Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Silver Lining...

I apologies for the length of this post, but I felt it was a story worth telling, I hope you do too...Well, today after looking, watching & comparing different flights, times and trying to get all the schedules worked out... I can say, with a huge smile, we are all booked for Arizona!  I have for a while now, watched the flights to find ones that would work for us, as well as being affordable.  It is a whole different ball game when you have 2 kids and you know that you will be the only adult flying with them.  Flying with my two loves, is like trying to contain two bouncing balls, each one wanting to go in a different direction.  I always try to get a direct flight, but when the flight gods want to mess with me they throw out a challenge...  Like changing planes...ok, just hope that it is not on the other side of the airport or you are going to get one heck of a floor show.  As I scoop up the three year old and sprint from one gate to the other, trying to get the seven year old to move faster.  If we happen to add a layover into the mix, pray that it is not a long one!  Otherwise we will be in and out of every gift shop, bathroom and checking out whatever else catches their attention... Now with all that being said, I love my kids... but when you have to travel alone with them... I do everything in my power, to make it as painless as possible, ( for everyone. ) I find that it has much better results for everyone involved.  So, backtracking to booking the flight this morning... I was armed, with schedules, my frequent flyer # & the beloved credit card.  I was all ready to go!  As I started to book on line the prices were being changed... I felt like I was playing chess with the invisible man!  So, frustrated, I called Southwest and started to work with "Mark".  He was wonderful to work with.  He was polite and was working with me on securing the tickets for the lower price.  Right as we got to where I was going to give him the credit card #'s, we got disconnected.  Arrrgggg...  Ok, I had to call back... Next I got the "nameless" woman.  I went back through everything that I had just done & discussed with "Mark".  Everything seemed to be going smoothly.  Then she put me on hold as she ran the credit card.  She came back to tell me that we,  ( meaning me & the kids ) were booked on said flight, at said time and returning on said date, at said time.  Oh, she messed up the return flight, so I got put back on hold again. ( While on hold I got the pleasure of hearing the same "adds" repeated five times in a row, it almost left me begging to hear elevator musak. )   When she finally returned, she informed me that I wasn't charged a fee for changing my return flight... What?!?!?  Ok, I'm thinking that I shouldn't have had to pay a fee anyways, as it was her mistake in the first place.  Whatever... Then she goes on to say that the fees for the flights have just been changed and now for Chad to fly is was going to be almost $ 80.00 more.  I know, to some of you that is no big deal, but it just irritated me to no end that she was not going to honor what I was originally told.  She instructed me to hang up, and go on line to book Chad's flight.  I was now starting to see red.  I decided that I would just hang up and deal with someone else.  Try number three...  After going through the automated choices again... I waited for a few minutes before I got connected with "Elizabeth".  I didn't want to unload my frustrations on her so I asked to speak to a manager.  She pleasantly responded that she was a manager.  Deep Breath, I decided that I should try desperately to hold onto my cherub like demeanor, as she didn't cause the frustration & she might actually be able to assist me with my problem.  As we started going over everything that had happened she listened patiently, and then once I was done re-capped what I said.  Once I said yes, she started to help me solve the problem.  Within a matter of minutes, she got Chad on the flights that we needed him to be on, for the price that we were originally told and she signed up, Chad and the boys up for their rewards program.  I was so elated with not only her professionalism, but her calming demeanor.  By the end of the conversation I was beyond thrilled with the outcome!  I know that usually we never take the time to Thank people for a job well done.  It is far easier to lose our cherub like demeanor, and unload both barrels on someone when we are upset.  I asked Elizabeth if I could talk to her Supervisor, as I felt she was more than deserving for positive praise.  I can tell you that she seemed honestly shocked that I was going to take the time to tell her boss what an amazing job she did.  I got to talk to Carla.  Another amazing woman, we spoke for longer than I had intended, but I really enjoyed the conversation.  I told Carla of all that I went through to book the tickets, she apologized, ( which wasn't necessary. )  Then we chatted about the nature of the trip and how important it is to the family.  I told her all about heading out to Arizona so that I could participate in the 3-Day for the Cure.  We had a wonderful conversation!  After all of this, when it was time to hang up the phone I can honestly tell you that I was left with a huge smile on my face, and feeling like I passed along a little sunshine.  If everyone could take the same amount of time to say Thank you & a Job well done instead of waiting to bite someone's head off and tell them how rotten every thing was, what a better world we would live in.  There is enough ugly, nasty and down right hateful in the world do we really need to continue the cycle?  I challenge all of my friends to "try" to spread sunshine, instead of dark clouds... In closing, I just want to say THANK YOU AGAIN to "Mark", "Elizabeth" & "Carla".  I hope you know that you really are the best of the best and are an asset to Southwest Airlines.  In return I hope they know, and appreciate what they have in you, because I sure do!

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