plans, I think most people realize this can happen. I know I would prefer to get on a plane that has been thoroughly inspected and know it is safe to fly on.

As we were handing our tickets to her when we boarded the plane, she addressed everyone by their name, and I thought this was a nice way of handling what could have been an intense situation.

sunshined
Post 1

I really don't envy the job of an airline customer service agent. Everything would be OK until something went wrong with a flight and then I think it would take a lot of patience to deal with frustrated passengers.

It seems like the times I have flown in recent months, there has always been a problem either with a delayed flight or luggage. Some people handle this better than others, but I think it would be trying to deal with this day after day.

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