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What Is a Passenger Service Agent? - Job Description, Duties & Salary

Explore what it takes to become a passenger service agent. Read on to find out more about the role, what you will be expected to do, and how much you can earn.

Career Information At A Glance

Passenger service agents provide a vital role in the aviation industry. They give essential support and assistance to passengers so that the boarding and loading of baggage run smoothly. Take a look at the chart below for more information about being a passenger service agent.

Education Required High-school diploma, GED or equivalent
Required Training On-the-j training
Skills Required Communication, ability to remain calm, physical strength
Job Growth (2020-2030) -1% (for all customer service representatives)*
Median Salary (2021) $40,000**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **PayScale.com

What Is a Passenger Service Agent?

Passenger service agents work in customer service roles within the transportation industry. At airports, they may be responsible for handling check-ins and assisting with boarding, which they do by keeping customers updated regarding when and where to board their transport. A key part of this role is communicating with customers. Passenger service agents may work in a similar role on cruise ships or in the train industry. They should be able to comfortably handle heavy luggage on a regular basis, as this is a key part of the role.

What Are the Duties of this Role?

Passenger service agents usually work in airports, where they primarily check passengers onto their flights and check in their luggage, ensuring that it is properly labeled to be put in the correct aircraft hold. Passenger service agents are also usually expected to make announcements to customers, for example they may alert passengers to a change of gate or expected arrival of a flight. They are expected to have a good understanding of flight schedules and fares and may have to handle customer complaints regarding this or otherwise.

What Are the Working Hours?

Airports are usually open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The working schedule of a passenger service agent will usually reflect this, as they may work rotating shifts. Passenger service agents should expect to work night shifts, during holidays, and throughout weekends. Some companies will also expect their passenger service agents to be flexible regarding overtime, which they may be asked to do at short notice.

How Much Will I Earn?

The BLS reported the median hourly wage for all customer service representatives, which includes passenger service agents amongst a range of other related roles, at $17.23. This is slightly higher than PayScale.com's 2021 report for passenger service agents, which reports the average hourly pay at $12.71. The median salary for 2021, as recorded by PayScale.com, is $40,000. This is considered an entry level role and wages can expect to rise if you advance into other roles, such as supervisor or management positions.

What Job Advancement Opportunities Are There?

This role offers multiple opportunities to progress within the field. Depending on the structure of your company, it is possible to move into passenger service supervisor and passenger service manager positions. As a passenger service supervisor, passenger service agents will report to you. It is the responsibility of the passenger service supervisor to ensure that duties are delegated to staff and that they are completing their work to an acceptable standard. You may also have to work with passenger service agents regarding uniform expectations and how they approach customers.