The day started with heavy snow in upstate New York. Although I allowed an extra 30 minutes to drive to Albany for my flight, because of horrible road conditions I arrive at USScareways 5 minutes late for check-in (still had 35 minutes before departure). “Sorry, the flight’s closed out” I’m told by the disconnected and arrogant ticket agent. “But I have only carry-on luggage and have people upstairs at the gate that tell me that you haven’t even started boarding,” I pleaded. “Too bad, so sad,” was the supervisor’s message. “Here’s a flight for tomorrow morning, take it or leave it.”
20 minutes later, my original flight has still not boarded. I head back to the supervisor with another plea…”I have a team member upstairs who will switch places with me” I say to the supervisor. “Nope, can’t do it” I was told. “Too bad, so sad.”
So, P.O.d at USScareway’s stupidity, but needing to get to Dallas for this weekend’s Cleinman Performance Network meeting, I go to Continental. For a king’s ransom, but with excellent service, the ticket agent finds me a flight out of Newark. We rent a car and drive 3 hours to catch the Continental flight. Unless there’s a hitch, I’ll be in Dallas by 8pm.
What’s the rest of the story?
My teammates that made the original USScareways flight finally boarded fully 45 minutes late, as I was grabbing my rental car. They then sat on the runway (with several empty seats) for more than an hour, only to ultimately have the original flight cancelled.
Had the USScareways supervisor done what he should have done from a service perspective, I’d be sitting in the Albany airport awaiting a 5pm flight with crossed fingers and toes. My 4 team members who are still there may get to Dallas by midnight…if lucky. But because of the USScareway supervisor’s arrogant and inflexible “customer service,” I am now comfortably awaiting my non-stop flight from Newark to Dallas via Continental.
The universe sometimes works in perverse ways. Thank you, USScareways and Albany supervisor Steve P. for your lousy service. And thank you, Continental, for taking a “can do” attitude and working with me to resolve the problem.