We were supposed to fly home today.
And then we weren’t.
Last night when C.C. went to check-in online, we realized our mistake. Our tickets aren’t for today. They’re for tomorrow!
A hasty phone call to WestJet to try to remedy our mistake reveals, airline rules are rigid. Mistakes are costly.
Doesn’t matter that there’s room on the flight today. The only way to remedy the situation is to cancel our original flights ($100 cancellation fee) and pay an extra $1,000 for two one-way tickets home.
I’d rather put that money towards something more meaningful than an airline’s bottom-line and rigid adherence to rules that don’t make sense.
Phone calls made. Meetings rescheduled. We will take our original flights home. Thankfully, our hosts are gracious and insist we stay here for another day. And more gratitude, our friends who are looking after Beaumont the Sheepadoodle are equally as gracious.
I am grateful for amazing friendships that are flexible enough to bend with our mistakes.
And I’m grateful for laughter. Because in the face of a mistake, what else can I do? (Our travel arrangements this trip have proven to be a great source of laughter thanks to my beloved’s creative route-making.)
Beneath the laughter is curiosity.
What I’m curious about is an airline’s intransigence when relaxing their rules could result in goodwill and happy customers.
It’s funny, in the WestJet of old, I remember a similar occurrence, except in that case, I thought my flight was the day after it actually was. I got to the check-in desk only to be informed I’d missed my flight. The attendant graciously booked me on the same flight that day. I think it cost me all of an extra $50.
Rules. We hang onto them, hang our hats on them and while the saying goes, ‘rules keep us safe’, sometimes, rules can be the roadblock to creative responses to situations where, a little relaxing of the rules would make the world of difference to others without costing you a penny.
I get it.
We made the mistake that put us on a flight a day later than we’d intended.
But what I don’t get is how in the name of profit, an airline chooses to hold fast to rules that do not engender good will, even when to do otherwise would be a simple matter of a couple of keystrokes and the problem would be solved.
The skies may be friendly but those who fill silver bullets with paying customers and send them up into the skies, are not.
In the spirit of gratitude, I am sharing photos of my morning walk and the breath-taking beauty which surrounds me. There are a lot worse things than being here — we could be flying back today to the snow in Calgary. Maybe by tomorrow night when we get home it will all be gone!