Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Don't Ever Give Up...

Last night was a wild one, and in a lot of ways, the thing I like most about my job.

Make. It. Right.

Had one of those Spidey Senses while I was getting ready for bed, around Midnight I knew Boss was driving a long way in Scotland, to get to an early flight, and Something was Not OK. Wasn't. Nice little airport was closed with snow.

Here's how it went....

Flight A on Airline A is delayed who can say how long. which makes Flight B on Airline B, where Boss has Godlike Frequent Flyer Status (like if you could buy that Screen I spoke of yesterday with airmiles, he could pull it off easily in under a year) impossible to make.

SO Airline A decides to re-book him, not on an Airline B flight, but brings in their own Friend, who we will call Airline C. SO now he takes an Airline A flight, IF the airport opens, which is by no means certain, to London Town, then an Airline C flight across the water to his Girlfriend, who is doing a really cool New Years Eve Show.

Now Boss has a Business Class Ticket on Airline B. Only as THIS trip was so set, and not likely to change in any way, I booked it with a Special Holiday Business Class Fare, which for Airline B is no problem, they will fly him back Business whenever he can get there. More or less.

Only Airline A, looking at this fare and talking to their Friend, Airline C, decides, well, no, we have to PAY our Friend, Airline C, and Airline C does not have any Special Fare in Business, and this would cost us Big Time, so Airline A sneaks him into Coach and sends Boss on his way, to wait like a Zombie in the Little Airport Closed With Snow, where he must wait at the gate, and cannot get back to The Special Place Where Tickets Are Booked.

It's at this point the Ticket becomes, entirely and completely, Airline A's.

I booked this trip, it being what's called an Open Jaw, only an Open Jaw with teeth like Godzilla, with my Secret Agent, who is far, far better than I am. I do this for the complicated trips that we are doing ourselves so IF there is a problem, we have backup. 24 Hour Backup.

Start the calling.

Secret Agent, of course, is not there, it being around 2:00am my time at this point, but the Agent Minions are and they set to work. And the Agent Minions can't get in, THEY no longer have control of this ticket and are locked out from doing anything, in fact one Agent Minion told me she couldn't even get to Airline C because the lines weren't open, I decline to have a Talk about time zones and how one needs to go into UK numbers directly and start in myself.

Airline C admits to being able to SEE this booking, in coach, but it is not ticketed, I bring up a few Interesting Facts and they rise up like a Balrog and inform me of RULES which prevent them from talking to anyone but the passenger. They tell me it is Airline A's problem, and who am I, Miserable Creature, to doubt THEM?

Boss meanwhile has been boarded, but then must wait for the De-iceing, which ought to take place within a couple of hours.

Fine. Get on the phone direct with Airline A, and after a good long chat about weather, what it's like in the States, his family and how sure would be nice to be in the Caribbean, I start in. He was very helpful, and calls the exact women in the Little Airport who has changed Bosses ticket, mistakenly, she admitted, to coach, oh so sorry, yes, of course she will call the Great and Powerful Airline C and straighten this out right away. Uh-huh.

I have to go a little vague now. There were a lot of calls, was a lot of despair, a lot of trying to see where I can re-route him to, back on our good friends Airline B, where he is treated like a God, and every hour, the prospects dwindle, and the Ticket becomes more and more, well, LOST. I am down to "Everything is fine, just have him check in with Airline C in London Town, all is well, but no, we can't tell you anything" It isn't, but it IS 4:00am and since Boss is on a plane, I shall wait for him to land, sleep an hour, and continue on.

Two hours later, Boss calls to say his plane is now ready to take off from the Little Snowed In Airport, which is good in the sense he will get to London Town where his prospects get better, but Very Bad in the sense that he is Very Muchly going to miss this flight he has been maybe-maybe not booked on with Airline C.

Shit. (my thoughts at this point were far more graphic, but as this is a Gentle Blog, I will spare you them)

How much more of this story do you want? At 8:01 I get Secret Agent on the phone and start in, and she says "we start here" and I says "Done that, didn't work" a talk that goes thru a list of about 15 options, all with me answering, "Been there, done that".

