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Ted's Travel Troubles


Posted on Friday, February 1, 2019 in Small Business Today Articles

I want to give you a quick update from the last time we were together.  If you remember we had a problem with UPS and a delayed delivery.  Turns out that the UPS Store in Seattle was very proactive and the morning after our delivery was made, they were on the phone to my daughter Jenni promising a full refund of our charges!  We didn’t even have to ask.  It is how a company handles problems that make them stand out from the competition.  UPS recognized the problem and solved it to our satisfaction, great job!

Now on to son Ted’s tale of winter air travel.  Ted had a ski trip planned over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend for several months now.  A few weeks ago his employer told him that he needed to attend training in Washington, D.C. the week before he was going to leave skiing.  It was going to be a tight fit because his flight was scheduled to land Thursday night at 10:00, just hours before his flight on a different airline to Utah was scheduled to leave at 5:35 Friday morning, but he had little control over the situation.  The whole trip started off a little rocky as the original 9:00 a.m. flight to D.C. was cancelled due to weather.

Ted got rescheduled for later that day and landed in D.C. at 9:15 p.m., only to have to wait 45 minutes for his checked bag and another 90 minutes for a cab to his hotel.   He said training went well and with an 8:00 p.m. departure, he left his hotel at 5:00, anticipating long lines at security.  Security wasn’t the problem.  His flight was delayed 5 different times while he was waiting to board.  Getting nervous about missing the ski trip, he and a coworker were able to switch to a different flight, with a short 45 minute layover before getting on a plane for Des Moines.

That flight was delayed 10 minutes while boarding, another 15 minutes while on the plane and another 15 minutes de-icing.  Fortunately they were able to get off that plane and get back on the original direct flight to Des Moines, which had not left yet.  After getting re-assigned seats, Ted and his co-worker compared notes and found out they were assigned the exact same seat!  The gate attendant made Ted wait while everyone else boarded, and found an empty seat for him.  Once boarded, that plane was de-iced and then moved out on the tarmac.  There they had to wait for a disabled truck to be moved, and then back to the terminal to be de-iced again.  The 8:00 flight finally left D.C. at 1 a.m.

The plane arrived in Des Moines at 2:20, but without Ted’s checked bag.  By the time he got a chance to lay down to sleep it was 3 a.m.  His alarm buzzed at 3:15 to get ready for the flight to Utah, and fortunately there were no unusual incidents.  As small business owners and managers we are constantly surprised by events that happen we didn’t plan on.  Sometimes that requires extra-ordinary effort on our part to make our businesses successful.  Are you willing to do what is necessary to make your business successful?  Are you willing to suffer the consequences if you do not make the sacrifices?  The airlines did everything they could to accommodate Ted’s travel plans.  They didn’t plan on bad weather or short nights either, but did the job.

Some of you might be thinking that Ted should have just forgotten about the ski trip and stayed home.  The trip was more than just skiing for Ted.  He proposed to his girlfriend of 5 years with a majestic mountain backdrop, and  Heather said yes!  Their return flight to Des Moines was delayed 90 minutes, and  they didn’t arrive back until 2:20 a.m. with Ted required to be at work by 7:30 that same morning.  Another sacrifice, but worth it.

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