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Timelines Are Of The Essence

| Working | June 19, 2012

(I’m calling the travel agent’s customer service. The flight I booked from Dalian, China back to the U.S has been put on hold due to an error.)

Travel Agent: “Hello, how may I help you today?”

Me: “I just booked a flight from China back to the U.S for July 31st. I received an email about an error?”

Travel Agent: “Ah yes, Miss, I believe I know the one in question. You plan to leave Dalian at 1PM on July 31st, is that correct?”

Me: “Yes.”

Travel Agent: “…and then you will transfer in Japan, arriving in Tokyo at 5PM on the 31st, correct? You will then leave for the U.S at 12AM on the first of August…wait, and arrive in LA on the 31st of July? Ma’am, are you spending a year in Japan?”

Me: “What? Oh, no. You see, the plane will be crossing the international dateline, which is between Japan and the U.S, so while it will in fact be the first in Japan, it will still be the 31st in LA.”

Travel Agent: “What?” *long pause* “No, that can’t be right…”

Me: “…”

Travel Agent: “Wait a moment…wait a moment…one moment.”

(The ‘hold’ music comes on while he leaves the phone. When he comes back on, I hear laughing in the background, and he is obviously embarrassed.)

Travel Agent: “I am so sorry. You are perfectly right. Your ticket has been approved.”

Me: “Thank you so much for your help!”

Travel Agent: “So, what time is it in China?”

Me: “It’s morning on the 20th.”

Travel Agent: “Wow…”

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