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,