Complaints about airlines, rental car companies, and hotels seem to be more the norm than the exception. Certainly, most of us have had an unsatisfactory experience with some travel service provider. However, I recently found myself pleasantly surprised with how well my airline reacted to what could have been a very frustrating situation.
On a Delta Air Lines flight from Washington D.C. to Seattle, I missed my connection in Minneapolis due to weather. I arrived at the Minneapolis airport at 11:00 p.m. and there were no other flights to Seattle until the next morning. Since the delay was due to weather, the Delta was not obligated to make arrangements for their passengers. However, all the hotels near the Minneapolis airport were sold out. I could have stayed at a hotel downtown, but by the time I’d have arrived, I would have only had a couple hours to sleep before needing to go back to the airport to catch my early morning flight. Another option would have been to take a later flight, but then I would have been traveling most of my work day. I decided to spend the night in the airport.
It was amazing to see how Delta did their best servicing us through an unavoidable event. A wonderful agent let those of us who’d decided to sleep over know that Delta had futons, blankets, and pillows for us. She guided us to a business center area, where cubicles became our overnight station. We only had a few hours to sleep but that little bit of extra comfort went a long way. The agent also brought us snacks and water from the aircraft. It certainly wasn’t the best of conditions, but it was better than trying to sleep in a seat in the airport waiting area or staying up all night.
Weather delays and airport sleepovers can make even the nicest person a bit cranky, but it helped that Delta’s staff was pleasant and helpful. So yes, we all will experience the negative aspects of travel at some point, but maybe if we try to see the positive sides of things, those frustrations would be smoothed over much more easily.