Shit. Says she. (Only being a Professional it was put much more Gently)

We go after Airline A. In a big way. Secret Agent pulls it off, only we have no way of knowing if they are lying, and no way of pulling up a booking, as it is booked with Airline C (we found One Last Hope of a flight that could get him to his Girlfriend) but THRU Airline A, so we can't see it. Now it is a waiting game, as the London Town has two airports, and Boss will land at one, and then have to get to another an hour away. There is just enough time for this to work, if nothing goes wrong, with rush hour traffic, with this ticket, or there are no waits to get thru security. Heh.

Boss calls upon landing and I give him the Secret Code, and the Magic Words to say and tell him to Hie Himself Hither to the Other Airport and call me. At which point, the Poor Zombie Boss tells me how wonderful I am and that his Son seems to be having problems re-booking HIS flight as HIS airline says it's not their problem as the two flights were booked separately and it will cost $1900 to re-book. (They may both be crying at this point, not sure)

OH NO IT WILL NOT I SAY THIS IS NOT HAPPENING NO BLOODY WAY I HAVE THE POWER AND I AM NOW GOING TO WIELD IT GIVE ME MY LIGHT SABER AND A VAMPIRE HOARD I AM GOING TO BATTLE.

(actually I say, no problem, I'll deal with it, but that sounds cooler)

Ten minutes later, I call Boss to tell him his Son is re-booked, same flights, next day, Business Class, $300 change fee. Yes, I am that good.

An hour later Boss tells me he is walking onto the Plane, Business Class, where the seats turn into beds (Which he very obviously needs quite badly, as do I, remember, I have been 12 hours into this on two hours sleep, and he has been traveling for about 16 on two hours sleep, four of those in a Hell Drive to the Little Airport)

Not quite able to form words or thoughts anymore he tells me..I, I, Quiche. I love you.

I know, I say.

Love and Airlines,
Lorraine

67 Comments:

At 18:44 Anonymous Morrica said...

Brilliant!

Brilliantly handled, brilliantly told, brilliantly written.

Thank you for sharing!

At 18:48 Blogger Dragonsally said...

So, Goddess of Airline Wrangling, why aren't you sleeping the sleep of the just instead of blogging?

*resounding applause for a job well done*

At 18:52 Blogger Yoopergurl said...

You are a Goddess, stone statues should be erected in your honor that last eons longer than airlines A,B and C. Hope a good sleep and loving bengals await thee.

At 18:53 Blogger vampi said...

wow. i was on the edge of my ball reading that! your powers are mighty and most impressive.

At 18:54 Blogger Fluffy said...

Doni was on the edge of her ball!

We... we love you, too!

At 18:56 Blogger lomara said...

I absolutely love your airline tamer stories.

When I read them, I see you outfitted like a black and purple sparkly lion tamer, complete with a tall top hat with a great plume of feathers, with your bengals at your sides, backing you up with teeth and claws. And of course, all the airlines are lying at your feet, bowed in servitude.

What? Nobody else pictures you this way in your airline tamer stories? :D

At 19:02 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Lomara, got it in one. That's exactly what I wear...

Slept about three hours this afternoon, didn't go into the office, and now will have a fairly early night. If nothing else goes wrong.

I don't share work stories often, but this one was such a saga, I had to...

At 19:07 Blogger DataGoddess said...

*kneels at your feet*

I'm glad Boss knows what a jewel you are.

Now do you get a day off? :-)

At 19:12 Blogger Bulfinch's Aglaia said...

What a sweet and lovely thing to say to you! I, of course, am all confused with the time zones myself. Can only imagine if I were trying to figure them out via long distance *and* on no sleep. Wow. Good thing you had a couple of days to work with -- NYE is a couple of days away, right? Or am I still muddled on what day is it?? I always get so confused around holidays. Anyway, you are a wonder, M. Fablo!

At 19:14 Blogger Precision Grace said...

I was exhausted just reading that. Amazing. You have Powers and no mistake.

