Stuck in Dallas Airport
A day spent at the DFW airport before Idaho Falls
After getting to airport at 5a.m. I was haunted by the fact that my flights were cancelled. See what I did not say previously is that I delayed my trip by one day to Idaho so I can hang more and see Austin, TX. By way of @Travelocity I called in on Sunday and asked to change the flight by one day and leave at the same time. I called into Travelocity and they arranged the change which would cost $200. Totally fine I thought it was all done.
Which brings me to this very morning where I show up at 5am. plenty of time and well tired from this trip. I join an already full line trying to get on the early morning flights. I had no idea what was coming as you see I did not check and I trusted all was handled. I mean you pay $1200 which is deal for this kind of trip but you spend the money and you expect it to be all taken care of.
I arrive and swipe my card and confirmation code to get my flight info. “ There is no record for a flight for Robert Karns. “ Hmm that is odd “ I say to myself in a almost half asleep droll. Maybe i should try again, and again, and just for good measure I switch machines in an already jammed packed panicked check in line. “ This isn’t happening. the clock keeps getting closer to 5:30am boarding time. “ Come on stupid robot machine! ” Swipe, Swipe, Tap, Tap. "What the hell! " I try to wave down an already working hard United worker. John it turns out is busting his ass already trying to help pretty much everyone. People are swarmed like bees on a hive. I tell him my ordeal and he tells me “ Well there is something that got cancelled and not rebooked on the Travelocity side of things. I should call them.” So, my mind and body go from adrenaline catch the fight mode to well let;s sit on my ass. pile my bags and camera equipment and sit on the floor as the chaotic ridden Departure area goes from hundreds to 10 people. The sound and visual clutter of passengers are like they never happened and there I am alone making this call to the people who put me in this spot.
Ring, ring “ How can I help you? ” As I explain the situation the lady on the other end of the line does her best to accommodate me and gets me on a new flight but with Delta and as I say thanks for helping me she says on the other side of the phone in her nice and neat office with phone mic attached to her face most likely. “ Ok sir that will be $852 to make this change. “ I am in shock. As I try to tell her this is not my fault that someone on her side at #travelocity Did not rebook the flight as they said they did and took my credit card # how does this get to where I owe $853 dollars more as I already paid $1200 plus another $200 to rebooked. I am sit and wonder on my iPhone slightly annoyed and way more tired the I need to be. As nice as I am I feel wrong and obviously trapped as this trip I planned starts to slip away. I ponder and think this is not happening to me” Let me talk to your supervisor” As I was well trained and observed my mother do many times as a kid. she got it done. I learned to not take it. “ Hello this is Steve how can help you?” Now I hope you see the operative work “ help.” one of the great action words in customers service. “ Hi Stever there seems to be a problem as /i do not have $852 to change a flight as I already agreed to pay a $200 fee to change my flight on sunday. Now it being Tuesday. I need to be in Idaho on my last leg of the trip. I already paid for the trip and don’t think that I should have to pay all over again and close to what i/ paid already. “ Ok sir let;s see what we can do” In a sort of half assed way he starts to feel scripted and I just went through this with the first lady. Lots “ help, sorry sirs” really felt robotic. “ Well sir we found you a flight leaving DFW at 5pm on United and it will cost you $800 to book it” he says in a dry voice. “ I cannot pay that and already paid for the whole trip” I already paid $200 to fix this” I say with a higher more shaky voice. the anxiety starts in and I feel abandoned “ I called ….. as I explain all over again. “ Well sir I don’t see any record of you calling and changing flight.” Excuse me how is this customer service?” Now I’m called a liar after this and that stings more. He tells me “ Sir how do I know you aren’t lying to me.” “ I called and have the phone records to back it up I will send you and email and this will tell you i called.” Well it is a stand off. i say “ well I am on this travel trip to blog ands take photos of my experiences and this will be on there.” I plead with slight anger. “ Do what you have to do sir I can’t help you.” Stunned shaky and lost I catch John from @united coming over checking out his area. “ Excuse me” I catch is attention. My bags pile high and looking like a crazy person. I tell Steve from Travelocity to hold on and I speak for him to hear. “ travelocrty wants to charge me another $852 to fix my flight. “ “ Let’s see what we can do” john says with a smile. I barely speak into the phone at Steve from @travelocity “ Later,” I click off the iPhone.
Not even 10 minuted go by I restrain my tired shaky body and breath, relaxing from someone calling me liar and telling me they can’t help me. Feeling stuck and stranded and felt like I was not king to finish me trip to “ Mr. Karns we got you rebooked and tickets reinstated.” John with a glassed trim build and with a smile. not knowing what he just did. Saved me day. I went from stress to happy in half a millisecond. “ You mind if I take a photo of you for my blog , he questionably says “ ok”, and I take 2 one of him fixing my situation to the happy go lucky guy who turned out to change the course of my trip. I walk talk to a few other staff who overheard my ordeal tel what I am doing and they are jazzed by it. I am recharged and ready. I have to sit in the airport til 5pm it is now 7am. How in the hell am I going to do this. Blog, massage and eat. that’s how. i take total advantage of my time at United Terminal and ready to post some customer service missteps on twitter. I exercise my social media right and it works. Social media helps get notice. Travelocity responds and so does United. I post john’s photo and they tell me his supervisor will be notified. I feel like something just happened. I stepped into a situation and it altered all that I know. I have to tell other about the power of #socialmedia.
I seek out a massage as i think this will gather me some much needed peace. I have been going from house to house and luckily staying for free with friend and family, But it does take toll on me. Not to mention the stress I just experienced I find @xpresspa and book a 1 hour massage. but not til 10am. I walk around with my camera bag heavy as it is and find #smoothieking to grab a bit of food before I undergo a much needed beating in my massage. Ariel tells me that I really need to keep up the massage cause I could really use it. After telling her where i have been. She says in a funny voice " Yeah you for sure really need it/" we both laugh. I am starving at this point and look for something remotely at Cantina Loredo in the DFW airport. I order the Mahi Mahi and the guacamole. All turn out pretty bad. the staff were very nice and accommodating. But the food did not fill that void. I ended up heading back to the United Club and spending the rest of the day writing and seeing Brazil get slaughtered by Germany in the World Cup semifinal match. Pretty terrible. As my flight took off I finally for to rest and pass out and nap some more. That flight to Idaho is where I met a German Gentleman and his merry friends headed to Idaho for business. He was telling me how fun it was to hear the World Cup match on his last flight. I want to say his name was Henrik but he was about 6 foot something and around 60 something years old. small mustache and perfectly combed hair. Quite jolly fellow and easy to talk too. As we arrive I am please how soft orange the sky is i had to snap an instagram photo of it. Sunset approaches and I am greeted by the warm weather of Idaho Falls.