I was just in Vegas for my best friend’s wedding. Congrats again to the beautiful couple if they are reading this!
While the wedding was wonderful, my flight back was a nightmare.
It wasn’t until I was taxing on my first flight, that I found out my connecting flight was delayed over 8 hours.
Angry is probably the right word to describe how I felt. If I had found out just 10 minutes earlier, I’d have stayed another night in Vegas with my friends. Why didn’t the airline text me? I had the text alerts setup.
When I finally landed at the connecting airport, I went to customer service to see what my options were. It turns out, my flight had been delayed due to weather, and that unfortunately, there was nothing the airline could do. The representative was pretty quick to say some variation of “After all, we can’t control the weather, so it’s not our fault.” Which as a customer, annoys the crap out of me, because it isn’t my fault either. It’s a ripe industry for disruption. But I’m getting off track.
Feeling defeated, and dreading the prospective of sitting around for 7 hours, I asked the representative if they could comp me a meal? I knew they didn’t really have a reason to. After all, I had just been told they can’t control the whether. But I said I really wasn’t expecting to have to buy another 2 meals in the airport today, and would appreciate it if they could help.
And to my surprise, she said yes!
It blew me away how much she was willing to help. First, I’m pretty sure broke protocol to do this for me. And second, when she went to print the voucher, the printers suddenly stopped working. She must have spent 25 minutes trying to fix the printer, before back-up eventually came to help resolve the issue. She ended up taking her break 35 minutes late just so she could help.
I thanked the representative again and went on my way.
As I was walking I had two thoughts that I think are worth sharing.
First, it can be awkward to ask for help. Like, really awkward. Especially, like in my case, if they actually have a solid logical argument for not helping you. I think experiencing the discomfort is worth it though, because you never know how the other person will respond.
Second, I think all people genuinely to want to help other people. Think about it, have you ever felt worse after helping someone? Probably not. And just because they say no to your initial request, doesn’t mean they don’t want to help. So try to stay flexible. And if you’re rejected on one request, try making a smaller, slightly different request.