Well done SuperQ, hope you get some well deserved rest!

At 19:26 Blogger anna banana said...

Wow. All I have is Wow.

At 19:28 Blogger Stacey said...

Woman, you are a goddess.

At 19:30 Blogger rayvyn2k said...

I love reading your job stories! You rock!

At 19:37 Blogger Lioness said...

I do indeed bow at your feet and kiss the metaphorical ring on your metaphorical finger. I am impressed and in awe.
And I love the story telling.:)

At 19:44 Blogger Jess said...

She triumphs! Woot! \o/ Ya done good. Now go to bed!

At 19:44 Blogger Phiala said...

*applause*

At 19:59 Blogger EmilyLady said...

...

...

.

Go Quiche.

At 20:12 Blogger Chantrelle said...

Will have to read the post after dinner/movie. We *just* finished reading book 1 of harry potter w/ ben and are going to watch the movie now....wheee! I love getting into these stories w/ him, it's so fun!

I know you have the magic of Dumbledore Lorraine, I'll just have to read exactly what you did later ;-)

At 20:13 Blogger BookGeekGrrl said...

I must echo everyone who states YOU. ARE. A. GODDESS.

My mental image of you wasn't quite as detailed as Lomara's (although that's the outfit you'll be wearing from now on) but I always picture the coloured stripes in your hair getting more incandescent the more they try to muck you about.

At 20:19 Blogger Dragonsally said...

I love that image BGG..glowing hair. Our Quiche is surely gaining superhuman assets now.

At 20:25 Blogger Katie said...

I think I love you too, and I just read the dang thing. Three cheers!

And, for the record, I imagined her riding her trusty steed into battle, bearing a Bengal banner, Deadly Nightshade locks waving wildly- more like some terrible modern Valkyrie. (Which makes Boss Odin, that seems suitable for an airline story.)

At 20:27 Blogger Siri said...

Somedays, staying in one place seems to be a very good idea.

This is that day.

At 20:30 Blogger AletaMay said...

We shall celebrate your triumphs in song and story for generations to come!

At 20:38 Blogger dabbler said...

Siri, I couldn't agree more! So glad not to be traveling.

At 21:41 Anonymous kali_licious said...

All hail the mighty Power of Q's Travel Fu! Those airlines didn't stand a chance.

At 22:28 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Actually, they stood better than a chance, they nearly won. Hardest battle I ever fought. Would have lost had I not stayed up all night doing the homework for Secret Agent, so we could see the only option quickly in the morning.

Did good.

At 22:58 Blogger Chantrelle said...

Finally read the post. You brilliant, magical woman, you. You have, by far, earned that love from Boss and boss-son.

Watched 1/2 of harry potter movie #1 but started it too late. Will finish tomorrow. Started reading ben book #2 at bed. He was bummed when the chapter ended and wanted to go on. Love it. But he had to sleep. Me too!

At 22:58 Blogger ariandalen said...

I bow before the Power of Q!

At 23:24 Blogger Bridget said...

Excellent! Hard fought and well won.

At 01:08 Blogger spacedlaw said...

Don't you just love a happy ending?
Thank you for the first smile of the day.
I hope you were able to get some sleep and some furry love. Oh and some food too.
Hugs.

At 01:21 Blogger Rachel said...

Let me add to the chorus of You Are A Goddess. I am from your neck of the woods and have dealt with the dominant airline there. So I really know what level of Goddess you are.

Love the work stories of you working your magic. Keep 'em coming.

Glad Boss and family know what a jewel you are.

At 02:10 Blogger lomara said...

I like Katie's description, with you as a modern Valkyrie and Boss as Odin. Much more fierce than what I came up with.

At 02:23 Blogger Marjorie said...

Awesome ! While we would be more than happy to have Boss on this side of the atlantic more, it would be a shame I he had missed being with AFP for New Year. And I am really and completely in awe of your amazing powers of airline wrangling and sheer persistance! I hope you get a nice quiet day or two now to relax;-)

At 07:06 Anonymous Wendy Withers said...

