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THE INC. LIFE

A United Airlines Gate Agent Made a Brilliant Announcement (About the True Worth of Bagels)

It was also about perspective.

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BY Chris Matyszczyk - 13 Mar 2018

A United Airlines Gate Agent Made a Brilliant Announcement (About the True Worth of Bagels)

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

 

I'll admit that, once or twice, airlines make me laugh.

They also make me think.

Too often, though, that thinking leads to weeping.

I'm delighted, therefore, to offer an example of eminent sense, elevated philosophy and a deep caring for your fellow human offered by a United Airlines gate agent at Atlanta airport this morning.

Posted to Twitter by ESPN's Darren Rovell, the video shows the gate agent making an announcement, one that passengers should appreciate.

"Goldberg's have lethargic lines," he began. "They don't move as quick as they should this time of the morning."

Should you be unfamiliar with Goldberg's, they offer bagels.

What this gate agent wanted to offer was a warning about how the craving for those bagels can impact the boarding process.

"If you're one of those who wants to step away and get a bagel, fine. If you don't have your bagel by 5.40, come to the gate and board," he said.

He explained that he was making this announcement because two days ago "a young lady missed her flight over a bagel."

"They got bagels in Newark," he revealed, to surely some people's surprise.

(Newark was the flight's destination.

"You're here, you're on time. I'm commending you for it. I'm high-fiving you for it," he said, sounding, as Rovell observed, a lot like a coach motivating his team before a game.

Indeed, Kevin -- for this was the gate agent's name -- went for drama.

He indicated the boarding door.

"It's going to be closed at 5.40.. 5.45. What side of the door you gonna be on?" he said.

Isn't that a lovely metaphor for life? Which side of the door you gonna be on?

Don't we all want to be on the other side? Especially if this side, all we have is a cramped boarding area and a bagel place.

And how often, too, have we lost so much because we craved something so insignificant?

Of course, there are a couple of difficult aspects here.

United is desperate to maintain its improvements in so-called D:0, the designation that a flight has left on time, or even before its scheduled departure time.

This can, on occasion, involve a little diminution in basic service and courtesy.

So this entertaining ra-ra might not amuse everyone.

Moreover, even Rovell himself -- having praised Kevin -- took a dig at the airline.

Yes, he called an early arrival extremely rare.

You see, even when an airline does something right, too many want to contrast it with all the things they think the airline has done wrong.

Changing your image can be a difficult task.

It's as if your brand has had a door slammed in its face by people and you haven't a clue how to open it.

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