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You Catch More Flights With Honey Than Vinegar

, , , , | Right | October 21, 2021

I’m in my final year of university. My boyfriend and I are in a long-distance relationship; he lives on the British Columbia coast while I am in southern Alberta.

During spring break, I decide to book a plane trip out to spend the week with him. As it is a short trip, I want to have as much time with him as possible; therefore, I am looking for an early flight. Due to previous problems with other airlines, I don’t like to book with anyone except a specific airline.

I notice that their 10:00 am flight is quite expensive, around $200 one way. Not happy with that, I keep looking and am quite pleased to find a much cheaper flight, about $100 one way, for a 9:00 am flight! Wanting to scoop that deal up before the prices change, I book my flight with a one-way ticket, thinking I might be able to get a better deal booking my tickets separately rather than together.

A small part of my gut is telling me there is something fishy about that 9:00 am flight I found that is cheaper than the 10:00 am. Stupidly, I push that down and instead just look forward to my trip.

The night before my flight, I find I’m not able to check in. I find this strange, but again, I push it aside and strive to just check in with an agent instead at the airport. The next morning:

Me: “Hi, I’m having trouble checking in for my flight. Would you be able to help me? I’m not sure what’s wrong. I’m due to fly out in about an hour.”

Agent: “Sure, no problem. What’s your name?”

I tell the agent, and the agent types it into her computer and frowns at her screen.

Agent: “Hmm, that seems to be a bit strange. I’m not sure why you’re having trouble checking in. Let me look a bit further.”

I’m slightly worried. I booked through a third-party website to try and find the best deals on flights, and now I’m concerned that I was not properly registered for this flight. After a couple minutes, I see the agent’s eyes widen in realization and fear. As she turns to me, I can practically see her trying to curl in on herself.

Agent: “I found the problem. You’re not scheduled for a 9:00 am flight this morning; you’re scheduled for a 9:00 pm flight tonight.”

Suddenly, the cheaper flight makes sense and my heart drops into my stomach. The agent is leaning as far away from me as she can get, clearly prepared for the explosion of rage she thinks is coming her way.

I let out a string of expletives under my breath as I look away from her so she doesn’t think I am directing them at her. It isn’t HER fault after all but mine for not reading the times properly. Once I compose myself, I turn back to her.

Me: “Okay, well, I don’t really want to wait until 9:00 pm tonight and lose a whole day with my boyfriend. Is there anything I can do to fix this?”

The agent looks a little relieved but still apprehensive.

Agent: “Well, I can bump you to the 10:00 am flight, but there will be a fee of $150 to do that.”

I whisper more expletives to myself. As a student, money is tight, and this trip is already pushing it for me.

Agent: “Or you could call [Third-Party Website] to see if you would be able to change your flight through them?”

I realize I will have to bite the bullet for this and hope they will be able to accept a different credit card from the one on file.

Me: “No, I don’t know how long that would take, and I don’t want to miss the 10:00 am flight. I’ll just pay the fee and move to that one, please.”

The agent nods and glances back to her computer, typing information and making the changes I’ve requested. In the meantime, I’m digging in my purse to pull out my wallet and the card I want to use. As I glance up, my card in hand, the agent is holding my boarding pass out to me.

Me: “Wait, what about the fee?”

Agent: “I waived it this time, but please be sure to be more careful in the future.”

Me: *Nearly in tears* “Thank you! Thank you so much! I promise I will!”

I accepted the boarding pass and scurried off to security. As I promised that agent, I’ve never made that mistake again and my boyfriend and I are now happily living together.