Notice anything funny about this itinerary? Look closely.
Yeah, that’s right. I’m scheduled to arrive in Washington after my departure tomorrow.
JetBlue sent it to me after canceling last night’s flight because of a snowstorm that was forecast to slam Washington. When I phoned the airline to point out the problem with its proposed schedule, a representative laughed.
“Oh,” she said, “that’s just our system.”
A sense of humor! That’s the first thing you’ve gotta have that when you’re dealing with thousands of canceled flights over several weeks. You have to be able to laugh about it.
I’ve heard numerous stories of airlines going above and beyond during this challenging time. I want to share a few of them with you.
Kathleen Pierz was flying from Atlanta to Buenos Aires on Delta Air Lines recently. Her flight was delayed five hours because of a snowstorm.
Pleasant and charming Delta personnel served us sandwiches and drinks at the gate. This was followed by way above-average service on the flight into Atlanta – very happy, cheerful flight attendants made it a nice flight too.
Looks like there may be some “teeth” behind their new slogan about building a better airline, not just a bigger one.
Elise Logan, flying during the storm-battered holidays on American Airlines, checked her daughter’s car booster seat. But when she arrived at the luggage carousel, there was no trace of the seat.
The pilot – Captain Austin – deplaned and asked me if I was waiting for someone. I told him no, I was waiting for the gate-checked car seat. It’s worth noting that I wasn’t either impatient or even particularly surprised that the car seat wasn’t there yet. No sweat. I could wait, since my husband and daughter had gone ahead.
But Captain Austin said he’d go check. He did more than go check. Captain Austin brought me the seat himself. And I really appreciate that.
It isn’t just the flight crews that came through for passengers during the storms. The support staff back in the call centers and at the airports also rose to the occasion, providing excellent customer service. Just ask Ellen Barrett, who had purchased flights for two of her employees using her Delta SkyMiles.
After the snowstorms hit, their flights were canceled.
Delta then rescheduled their flights for the next available spot, a red-eye for the following night. This would mean my guys would miss two days of a three-day event.
Of course, Delta phone lines were flooded and it was impossible to get through, so I sent an email asking for help. All I wanted was either get my miles back, or a voucher for future travel. Of course, the automatic return email said to allow seven days for a response. This would mean we were a no-show on the rebooked flight and I would loose them.
I work three miles from Flint, Mich., airport so I decided to go directly to a ticket agent for help. The two agents listened to my problem and immediately got in touch with a SkyMiles agent while I waited. They were able to arrange for not only the return of my miles, but a refund of the $10 fee which I really wasn’t even concerned about.
Additionally, I also received an email this morning as a response from my original email also telling my they would take care of returning my SkyMiles – so either way, I was covered.
I know we all slam the airlines on a regular basis, but I did want to let you know that sometimes they do try and take care of us.
By the way, JetBlue was highly responsive to my problem — when I said the new flight was unworkable, it offered an immediate refund, no questions asked.
I would love to turn this into a regular feature about how the travel industry is doing right by its customers. Based on how you responded to the last good news story about the Southwest pilot who held the plane for a murder victim’s grandfather, I would say you would like to read a little good news, too.
But is there enough material? What do you think?
A survey of more than 500 readers — not bad for a snow day — says yes.