I need you to work your mojo on my car, so it makes it all the way to New Orleans tomorrow.

At 08:59 Blogger Jane said...

Never say die and never give up - is that your motto?

And definitely the one about the person saying it can't be done should get out of the way of the person who is doing it.

And one more thing - why is air travel so hard? Is there anything else we buy that is so damn difficult? The price of the ticket, always a moving target. What we can carry on, how we have to be while on the plane (in our seats, evidently). There is a monopoly because air travel is the only way sometimes, time and distance constraints, etc.

Steve and I will always drive if the car trip is 9 hours or less, but we have the luxury of making that decision. Not everyone does.

Almost enough ranting. I have never liked air travel, not because I'm afraid, I find it kind of thrilling to be flying, but because I'm a little claustrophobic, esp around people...

Wendy, have a good trip and be safe.

At 09:42 Blogger One Sock Short said...

Ow, ow, ow. Just reading that makes my head hurt. Okay, it already hurts. Day three of same headache here. But even so. The fact that you worked all that out is no less than astonishing. You need your own ballad.

Wendy, best of luck with the move!

At 10:33 Blogger Madeleine Bouquet said...

Fantastic! I think this whole thing definitely needs to be put to song, it goes with the image that the Fiends have painted of you being all Valkyrie-like.

Wendy, I hope your move goes well.

At 10:45 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

There was NO way he was going to miss that show! Wasn't going to happen.

Speaking of Really cool shows, MINE is going to ROCK on New Years Eve! I am so ready for some Going Out. Can't wait.

The Royals have been developing some, uh, endearing habits. They now sit on the edge of the tub and WATCH me bathe.

Kill The Foot is also popular, while I am in bed.

And every morning (at six) Lear (or Luka, hard to tell) has his constitutional, which is a rather involved process, let me tell you, then comes up for what is nearly a proper cuddle.

All very sweet.

Kelli Bickman is doing me a painting of ALL the Bengals together in a tree, which is very exciting, more on this later.

At 10:45 Blogger bengalgirl said...

I cannot hope to match the descriptive posts about your super-powers BUT I know without a doubt that you have the power to work miracles and do often. I am so thankful you direct your powers to positive things.

At 11:35 Blogger LincolnBlog said...

W! O! W!

At 11:37 Blogger Dan Guy said...

Yikes! I break out in a cold sweat just reading this.

At 11:44 Blogger Brody said...

As someone who wrangles domestic travel for her Bosses on a regular basis, and has been involved with last-minute changes to Open-Jaw tickets.... you are truly amazing. I think I was reading this with my mouth hanging slightly open. :-)

At 11:45 Blogger Marjorie said...

Kelli blikman picture of the leopards will be awesome! I saw the link Boss posted to the one of Cabal he got for Christmas - it was georgeous! We have safely arrived at our tower which is lovely, and are just starting to cook supper , so I 've borrowed sisters iPhone to check in with the fiends.
Travel safely, Wendy.

At 12:07 Blogger ariandalen said...

A Kelli Bickman painting of all five Bengals.
That. Is. So. COOL!
:)

At 12:33 Anonymous kali_licious said...

All five in one painting? That will be cool!

I had a cat growing up that used to watch me bathe. He just could NOT figure out why I spent so much time in there, and walked around the edges of the tub, meowing plaintively.

Safe travels Wendy:)

OSS, hope that nasty headache goes away.

At 12:46 Blogger ariandalen said...

Congratulations on your excellent grades, kali!

Sending "car running, and running well" thoughts your way, Wendy! Have a safe, uneventful drive to your new life!

At 13:10 OpenID asphodeline said...

You really are as fabulous as your title suggest. And brilliant and of course boss man loves you - who wouldn't!

Thanks for getting him safely out it was a nervous time here too!!

At 14:47 Anonymous werefrog said...

Hurrah huzzah yippee hooray
for our Quiche
has saved the day!!!

At 15:17 Blogger Beez said...

Heh, followed some of it on Twitter but it was as NOTHING compared to this saga.

Which will be written by Bards no doubt.

