Saturday, April 16, 2011
They Love to Fly And It Shows!
Over the past month I have traveled three of the four weeks on business. It has provided some unique stories I plan to share on the blog. My collegues and I have had a great time, sometimes, as we watch the travel industry do its best, kind of, well sort of, a not at all, then step up. Here is installment one! I arrive at the airport 90 minutes early and it appears that my flight that was to depart at 12:43 is first delayed, then redelayed while I am checking my bag. So, I talk with the Desk Agent, the one outside of security. She mentions that the flight is seriously overbooked. Nice! Since I checked in last night this should be no big deal. After I go through security I decide to see where the gate is and the status of my flight. As I stroll up since it appears I have plenty of time. They are requesting volunteers to give up their seats on the overbooked flight. They have no volunteers. Because there is no human stampede to accept the gracious offer. So, I asked the gate agent if she can get me to Birmingham before I volunteer. She punds on the computer keys and then with a smile, says no, she can’t get me to Birmingham today. Okay, so I can't volunteer. I smile, thank the lady and decide to have a seat. So, I wait quietly. The flight time is changed again. So I dial the number to the Delta ticket line (1-800-221-1212). Unrelated to the call. The gate agent then calls me back up. It appears they are now going to cancel the flight. That shows all of us for not playing nice, huh? So, since I was told they couldn’t get me to Bham I was a little worried. But the phone folks are leaving me on hold. Let’s see if waiting in two lines works. Or, watch the development of plan B. The gate agent asks if they could send me to an alternate city. (Yes, Hawaii, flashed through my head, but that would be a career limiting move) So, if they get me to Atlanta I could drive. Okay, I’m asked to be seated without action. (Curious) The phone people are telling me how important I am, play music, try to sell me things through a recorded message. My normally calm, laid back demeanor is beginning to get ever so ruffled. I'm telling my self keep smiling. A couple of minutes later they have now added 2 hours to the delay. I get called up to the desk. They must be really liking the look of disbelieve I have. So, all of a sudden. Mr. Wilson, you will now get to fly to Birmingham, through Atlanta at 3:40 p.m. Since this is 12:15. As, I'm standing there the delay is now advanced to cancel. I’m excited. Still Smiling. As I get my new tickets and thank the lady at the gate. She leans over and says, thanks for not yelling. We got you taken care of because you didn’t yell or use bad language. (My Mother would be proud) Folks, you should see the line of all the people they are rebooking due to a cancelled flight/maintenance issue. The phone folks come on now, with, “Can I help you?” I thanked them and mentioned that Pam the gate agent in Tulsa has done a good job taking care of me. They thank me and hang up. So, in the end. I will get to Birmingham 3 hours later than I originally planned. But, I will get there. And it didn’t cost me extra. Thought I would share the wonderful moments of flying. See, I love to fly, and it shows! (Delta Airlines was not contacted for comment.)