“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.” ~ Henri Matisse
Last week we had a sudden death in our family. I needed to travel from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin so I went online to make airline reservations. Since I had to fly in two days, the fares were close to $1,000; normally it’s a $300+ flight. Someone mentioned a “bereavement fare.” I called the airlines, gave the information they needed and was booked on a flight at a closer to normal fare.
Soon after the funeral bad weather thundered across the Midwest. Massive storms dumped snow and ice. Shortly before I was to leave for a 2-hour drive to the airport, American Airlines called with news. My flight was cancelled and I was re-scheduled on a Tuesday flight. I stayed in my hometown another night.
On Tuesday, the first leg of my trip was delayed. That delay jeopardized my connecting flight. The agent at the counter quickly put me on standby for an earlier flight. Subsequently I was seated on that and made my connection.
Several years ago my husband traveled a lot for his job. His words of advice came back to me. “You just go with the flow.” So during my Tuesday travels I did that. I also watched other travelers (a favorite activity of writers, I think). While many sat back with books or laptops, or simply rested, others whined — about everything. I heard way too many gripes about airlines overbooking, lost luggage, and delayed flights.
It is because of those complaints that I’m writing this post. Throughout my journey I saw only kind, professional helpfulness. My sincere thanks to American Airlines and its hardworking employees. Thank you…
- to the ticket agent who walked me through the bereavement fare and booked my original flight
- to management for the call notifying me of the weather related cancellation and rescheduled flight
- to the agent who offered a standby change so I could connect to my final flight
- to those who de-iced the plane, the mechanics and ground crew who kept things safe
- to the flight attendants who brought me a sense of security
- to the pilots who kept the flights on course
- and finally, to the baggage handlers who brought my suitcase home safely.
You all made this emotionally draining trip easier.
Some folks seem to believe that the purchase of a ticket in life buys nothing but smooth sailing. It usually does but sometimes bad things happen beyond control. When they do just go with the flow and thank the person who guides you through, whoever that may be.
For now I’m saying thank you to American Airlines. ∞