When An Airline Employee Abuses His Power – Part 2

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When An Airline Employee Abuses His Power - Part 2

When An Airline Employee Abuses His Power – Part 2

There’s sadly a part 2 in the story where an airline employee abuses his power at my local airport. In fact, it was shockingly…childish…for lack of a better word. He did it just because he could. Here’s what happened at our local airport the other day.


Last month, I talked about LATAM not allowing me to take a flight. I couldn’t even check in. The final decision was the LATAM boss saying he wouldn’t look at any of my documents or let me check in, because he believed his unique interpretation of my situation was correct. After trying to explain to him calmly and professionally, he eventually turned his back to me to ignore my documents. Pretty childish. At that point, I had a few choice words for him before walking away.

Airline Employee Abuses His Power – Part 2

Last week, we flew to the US to spend Thanksgiving with family. On the way to the airport, my wife joked, “Do you think we will see him?” In my opinion, it was impossible. “He works in the back in an office, not out near the people. I only talked to him because they called for a manager to come out to make the final decision.”

Little did I know.

As we were waiting in line, I actually saw the boss not far away, talking to one of his employees. It’s clear that he saw & recognized me. I made no eye contact with him or anything.

But he followed us.

He followed us to the airport security checkpoint, so he obviously recognized me. When I passed my stuff through the x-ray and then walked through the metal detector, I was “selected” for screening. I looked over my shoulder and saw him pointing at me and gesturing.

This guy followed me to the security checkpoint to tell them they should pull me aside for screening. They wiped down my hands & belongings for the “bomb residue” test. Checked my stuff multiple times. Etc.

And then he followed us to the gate.

I think he was just waiting for me to say something or do something, so he could leverage his contacts to mess with me. Get us kicked off the plane or something. I didn’t give him that satisfaction. I just pretended he wasn’t there the whole time. Then we boarded and flew away, and he couldn’t do anything, since it was a different airline.

LATAM Brazil

LATAM Unhelpful

The problem is that no one can stop him from doing this, to be honest. I filed a complaint with LATAM and got this useless response:

We are terribly sorry to read about the inconveniences you had to go through.

We have forwarded your comments to the Management in charge to evaluate the situation in order to prevent situations like the one you described from happening again.

That tells me nothing will change. And since this guy is the boss, who is going to discipline him?

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, airport and airline employees often have unchecked power over us. It’s pretty easy for an airline employee to abuse his power, because me freaking out or fighting with him will likely just end in me getting removed from the flight as a “hostile passenger” or something similar. It won’t help. We previously talked about these situations where airport staff and/or an airline employee abuses their power. It makes us all less safe.

Ryan S
Travel hacker in 2-player mode, intent on visiting every country in the world, and can say "hello" or "how much does this cost?" in a bunch of different languages.

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