A funny thing happened on the way to Hawaii…

Our flight was canceled.  Okay, so it wasn’t so funny at the time.  In fact it was downright frustrating.  But it happened.

Let me set the stage:

March 22, 6:00 am.  My wife and I are dropped of at Orlando International  Airport expecting to check in for our flight to L.A., then our connecting flight to Kona, Hawaii.  The airport is super busy and we decide to use curbside check-in.  The agent behind the counter looks befuddled as he looks at our tickets, then back at the computer screen, then back at the tickets again.  He tells us that it is too early to check in, because the flight is not scheduled to leave until the next day.  The next day?!?!?  That will not do.20060228_ticketcounter_2

We then go inside and are escorted to the counter to a very nice Delta agent who explains our situation to another Delta agent, who then gets on the phone.  Apparently our flight from L.A. to Kona had been canceled, and we were now indeed scheduled to leave the next day.  To make a long story short, the Delta agent who now held our tickets (and our chances of not missing a day in Hawaii) worked a miracle and got us on another flight THAT DAY on another airline.  We were now going to arrive 4 hours later than scheduled, but that was certainly better than 24 hours later like we thought.

My real point for telling you this story is about what happened next.  I felt completely compelled to tell everyone I ran into about this wonderful, helpful agent who worked her magic to get us to Hawaii.  Of course we thanked and probably over-thanked her in person, we thanked and told the other agent that helped us,  we told the boarding agent, the pilot we happened to sit next to, countless people in Hawaii and now all of you!

Each one of you probably has a similar story from your past that you can recall that made you feel the same way.  You may still be telling people about it!  Working in this industry, we also get to be the ones on the other side of this story – the ones who save someone’s day, and possibly their entire vacation.

How many of us think of this in terms of our employees?  When was the last time you made their day?  When was the last time you did something so selfless to help one of your employees that they were compelled to talk about it?

Ironically, you may never know that someone is talking about you.  But everyone else will.


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