Anyone who’s had to call in and make a last-minute adjustment to a flight would agree that airline call centres are sometimes not the easiest places to deal with.

But sometimes we should spare a thought for the person at the other end of the phone!

An anonymous airline employee has revealed to some of the strangest requests heard while working in an airline call centre.

Here are some of the strange interactions:

Are pets allowed?

“One evening, I got a call from a frantic mother. Her teenage daughter had a flight booked that night from Delhi back to home in Europe. Her daughter had been denied boarding and was now outside the airport, alone.

“As it turned out, the girl had adopted a pet rat and tried to bring it on the aeroplane … undeclared.”

Economy fears

“Another passenger wanted to book a ticket in business class with miles, but the only award seats available for his dates and destination were in economy. ‘Is it safe?’ he asked.”

Flight time requests

“How long does it take to fly to Los Angeles?”

“About 12 hours.”

“OK, and how long does it take in economy?”

“About 12 hours; it’s the same aeroplane.”

“I’ll need to think it over, I’ll call back another time.”

“Yes, sir, economy and business travel take place in the same dimension.”

Rude customers

“I’ve been told I have ‘the intelligence of a small child’ and called names behind my back — the callers forgot to hang up their phones before letting loose.”


“One day, I spoke with a passenger for an hour trying to convince her to pay the standard rebooking fee to change her flight, about $100.

“She was almost hysterical. She was also a yoga teacher, travelling to a meditation retreat. In the quest for enlightenment, it seemed, an important element had escaped her: that of letting go of material concerns.”

Mean customers

“The hardest things to hear from passengers were their comments on recent crashes throughout the airline industry … one passenger brought up … MH370 with a colleague of mine, claiming, ‘Everybody gets what they deserve’.”