Monday, April 28, 2008

the three digit code of doom

Apparently, there is a three digit code that airlines have. Well, at least one airline has it: Airtran. I do not know the exact three digits, but if they get attached to your name...you get screwed over.

On Thursday last week I flew home to be in a friend's wedding. I was supposed to preach on Sunday morning ("supposed to" being the operative phrase here), so I booked my return flight for Saturday evening at 6:00pm. This meant that I needed to leave the reception early and book it to the airport, both of which I did.

However, upon arriving to the airport...I found no one in line OR behind the counter at the ticket booth. As I made my way up to ring the bell, a rather annoying and cocky gentlemen in an Airtran jacket walked by and asked with a smirk, "Which flight did you miss?"

I responded, "I did not miss a flight. I am on the 6:00pm flight and it is 5:00pm."

To which he said...still smirking, "That flight is just left. There is no 6:00pm"

I told him that he was wrong, and was seconds away from knocking that freaking smirk off of his face by kicking him in the man parts, when someone who is actually good with people came to the counter and asked what the problem was.

I'll spare you the extremely frustrating details and get right to the point. I purchased the tickets in December. The airline changed the flight time, from 6:00pm to 5:00pm, back in February. They contacted everyone on the flight except me. For no apparent reason, there was a three digit code (that the supervising manager on duty had never even seen before) attached to my name that said...and I quote..."no need to contact".

No need to contact.

In December, when I purchased my tickets, they collected my contact information (both phone number and email), which is given ONLY because sometimes flight details are changed and the passengers need to be contacted. In February, they changed the flight time. At no point between February and the moment the plane took off, was I contacted...because of this three digit code.

Thus Saturday evening, I showed up the airport an hour late and found myself seriously screwed. Not only did I miss that flight, but there were no flights out of any airport in a 200 mile radius that I could get on and get home in time to preach the next morning.

And it was all Airtran's fault...ALL Airtran's fault. Usually in those situations, I try to think of what I could have done differently to have avoided the problem. But in this situation, the answer was "nothing". It was completely and utterly their fault, in every possible way.

I explained that to the supervising manager and told him that not only was I screwed over by this, but many people through me were screwed over. We had to change our entire service for the next morning because I wasn't going to be there. That took a lot of work from a lot of different people.

Luckily, he was extremely nice and took full responsibility. I was given a voucher for a free flight anywhere they fly and was upgraded to First Class on my return flight the next morning.

All because some random, three digit code was attached to my name.

I sacrificed spending time with friends I rarely see to prepare to preach on Sunday morning. I sacrificed time with family, who I also rarely see. I sacrificed sleep and I worked hard to make sure I was going to be ready despite having been out of town all weekend.

And at 5 o'clock on Saturday night...I found out it was all for naught.

Thank you, Airtran. You suck.

7 comments:

michaelCODY said...

I think this is hilarious because I can't really see you getting upset; especially kicking someone. People are always full of surprises, right? I feel for you man! The whole thing sucks.

Anonymous said...

I was supposed to help out on a big presentation for a meeting on Thursday. A partner wanted to send out the presentation on Monday evening in advance. I think I told you about it. Well, I found out about all this on Friday at 5:30 PM (ouch) and had some guys work all weekend on it. And by that, I am talking 12 hours on Saturday and probably another 8 on Sunday. Found out this morning that the meeting was canceled. Those guys I had do the work don't like me anymore. They feel your pain.

Jeff

bill said...

...and i feel theirs.

on another note, jeff, how was the reception?

ragamuffinminister said...

Possible Comments (choose the one you like most):

1. Dude...don't mess with Bill "kick in the balls" Wolf.

2. Is this how Jesus would think about all this?

3. At least your cavities weren't searched.

4. Die AirTran, Die!!!

jason said...

Jesus would have walked home. Duh.

bill said...

i choose them all, jeph...

1. i really wouldn't have kicked him in the balls...but i did want to.

2. no. Jesus probably would not use the words "screwed" or "suck". neither would my mom. so, i apologize to both.

3. there is always a silver lining.

4. i agree. actually, i feel better now that i have vented. so maybe i don't agree. no, no...i agree.

The Anonymous Human said...

So, free ticket eh?

Airtran fly to Vegas?