Exhausting, edge-of-the-seat (or ball) exciting with a Happy Ending.

A K. Bickman painting of Bengals. That will be ace!

At 15:19 Blogger spacedlaw said...

Mmm, kitty paintings...
:)

At 15:20 Blogger Wendy Withers said...

Serious Black is in his cat carrier, because he's a flight risk. He is now making the saddest noises on the planet.

And, my trailer is an hour late getting here. :P

At 16:01 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Just sent Kelli Bickman lots of pics and little stories of all five Bengals. This is going to be the BEST art ever!!!! I am really excited about it. I don't think I will hang it, just carry it from room to room with me.

Keep us posted on your journey, Wendy! And good luck! Maybe you can EXPLAIN to Serious Black whats up. (it won't work, but at least you will have tried.)

Must get ready for New Years and MY big show. Not sure what that entails, but I'll need to wear something, and re-string. Find my make up bag.

At 16:17 Blogger vampi said...

oooh wendy, have an awesome journey/adventure:)

At 16:22 Blogger ickle_Tayto said...

can you book all my flights??

you do indeed rule

At 16:24 Blogger Dragonsally said...

Kali - Tysie used to do that. Until she fell in with me. The shredded tummy I received was almost worth the look on her face.

Wendy - I'm so excited for you. Good luck with the move.

Hello all new people *waves*

And your Quichedom..have a brilliant show.

Right, off to do important things like food shopping.

At 16:36 Blogger One Sock Short said...

Mind like a steel sieve, I have.

So kindly remind me please, Lorraine. Is the New Years show going to be webcast?

At 17:33 Anonymous Wendy Withers said...

AAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH

I wanted to have the trailer all loaded up by 7. (It's 6:33 now.) My mum was going to take me and my driving buddy to dinner at a great Chinese buffet. But, my friend can't get the trailer's tail lights to work with the truck, so I have no idea what time I'm going to leave this place...

And, I have to wash my bedding!!!

At 17:38 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Thank you! I always wanted to write in my site something like that. Can I take part of your post to my blog?

At 18:10 Blogger Na said...

Brava!!! BRAVA!!!
*standing ovat...* Oh wait - no, not ovation; we will hope you are not required to repeat this particular performance.

Never give up! Never surrender!

Such triumph makes for great reading, Q. I agree w/ others - this be the sort of thing what gets put into Edda form, yes indeed!

At 19:37 Anonymous Wendy Withers said...

My trailer is on its way. My theory is that Quiche interceded on my behalf with the travel gods.

Serius Black is very sad that he is in his carrier.

Kitty is pissed off. She started hissing as soon as I picked her up to put her in.

At 19:57 Blogger Siri said...

GO Wendy!!! You and the kitties and the trailer be safe. Did you get supper? Drive defensively. The end is beginning!

At 20:05 Blogger dabbler said...

Safe, easy travel wishes, with lots of sleeping cats! Or the cats you already have, not additional ones....


Where has this year gone?

At 20:47 Blogger Chantrelle said...

Safe travels to all who are traveling! Especially with kitties!

Wish I could be at charlie's tomorrow night. I know there will be much ROCK!

Waiting for hubby to finish dinner so we can watch the rest of Harry Potter. Can't beat that for a nice night! Being cooked for and watching a great movie w/ the familial unit :)

At 20:50 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Been with Magic for the last hour. He needs more company. Would get him a kitten, but that's not really fair to the kitten, and he only has the one room, with the porch in the summer, and I don't WANT another cat.

I am thinking fish tank. If that doesn't work out, well, I mean, he might eat them, but I wouldn't feel as bad.

Is that wrong?

Now to find a tank....

At 21:03 Blogger Leah said...

Wow. If I ever get to the point of needing/getting a personal assistant, I sure hope it's somebody just like you. What a feat! I read this entry just after arriving in Boston myself from a long and dreary trip through Heathrow... doesn't seem to bad now, lol! Resounding applause, indeed!

At 22:57 Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Me and The Royals take a bath!

New post is UP!

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