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Jumpseating on AA

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Well-known member
Nov 28, 2001
Tried to jump with AA out of JFK yesterday. Before I could get to the counter, the agent waved his hand at me and said "Go back and buy a ticket." As rude as he was, I politely said to him "Deny my request but don't embarrass me, your pilots are welcomed at my airline all time.
Naturally, I got a ride from National and was treated nicely.
Anybody got this kind of treatment from AA?
That's Sad

And they wonder why we call them the "Evil Empire."

It's too bad small minded, petty people are able exert their limited power over us when we need their help.

Do you know if it was because the flight was full, or was he simply denying jumpseat priveleges regardless of flight load?.

In either case his manner was unsat.
Guess you've never worked for AMR...
I've had nothing but pleasant experiences on AA when jumpseating. The last time I was trying to jumpseat on them another AA pilot ofered to ride in the cockpit so that I could have the last seat in the cabin. Unfortunately an AA employee came up at the last minute and took the seat. All the gate personel were most apologetic. No one has ever been rude to me. Guess you got unlucky.
Something similar happened to me

Hello Scudrunner,

I am sorry that this happened to you. Something similar to that happened to me out of orange county a few times. It was one of my first few times trying to jump seat, and I thought that all AA gate agents were like that. Now that I am more seasoned, I've noticed that it was an isolated event, and they are actually some of the nicest and most organized when it comes to Jumpseaters (especially out of San Diego).

You got to your destination fine, so no harm no foul. Get the gate agents name and write the station manager about your experience, also if you have an agreement with them, then write ALPA and let them know what happened and who he was.

The one thing that all pilots should ask ourselves, is whenever a gate agent does something good, how often do we write the company and let them know that they performed a good act. We as pilots need to do alot more of that and when these gate agents who are really kind keep getting employee of the month then maybe the others will take note and change their attitude.
All it takes is a 22 cent postcard, try it. It will make you and them feel good on the inside.
I've talked with some gate agents who openly state that they "don't have time for jumpseaters". Most of them are helpful and polite, but there are bound to be some in a bad mood. Think about the situation from their point of view. They have finished checking in hundreds of passengers, some with ticket problems or attitude problems, and are trying to get the last few standby revenue passengers from the previous cancelled flight on. The minutes are counting down toward departure time, and they are getting the final count tallied for the crew. From the gate agent's point of view, a jumpseater is a non-revenue passenger whose last minute boarding may cause a delayed departure.

When you deal with gate agents, make sure you are humble and gracious, and you will most likely make it on the flight if there is room. You should see some of the pilots I've seen act like premium customers at the gate! Remember that you are riding for free.
To tell you the truth.
I've jumpseated with American so many times, Pilots and flight attendants are one of the freindeliest in the industry, some of the ticket agents could be rude, and almost every single time I sat in first class when there is an open seat.
I have always been polite to all gate agents. The incident I mentioned occured 90 minutes prior to departure. I was one on the 3 people in line at the gate. I've been bumped many times before but the agents were never rude like that. I did get his name but it's a waste of time to write to anybody. It must have been my unlucky day.
I think anyone who jumpseats regularly will encounter a grumpy gate agent from time to time. Even on their own airline. Sometimes they are having a bad day, and decide to take it out on someone. They can't very well take it out on a revenue pax, so there you are at the wrong time.

I wouldn't let it get to you. You're still welcome to jump anytime on AE/AA/TWA. Next time it happens, kill'em with kindness. Makes them look like a horses a$$!
PLEASE, do not allow gate agents to treat you that way and not take any action. Write down the gate agents name, gate #, flight, description of the agent etc. and send it to the jumpseat coordinator at the APA. Also, if you see one of the pilots, approach them directly. I GUARANTEE you that if the Capt or FO finds out that you're being screwed by a gate agent, they'll do something about it. That jumpseat is your privelege negotiated by the pilot's union, and no dimwit gate agent with a Napoleon complex has the right to treat you like that. If I were treated like that by another airline's gate agent, you bet that I'd let the Captain know, if I could, and for sure, their union's jumpseat coordinators. Fortunately, gate agents like that are VERY few and far between and you'll find that their fellow agents would like to get rid of them as well.

My personal appologies for how an American employee treated you.

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