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The Best Airline Customer Service I’ve Ever Received

This just happened, I mean literally just happened two days ago. I was on a red-eye and had just landed from Fresno into Phoenix on an American Airlines flight.

Sidebar: When did the Sky Harbour get so freaking big?

I was on a lot,  I mean a lot of Dramamine and very little sleep, so needless to say I was out of it. My red-eye was booked through American Airlines, but had been rebooked that morning through United via Air Canada and the plane I was supposed to board was an Air Canada Rouge airline.  Are you confused? Well, so was I.

As soon as I de-boarded my flight from Fresno I approached the first departure screens I could find to look for any flight departing for Toronto at 11:55 PM. Nothing. I went to the bathroom, popped a couple of more Dramamine ( I get very sick when I fly, don’t judge) moseyed my way over to the departure screens looked up for a Toronto departing flight…and nothing.  I thought, what the heck was going on?

Next, I began walking and looking for customer service instead I found a map and discovered that the United flights took off from Terminal 2 and I was currently in Terminal 4.

That’s when I made a  HUGE mistake.

I left Terminal 4 through security to get to Terminal 2.  Little did I know that Terminal 2 is equidistant to Fresno from Terminal 4. After taking the Sky Train and then walking outside to the outer rim of Sky Harbour, I finally entered Terminal 2 and looked up at the departure screens. Finally, there it was, my flight to Toronto and it read: departing Terminal 4 Gate B1.  WTF??? I turned around repeated the last trek and 30 minutes later found myself back at Terminal 4. I headed over to Gate B security to find it was CLOSED.

So, back to the original Gate A and Terminal 4 I hiked (the Terminal and Gate I had left, while I was making my huge mistake).  The line to go through security was insane.   Apparently, every co-ed at ASU and the University of Arizona was about to board a plane to go on Spring Break! As a Howdy DooDee looking co-ed complained he had been kicked off his flight for talking politics (“No”, he exclaimed, “I’m not drunk!”) I fumed.

After another 30 minutes, I finally get through security and speed walk to Gate B1. When I arrive at the Gate there is no one in the waiting area accept for a gate agent. The screen reads Palm Springs. I run up to the counter and ask the agent where the Toronto flight had been moved to and she looks at me with confused eyes. “I have no idea” she softly says.

I turn and start frantically walking towards a departure screen and my flight is gone…poof… just like that GONE. My flight wasn’t supposed to leave until 11:55 pm and it is only 11:35.

So, I did the only thing I could think of I called the American Airlines Customer Service line and walked back towards the Terminal 4  Gate A security exit.   When the agent answered I gave her my Reservation Code explained my situation and asked her if there was another red-eye to Toronto I could catch. She tried to help, I’ll give her that. Then I asked her if she knew whether or not my Rouge flight had left yet. She replied “this isn’t an American Airlines flight”. I kept frantically telling her I was aware of that and wasn’t there anything she could do for me. To which she replied “this is a United flight.” I said “actually it’s an Air Canada Rouge Flight”.  She started telling me about some flight to Philadelphia that was leaving in 3 minutes. “If I hurried I could a make it.” “Which flight?” I yelled. “Forget it”she replied “the doors just closed”. “I’m kind of freaking out here” I opened up to her.  “Gate B25!!!” she excitingly yells “Gate B25 you have gotta go now!”  “Gate 25?” I reply “how did you find it?” I exclaim.  “The Air Canada website” she answers.  “Thank you soooo000 much!” I yell as I hang up the phone and run.

As I turn the corner into the B20’s arm of the Terminal  I hear my name being paged over the P.A.  That ominous sound that signals you are about to miss your flight. It is then I realize Gate 25 is at the far end of the arm and I have only started running in it. “Come ON!!!!” I yell out loud huffing and puffing. I am sweating now and my legs are about to give out when I can see the gate and yell the three words so many travellers must have yelled that day…”Hold The Door!”

Whoever you were on the other line on Thursday Night, March 10th with the frantic caller lost in Sky Harbour trying to find the Rouge Flight to YYZ thank you. Thank you for your assistance, Thank You for being both kind and understanding and most of all Thank You for solving my problem in an incredibly professional and sympathetic manner.


A Big Fan



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