As expats, we are often frequent travelers. And if you are like me, you are an "Often often" traveler, so it just stands to reason that at some point the best laid travel plans of mice and men will, as poet Robert Burns said in 1785, go often askew. (Ok, I paraphrased.)
But the point is that the more we fly, the greater our chances are of having something go wrong. (I think that is a mathematical notion, but I don't speak math, so I am not 100% sure!)
Wednesday was one of these "askew" days for me.
I was supposed to leave DFW airport at 440pm, putting me in Billund, Denmark at 1:20pm on Thursday. Mads had already arranged to take the afternoon off to pick me up and we had a cosy evening planned with just the two of us and Albert and Emmitt, of course!
Well, the 440 flight was going to take me to Memphis where I would catch the big bird to take me across the pond, but it was suddenly pushed back to a 515 departure (meaning that my time to catch the big plane in Memphis was going to be really tight). Then the 515 became 635 and then the 635 became "We're sorry, but this flight has been canceled due to technical problems." So my best laid plans went really askew....
And I, like the other dozens of folks on that flight, headed over to the ticketing agents to see about rebooking on a new flight. I already knew at that point there was no way I was getting out of Dallas that night...
|(image from: http://www.life.com/image/1725024)|
Well next to Linda were three other agents, doing the same thing she was doing....trying to get folks to their destinations, but their lines looked a bit different than mine did. You see, I determined before I got up to the desk that my "NOT getting home on time" was NOT Linda's fault and I was not going to let my frustration and sadness ooze out onto her.
I only wish that the other travelers in the other agents' lines had done the same because you see, each of them wanted the problem solved in the ONE WAY that would suit them best...regardless what that computer screen was telling the agent. They sighed. They grunted. They threw their papers down. They raised their voices. All behaviors directed at people who I am 100% certain did NOT cause our flight being canceled.
Linda and I, however, had a lovely time. I was tired, but I stood there as patiently as possible while she searched for options. I was one of the only folks on this canceled flight whose ultimate destination was international, so Linda had to work extra hard.
Well, I can report to you travelers that my attitude affected her attitude which affected the service that I received. Not only did she get me rebooked on a better flight for the next morning, she got the baggage guys to find my luggage so I would not be in the same icky clothes for the next 2 days AND she got me a window seat on the international leg of my flight.. all without my asking.
A little attitude goes a long way---- but the direction of the long way is determined by what KIND of little attitude you give to people.
I hope all of us frequent flyers will remember that those ticket agents did not cause our heartaches and they are really doing their best to fix them... so show a little kindness. I guarantee you will make someone's day, as well as your own, BETTER, no matter how frustrating the situation is!
(written from a Ramada Inn airport hotel, as the planes fly overhead)