A Genuine Smile Literally Puts You In The Air

, , , , , , | Right | November 7, 2019

I am on a layover in Atlanta on my way home to Washington DC. 

My connecting flight won’t be boarding for another six hours. 

I look at the departures and see that another flight on the same airline has a flight in an hour to one of the other DC airports. I am flying solo and only have a carry-on, nothing checked.

I decide to go to the service desk to see if I can switch flights. I am willing to take “no” as a possible answer since I already have the other flight booked.

As I step up to the service desk queue, I hear a woman yelling at the attendant. Apparently, there was a delay on the woman’s previous flight and they missed the connecting flight. Because the delay was caused by an airport issue on the originating side, the delay wasn’t caused by that airline and the only thing they can do is reschedule the flight, which isn’t going to be until the next day mid-morning. The woman is going ballistic, but there is literally nothing the attendant can do other than reschedule.

After at least ten minutes of this, the women reschedules and leaves in a huff, along with the phone number of the airline’s customer service. 

I calmly walk up and greet the attendant with a friendly, “Hello,” and ask how she is doing. She looks a bit confused but says she has had better days. I ask about possibly switching the flight, and she says, “That flight is usually pretty filled since it is a commuter flight.” I tell her thanks for checking, and I hope she has a good rest of her shift.

As I am walking away, she says, “Hold on… Let me see your tickets.” I give them to her and she starts typing away. 

Two minutes later, I have a new boarding pass for the earlier flight, a seat by the wing with much more legroom because it is also the emergency row, and no one sitting next to me. 

It just proves that a polite smile and a show of true compassion will get you a long way.

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