A gate agent is the point of contact between an airline and customers, and it seems that an open season has been declared to rough them up.  It makes little difference that agents might merit some pushback for unreasonable behavior. When pilots strike, agents take the brunt of protest.  When there is an altercation over ticketing, agents are in the middle of it.  They aren’t prepared for the customer nastiness that results, so they fall back on procedure which isn’t adequate.  An airline’s public relations takes a hit each time a set-to occurs.  Would you book a flight on Spirit Airlines after the melee in Florida?  At least, you would think twice before taking the risk.  The problem is that agents have limited power.  They can’t conjure a plane and a crew and if neither are there, no one is flying.  Disappointed customers vent their wrath on the agent as the representative of the company.  That agents haven’t handle anger well is understandable. Airlines are falling down on the job.

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