Thursday, June 30, 2011

Flying Solo

An Open Letter to Airport Employees:
I get it. I really get it. You've got a leg-up when it comes to forced Customer Service. Much like the DMV, you're a necessary product which is heavily backed by various Federal/State rulings and we must act a certain way to you and adhere to all strict policies. Having this ammo against us, you act like the Varsity Football Captain: you KNOW we want you, you KNOW we need you and you KNOW that we'll do whatever it takes to get a ride. Interestingly enough, as a woman who enjoys feeling safe when I fly, the rigid policies usually don't bother me.
{I got to spend time in Chicago unexpectedly- delight of a lifetime.}
But today, when I missed my first flight I've ever missed (it was at 5:30 in the morning, I got there at 5:01 and could no longer check-in), and found myself fighting off tears in a panic and confusion at the kiosk, the last thing in the world I expected was to be beset with your annoyed power trip rather than treating me like a paying customer. When I asked Airline Employee #1 for help and inquired "what do I do now that I'm without a flight?", she stated as she sauntered away "YOU FLY STANDBY NOW. $75 EXTRA DOLLARS."
Excuse me? Where do I do this? How do I get a stand-by ticket? Why are you being such a b*tch? I understand that you deal with this every, single day and could likely solve this problem with your eyes closed but, guess what? I don't and guess what else? I need some help. Yes, I paid for a ticket and now I might actually need your help. Oh the horror! Is that outside of your job description??

{View of Mt. Hood from my flight out of Portland.}
After asking for clarification, you sighed heavily and had me follow you to a line 20-feet to the Left. "STAND HERE AND WAIT, SHE HELP YOU NEXT!" The "She" in that sentence was the (questionably) female employee standing behind the counter. So, I did what I was instructed to do- I waited until "She" aka Airline Employee #2 (missing a tooth... just saying) called me forward.
"Are you MVP status?" "No." "Well, you need to get out of this line Ma'am." "Well, here's what happened, I missed my flight. I don't know what to do and your coworker just directed me here. I'm not sure what to do." "Well, she shouldn't have directed you to me, OUT OF THE LINE. Not my problem."
{People magazine is a must for flights. PS Casey is so guilty.}
I understand we're in completely different industries but as far as I'm concerned... customer service is customer service. If I were ever caught speaking with a client like that, I would be done. Finito. Fired. It's inexcusable.Not to mention, not that you care to know- but I'm flying for a sad event. I'm going to say goodbye to my ailing Grandmother. So the morning was tough enough.
Thank you Airline Employee #3 for pulling me aside and actually treating me like I hadn't just slept with your husband, murdered your child, burned down your home and crashed your car. It was much appreciated. Oh, and I can't thank you enough for rerouting me to Chicago where I got to spend 4.5 blissful hours in the city I love more than anywhere else.
{Me in the Chicago Terminal.}
Passenger "Portland to Chicago to Omaha at 6:00 AM" (Formerly known as "Portland to Denver to Omaha at 5:30 AM")

{Safe and sound in Omaha, Nebraska. 6/30/2011}
PS- I'm not a "Ma'am", no ring on this finger thank you very much. "Miss" works just fine.


Anonymous said...

Oh I'm so sorry - what an awful day! Glad you finally made it.

this free bird said...

Wait a second here. That ho said what to you? "Well, she shouldn't have directed you to me, OUT OF THE LINE. Not my problem."

She would have been missing more than one tooth if she'd been facing me. How on earth are these "people" getting away with this??



Mandy @ In the Fashion Lane said...

I get it. You have no idea how much I get it. BAD customer service IS at most airports. Traveling weekly (as in 3+ flights A week) for three years was bonkers! I hate to hear that people had bad experiences like me! Im glad things ended on with you in your HAPPY place even if it was for a few hours. Have a great trip!!

samecookiesdifferent said...

great blog really really cute..youre pretty :D
love the disney shirt
share the feeling
visit <3
xx the cookies

Julie and Lauren said...

Oh no!! I hope your day gets better especially with the holiday weekend : ) Love those pics!

Jenna Lee said...

I have a bag full of magazines for the beach and ALWAYS have a ton for flying! I need gossip mags to keep me entertained!

Have a great weekend!

Lindsey @ The Hill House said...

I'm sorry your grandmother is not well. :( And I can't believe the nerve of the airport employees!! That's ridiculous!!!

Tina said...

Wow... that sounds like a such a nightmare. You should complain and try to get all them bitches fired! I woulda tried right there! Be like "I NEED YOUR MANAGER RIGHT NOW! TOOTHLESS BITCH!" lol but i digress..

at LEAST you got to be in chicago! of ALL the places in the world! lol it's fate calling!

apw said...

ahh how awful! but i completely understand. I just went to Pennsylvania and my flight left at 6:30am from LAX and i just barely made it and then my flight on the way home was completely canceled! so so stressful!

Julia, the Thanksgiving Girl said...

