Tuesday, July 1, 2008

GA, Michael's last day

When I was 16 I canoed across Ontario with five other young women. We were gone for a month. We wrapped a canoe around rocks in river rapid, we camped with four grown men, we were windbound for days and at the end, we had to portage our canoes down a cliff.

So you'd think I'd really have no problem sending my sixteen year old off for this week with minimal supervision from me or any adult I know at all. And well, I guess I didn't have a problem. I know my son and he's a good egg. A covenant is a big deal to us in our family. He was busy leading the 8am strategy session anyway!

But then he called me from Houston. He'd had a weather delay out of Ft Lauderdale and had missed his connecting flight to Seattle.

Sometimes I'm so glad I've had a lot of weird jobs in my previous life. I worked reservations for Northwest for two years. I know what to do here. And luckily we still work for an airline so I logged right into the NWA system and started pulling the information on the flights. And I got on the phone with Continental--the airline he was flying.

Yep, he was on standby for the next Continental flight to Seattle. And while yes, theoretically they could put him on a flight to Minneapolis where we have family and he wouldn't have to sleep in the airport and he could just non-rev home in the morning, the Minneapolis flights were way oversold. He had a confirmed spot on a 7am flight to Seattle--in first class even! And the best bet was to standby for the last Seattle flight out for the night.

I told him to go to the gate agent, plead his case and be extremely charming. There would be few seats and maybe more people than seats and the gate agent would get to chose who got on and who didn't. Here's where the power of nice comes in!

He got on. A few weeks ago I would have been deeply relieved that he made it home. This time I was a little sorry--it would have been a rockin' adventure to sleep in the airport and then fly out first class in the morning!

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