If you haven’t read yesterday’s post, you need to start there. This is a continuation of my “flying adventure.”
I did make it on to the 12:15pm flight from Raleigh to Memphis having been on stand by. I was definitely confirmed for a 5pm flight but would arrive in Little Rock until after 8pm. Once I landed in Memphis, I immediately went to the counter (as I was told to do by the Northwest agent in Raleigh) to see if I could get on the earlier Little Rock flight that would leave at 2:43pm. I went to the counter where an Agent was standing and asked if he could help me. He said, “No.” When I asked “why,” he answered, “Other agents don’t like us working their flights.” He said that I would have to wait until the Agent came to the counter for my flight and that could be more than an hour. Well, if I couldn’t get on this flight, I could rent a car and drive to Little Rock in about 2 hours. I looked through the terminal and finally decided to call Northwest direct. The first friendly guy from Northwest Airlines answered the phone. He made the necessary changes and got me on the earlier flight. He said that the only thing I would need to do now is go to the gate and get a boarding pass and seat assignment. I waited until the Gate Agent arrived at the gate and then approached her. She asked me, “Can I help you?” I told her what I needed and she said, “Well, I’m not working this flight for 10 minutes so you’ll just have to come back later.” And she had quite an attitude I might add. I guess I would be slightly frustrated too if more than 2200 flights had been canceled by my Airlines last month and more than half that many had already been canceled this month. BUT, pilots aren’t on strike – they’re just “sick” and customers are paying the price.
I grabbed a bite to each and then came back to the gate to see the Agent working the counter. I got in line and waited my turn. There was a lady in front of me who had had a very similar day to mine – change of flight from American to Northwest – and also didn’t have the paperwork that they would like for her to have. This same Agent was giving her a very hard time, demanding that she provide the paperwork or else “there’s nothing I can do.” After listening to her abuse this poor paying passenger, I stepped up to the counter and simply said, “I was in the same position and you don’t need that paperwork. And you know it. Just put the ticket number into your computer and you’ll have everything you need.” She did and the problem was over. The Agent was really mad at me but the passenger got her boarding pass. When it came my turn, that same Agent tossed me over to another Agent and said, “See if you can help him because I don’t think I can.” Hmmm, Customer Service – it’s a lost art.
Good news is I made it to Little Rock and my luggage was there waiting for me!