Lesson of the Day during Airline Nightmares!

Today I felt obligated to remind everyone of a little piece of advice that I was reminded of while traveling.

Maybe it is a few bits of advice that are packed into one nice package; Pick your battles, You get more flies with honey then vinegar.  What it really boils down to is if you are not in control of a situation you need to keep your control and be sweet to people!  The only time you can actually get angry at someone is if you are employing them or have other choices you are prepared to follow through with!

More times then not, unfortunate things happen with airplane travel.  Flights are delayed, cancelled, over booked, there are mechanical issues, you don't get to sit with your party even though that is how you bought your tickets, you sit next to someone who is smelly and annoying, the lines are long for the security check, the lines are longer to check in luggage, the person next to you brings on a huge carry on that encroaches on your leg room.  Unfortunately, all of this is basically out of your control!  Unless you have the freedom to turn on your heel and walk out of there to drive to your destination, you just have to grin and bare it!!

Ryan and I were super excited to be going to Lake Tahoe for a business trip.  We planned out our flights so we could get to our destination at a reasonable time and even put our seats together - crazy that two people traveling together would want to sit next to each other!  First, our flight was cancelled and we were re-booked on a flight just a little later in the day.  No big deal, we rearranged our plans the night before which is when we were notified of the change.  The ticket and luggage check line was relatively short so we whizzed through that which was fortunate because the line to get through security extended down a ramp, past restaurants, and out to baggage claim!  I think there were at least 50 people in line ahead of us!  Fortunately we had plenty of time to get through security.  Others weren't as lucky and we saw a flight leave without four of its passengers!

So far so good.  A few annoying things, but not too bad.  Because our flight was cancelled and we were re-booked our seats weren't together and of course they couldn't put our seats together.  They didn't want to move people around.  How considerate!  Apparently paying for tickets and planning a few months ahead of time guarantees that no other passengers are disturbed.  But, again no biggie because we can just ask if others will switch with us. or act really annoying reaching behind us to pass things to each other until people give in   Fortunately, a passenger was happy to switch seats.  Just put on the smiles and at times people will be kind.

We lifted off on time and things were going well!  I was settled in reading my book.  About 30 minutes into the flight the pilot came on the loud speaker.  No sugar coating it - "I have bad news."  There was a light not working and protocol said we had to land at the nearest airport which happened to be the one we just came from even though our flight would have been the same time had we gone to our actual destination.  But hey- what can you do?  Keep reading your book and hope for the best!

I headed straight to the counter at the gate when we got off the plane.  We were going to miss our connection for sure, but maybe we could make another one.  I watched as others before me turned red and frustrated.  If the flight isn't there it isn't there.  Nothing anyone can do folks!  It was the same for us!  Our original flight that we actually paid for would have had us sitting together in each leg of our journey and gotten us into Tahoe at 11:30am!  Now the best we could get was the same plane for the two of us and arrive in Tahoe after 3 layovers at 11:30pm!  Awesome!  Smiles all around from me.  Thanking the people at the counter profusely for doing all they could and wishing them luck as I joke around about how I'm happy to not to be in their positions! 

There really was no point in getting angry.  We were not prepared to cancel our trip or drive from Michigan to California so our fate was in the hands of the airlines and the people frantically searching flights for us.  So even after a weather/lightening delay we ended up in our destination only 12 hours later!  We also were given upgrades into First Class!  Do you think we would have gotten into First Class had I been the red faced angry lady at the counter?  Nope!  The fate of our travel day was in the hands of the people at the computer and a little bit of courtesy and appreciation for that person got us to our destination, First Class, and our bags even made it too!  Now, I don't want you to think I was nice just because I wanted the upgrade.  I actually had no idea until our third flight of the day that the rest of our trip (and longest part) would be in First Class!  The courtesy came because there was no reason to get angry.  It would have only hurt the situation!

So, the moral of the story is even if the airlines totally stink like month old wet clothes that were soaked in spoiled milk and stored in an area of extreme heat, (no, I don't have any grudges against airlines - totally nuetral territory here...) it pays to be kind to people.  They are only the messenger in the situation!
My way of coping in the airport...

Finally on board in First Class!  Woohoo!!


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