Keith Alexander provides a nice reminder to be nice to airline customer service staff.
Make friends. Get to know them. Even give thank you gifts.
Of course, offering up a gift before service is performed can be seen as a bribe. So one must be smooth in the approach. But you can always give a thank you after the fact and you can always give out gifts to employees you’ve already gotten to know.
Little tokens, just like in business, can go a long way to endear yourself to agents and set you apart from the rest of the traveling public. And having airline agents on your side can be very helpful — whether it’s clearing an upgrade or getting accomodations during irregular operations.