I travel for work, to explore new places and to learn. While traveling may sound daunting, the experiences we garner are often priceless.
One such incident happened today. I was flying to Louisville, Kentucky today in the evening. I was enjoying the soccer World Cup final( little sad as Croatia was losing) when my an alert popped up on my phone stating my flight was canceled. Sure, there were thunderstorms in the morning but it looked bright and dandy now. It was bizarre they canceled the flight. I am sure United had its reason. I was booked automatically for a next day flight getting me in Louisville, not until 2:00 PM. My meeting tomorrow is at 2:00 so I decided to call United to explore some options. After some permutations and combinations, the best option offered to me was to fly into Cincinnati, Ohio. Louisville was about 100 miles from there, a couple of hours of late evening drive. Given the number of flight cancelations, it was not a bad option. My flight was at 3:30 so I hurriedly called a ride and off I went to the airport.
I must be 5 minutes en route when I got another notification indicating my flight to Cincinnati also got canceled.
I called United again. There was literally no option. We explored all the nearby airports, tried connections but nothing was working out. The agent genuinely tried hard to get me to Louisville or somewhere nearby, but because of cancellations and the cascading effect, it appeared I was hitting a wall.
She finally found me a confirmed seat from Chicago to Louisville for 9:00 PM tonight, but the flights to Chicago from Newark area were either canceled or delayed making me impossible to catch my connection.
I gave up. I decided to inform my client about the flight situations. I was flying to Miami from Louisville tomorrow and thought of focusing on getting my future itinerary fixed. I thanked the lady for her service. Before dropping the line she confirmed my phone number and promised to call me back if she finds me an option. I took that as a courtesy remark and asked my rideshare to take me back home.
I was in a call with my travel desk to get my Miami itinerary corrected when my phone rang with an unknown 1-800 number. Curiously I picked the phone and guess what, it was the same lady from United airlines who was trying to help me before. She got me into a flight to Chicago so that I can catch my connection to reach Louisville tonight. I was now flying from Laguardia airport from NY. I rerouted my rideshare again and I am writing this as I am trying to reach the airport beating the N.Y. traffic.
I thanked her and told her how her services had given me one more reason to fly United. It is people like her who make the real difference. Upon my insistence, she gave me her name. So, Linda N this is for you. Thank you for all your help. Regardless of what is in fold tonight you certainly gave me something to cheer about. So, thank you.
PS: the picture is the N.Y. skyline taken from the cab I am on
Copyright © Shantanu Baruah
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Shantanu Baruah and ckonfab.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.