Ugh I'm so sorry you had to deal with something this disgusting and on a morning and day like that! At least all worked out in the end, and maybe even for the better given you got to spend some time in Chicago!

Panty Buns said...

Congratulations for not totally losing it! One of the many things that irks me about the long lines and abuse of the traveling public is that much of it is done in order to financially benefit Michael Chertoff, the former Secretary of Homeland Security. He gets a big piece of the action (money) for the sale of the clothes-scanning scanners at airports. Yes - it's a blatant conflict of interest and he makes money from people being afraid. And just think of the other companies getting in on the action, making you buy new products to replace the ones they confiscate or don't let you fly with. The long lines and security are a big scam.

Did you hear the big ruckus about the guy who flew in his panties and bra, or about lady Gaga and others going through security in their underwear? I would love to do that.

You could always have asked someone to give you a cheap feel at the airport too ("enhanced pat-downs"). My main question is when are they going to combine public healthcare with invasion of bodily privacy and give everyone who flys a free colonoscopy?

I'd imagine some of the airline and airport personnel get a lot of grief and are poorly paid, but that's no excuse for bad behavior.

Will the fear-mongering and abuse of the traveling public ever end? When will the public have had enough and shout "We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore". I forget what movie that line was from.

What an outrage. Flying standby used to cost less and they'd have to pay you if you got bumped.

Anonymous said...

First - you make me laugh so hard! :)

I can't believe they were so rude to you. The state of customer service in this world is absurd sometimes. I'm glad everything worked out. Have a great weekend!

Julia, the Thanksgiving Girl said...

P.S. Yep, it happened to me, btw! Just realized I forgot to address this topic :) As for your drink, I prefer diet coke and whiskey, so I guess this is why I forgot it could've been rum! lol

Sierra said...

WOW. So sorry about all of this girl! They should have treated you better. Glad you made it safely and yes magazines are a MUST!!

Amber said...

I am a new follower and wanted to say HI!
First of all, I am so sorry that you even had to make this trip... I can't imagine having to deal with all of this on top of it. I would def be writing to someone at the airline and letting them know!

Hope you have a great 4th, and a safe and easy trip back!

PorkStar said...

Wow Cait, that was awful, but glad to hear it all worked out.

Anonymous said...

cute outfit! how rude :/

Kara said...

Oh jeez...don't tell me this. Ryan and I are flying out of a tiny airport in August to head towards South Bend, IN. I'm not a huge fan of flying anyway so I am already anxious! You look super hot though...maybe some good inspiration for my flying outfit :)

Also, I've been meaning to tell you, we're going to Chicago for LOLLAPALOOZA!! We're only going for one day, but I'm REALLY excited :) :) :)

naghmeh said...

That shirt is sooo cute! I love anything disney lol
and I don't know what is with these ladies that work at airports I had a really bad experience with them when I was travelling alone for the first time and I had gone to ohio to visit a friend. The flight got cancelled and they gave everyone a room at the nearby hotel and then it got to me and she looks me in the eye and says sorry no more rooms out of the line please I was so mad and I never get mad so I was like listen lady I don't know anyone here so you give me a room or I"m not moving an inch lol that was the first and last time I ever spoke to anyone like that. ok oops too long of a comment sorry! have a nice day xx

BlackLOG said...

I believe the airline industry operate a rude bonus - if they can reduce customers to tears they get. I once witnessed a frustrated customer being slightly rude (although totally justified) to a rather obnoxious airline employee. The employee burst into tears and the passenger was kicked off the flight with no refund…

I have missed two flights in my life – the first was a connection and I was informed before we landed on the first leg that we were not going to make the connecting flight to London ….the flight I was on was running less than 5 minutes behind scheduled. We got met at Toronto by armed security and frog marched to a prison sorry hotel for a night of hell.

The other missed flight was because we didn’t get to the airport 5 days in advanced (our bad) they had over sold the seats by a factor of 3. Instead of being apologetic the airline informed us that we would have to report back the next day but there was no guarantee we and the other 400 passengers would get on to that either. We got their ridiculously early and managed to bag one of the few seats available. I suspect some of the 400 are still waiting for their flight and that was about 4 years ago….

BonBon Rose Girls Kristin said...

Please tell me you wrote a letter. If you didn't...send one certified!

Dirt On The Rocks said...

i can completely relate to flying like that. it's so hectic and stressy and no matter how positive you try to be you can't help but want to k.o the people that work there that just feels the need to be rude to everyone else. i'm just glad that's all over for you.

Nicole Marie said...

that's why i love southwest. i've always had terrible terrible customer service issues with other airlines but never with southwest.
hopefully this wasn't southwest that you flew with

Slamdunk said...

Yikes, sorry to hear that happened to you. Well I hope my upcoming flight goes better than yours.

Raven said...

loved it loved it loved it loved it loved it! Took the words RIGHT out of my mouth. And said it so true and right. GREAT and thank you. :)