Hired by airports and airline companies to perform a variety of duties, a gate agent provides customer service, handles ticket sales, and often manages baggage. You can typically become a gate agent after previously earning customer service experience working elsewhere and passing a pre-employment background check. Gate agents are usually trained on-the-job by the airline that hires them. A high school degree is usually necessary to become a gate agent.
Gate agents are often the individuals you see working behind the desk at an airline departure gate. They are the ones responsible for issuing seat assignments and processing last minute ticket purchases. A gate agent also announces when a flight begins seating, by row and ticket type.
After the boarding announcement is made, the gate agent checks boarding passes and allows passengers entry into the aircraft. A flight’s standby list is also managed by gate agents. They track open seats and work with passengers to find them a spot on the departing plane.
As customer service is a major component of the gate agent job description, airlines generally prefer to hire employees to become a gate agent who have previously spent a significant amount of time directly working with customers and providing top-notch service. Customer service experience can be earned in many different jobs such as working in a retail store, serving customers as a waiter, or answering customer questions while employed at a call center. Once you have accumulated enough experience, you can begin to apply to airlines to become a gate agent.
Gate agent jobs can often be found by going to the careers section of a specific airline’s website. When an opening for the position is available, the airline may choose to post it to their site by location with a list of qualifying criteria. Other places airlines might post gate agent job openings include classified sites and online job boards. To become a gate agent, you should carefully fill out any application material and tailor your resume to highlight your customer service experience.
As these professionals work with sensitive customer data and financial information, a background check may be necessary to become a gate agent. These individuals often help passengers check luggage that cannot be taken as a carry-on, so you may need to be able to regularly lift and move items of a certain weight. Once you have been hired,the airline may train you in all applicable company policies and regional regulations.