July Theme Of The Month: Great Timing!

Their Travel Ability Is As Solid As Oak-land

| CA, USA | Extra Stupid, Transportation

(I am waiting to board my flight when over the intercom come a couple of announcements, calling a passenger who has gotten off their plane at the wrong airport. The last page comes as:)

Page: “[Name], please report back to gate [#]. You have gotten off at Oakland, not Orange County. It doesn’t look anything like Orange County.”

Shuttling Away The Bad Customers

| WA, USA | Crazy Requests, Transportation

(When my brother comes to visit, the airline company loses his bag temporarily, and promises to call us when it comes in. A day later it arrives, so my brother and I drive down to the airport to pick it up. I wait in my idling van while my brother runs in to grab his bag. After a few minutes, I hear someone open the trunk and glance in the rearview mirror, only to see a woman I don’t recognize loading her bags into my trunk. I turn off the car and get out.)

Me: “Um, ma’am, I think you have the wrong…”

Woman: “I need to get to the [Hotel] and fast. I have a business lunch to attend, and need to sign in and freshen up.”

Me: “Well, I’m not a driver, and I’m just waiting for my brother. Maybe you should—”

Woman: “WELL, he is just going to just have to wait, isn’t he? I am a paying customer, and I expect you to do your job and take me where I need to go.”

(At this point I realize that she thinks I am a shuttle driver, which is ridiculous as all of the hotel shuttles have the hotel logo plastered on the side of their shuttles. As it is obvious that she isn’t going to listen, I decide to take a different approach.)

Me: “Well, okay, but given that you didn’t schedule ahead, I have my rush-service fee, plus a roaming service fee as the [Hotel] is outside of my usual area, plus gas and lost business fees, so that will be $300 dollars up front.”

Woman: “What? No, you have to take me for free!”

Me: “No, that is the hotel shuttle, which would have to word [Hotel] on the side. I am a for-profit shuttle only, and if you want me to take you now, it will cost $300.”

Woman: “Well, I’m going to report you!”

(She then proceeds to pull her bag out of my trunk and storm off. My brother, who arrived towards the end of the debate, grins before stepping forward and putting his own bag in the trunk.)

Brother: “I don’t have $300, but do you accept IOUs?”

Me: “I’ll give you the family discount. You have to cook tonight.”

Brother: “Deal!”

Putting Up A Language Barrier

| Houston, TX, USA | Bizarre, Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

(I’m working at an information booth at an international airport. I notice a woman in line scolding her children in Spanish. I myself am Latina. When she comes up to the counter:)

Me: “¿En qué puedo servirle?” *How can I help you?*

Customer: “This is America. Speak English.”

Travel Plans Are Bus(t)

| UK | Bad Behavior, Tourists/Travel

(I’ve booked a seat on a coach to take me into town from the airport. It turns out to be a 12-seater minibus and it’s fully booked. I notice a woman pushing angrily to the front of the queue despite not having a ticket.)

Angry Woman: “The desk is closed! Why is the ticket desk closed?”

Bus Driver: “It’s a public holiday, ma’am, so you need to buy your ticket from the drivers. Unfortunately, most people have booked ahead and this bus was full a week ago. You’ll need to wait for the next one.”

Angry Woman: “What?! That’s absolutely ridiculous! How is it my fault if all these people are pushy and greedy? Let me on immediately!”

Bus Driver: “I’m sorry, ma’am. As I explained these people have already paid and you will need to wait for the next bus.”

Angry Woman: “I won’t have this! What if the next bus does this, too? How do you expect me to get to London? Walk?”

Bus Driver: “Sorry, ma’am. If the next bus is full I suggest you try [Major Coach Operator] two bays down. They run 53-seater coaches so they should be able to fit you in.”

Angry Woman: “This is the worst customer service I have ever seen! I am going to put in a big complaint and you will lose everything!”

Other Passenger: “Look, how is it the driver’s fault if you didn’t have the sense to buy a ticket like everyone else?”

Angry Woman: “I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO!” *storms off*

Lounging In The Line

| VA, USA | At The Checkout, Tourists/Travel

(I’m the customer in this story. The weather has been bad this day, resulting in a lot of cancelled and delayed flights, on top of being a holiday that is busy for flying anyway, so the check-in lines are overwhelmed with both people trying to check in and those trying to get re-booked. I notice that no one is moving in the check-in line while the desk agent is dealing with a customer. I walk up to the desk from about 20 spots back.)

Me: “Excuse me. I don’t mean to interrupt, but it seems that you’re helping this customer personally while no one is using the check-in screens. Can those of us in line to check in use the check-in screens while you handle this?”

Agent: “Sure! I’m trying to re-book her, so please step up and check in if that’s what you’re in line for.”

(I turn around to the line and speak loudly.)

Me: “If you’re just here to check in, please step up and use the check-in screens.”

(I go back to my original position in line, and it turns out most the people in line were there to be re-booked, so I reach the counter quickly as those waiting for assistance wave those of us just checking in forward. When I reach the screen and put my bag up to be tagged…)

Agent: “Ah, you again. Wait right here for a second.”

(I wait, thinking I upset them with my intrusion and am going to be kicked off my flight.)

Agent: *comes back, takes my ID, tags my bag, and then hands my ID and claim slip back to me along with another slip of paper* “Thank you for that. I’d love to hire you to stand here all evening and keep things moving, but this is the best I can do.”

(She comped me a lounge pass! Turned out that it was a LIFESAVER since MY flight ended up delayed by five hours!)

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