Monday, July 30, 2007


So I get to use so many aspects of my leadership training while trying to return to my home from the leadership workshop in Omaha. I got into Omaha from Wayne Nebraska way later than I thought and when I set up the hotel doing a search for a hotel online I ended up getting one about halfway across Omaha!!! How did that happen? I think after working from 8 in the morning ( after a run and workout at 6:30) and then not getting done with the workshop until literally 11:30 each night……I may have been sleep deprived when I sent that hotel request.

So I set both my phone alarm and hotel alarm to get me up at 6 so I can drive to the airport and drop off the rental so I can get to the desk about 90 minutes before my flight at 8:45. I get to the gate at 7and I am the only one there. Good, I am early. The desk agent asks where I am going and I explain I am off to Redmond via Salt lake and he says “oh that flight left at 6:20 AM…….WHAT??????

I pull out my itinerary from the travel agent and it says 8:45. So the great Customer service idea of the airline ( DELTA) is to put me on a phone as opposed to having actual people at the gate that can help me…..strike 1.

I literally and I am not exaggerating spend the next 90 minutes on the same phone call with an agent trying to figure out how to get me home. There are flights but they are full and all she has is me staying at the airport (remember I returned the rental) for the next 9 hours and then catch a later flight that would get me home about 11 PM. I use many different problem solving ideas with her about putting me on another airline and also being very patient with her as she had the power not me so I needed to show great frustration but also that I understood it was not her fault and I was solution oriented.

While I was waiting another guy came up and he was trying to check in like I was….they did not tell him about the change either…..oops strike 2, well 2 for Delta but only 1 for me. I was able to get the best I could of the worst choices and it was routing me through Denver to Seattle to Redmond giving me a home time of 7:30 PM instead of the noon I had booked. She did give me a $100 travel voucher and free cup of coffee for my trouble thought I would have easily given it back and been home at noon as my preference.

Of course last minute changes in tickets alerts the TSA and I was run through the wringer but knew they were just doing their job so no big deal.

Half way to Denver I am sleeping and wake up to “Welcome to Chicago O’ Hare airport”…………WHAT??????? HOLY %^$##**()()+………………….after the stewardess talks for about another 2 minutes someone alerts her we are going into Denver and she corrects herself. Wow that one got me.

I find my flight gate in Denver to Seattle and I realize while walking to the back of the plane my seat is a center seat….crap I hate those. I do not have a window vs. aisle but center always sucks. So I get to the back of the plan and there is some one in my seat. What is it with people and the seat assignments that half the planes in my life there is someone in my seat…..PEOPLE!!!! WHAT PART OF 15B DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND??? I swear every aisle in every plane I have ever been on since the start of time has the seats labeled with a picture. So I tell the guy I think he is in my seat and he says “Oh I must have made a mistake, I guess I am in the row ahead” and I slowly turn my head to the row in front where there is what is left of an empty seat in the center book ended by two 300 pound guys that are latterly swallowing up the whole row. I am thinking this guy did not make a mistake he made a calculated move. I look at him and ask if he wants to get into his seat (while trying to picture if I think he may actually fit??) and he says that its no big deal to him I can grab his. I took a deep breath and realized that I was the better person and we were making the big dudes feel bad. One says he would scoot over to his buddy and give me the aisle and I just sit down and had no fight left in me. Strike 2. 90 minutes with a customer service agent at the crack of dawn will do that to you.

I made it to Seattle and sit here waiting for my final leg…….oh please no strike three.


kt said...

Oh man, Drew, sorry about the horrible travel day. Way to hang in there. Sorry again that I didn't get to meet up with you. Maybe at some point.

TRI-ROB said...

Drew DUDE! I am WAY proud of you! You came through that challenge with flying colors! Nicely done! Now we can take all the angst you felt during your travels and didn't act on and take it out on the mat during KMA! WHOOP WHOOOOOOP!